Is cancer the worst thing that could happen?

I am not blogging to get sympathy or to rag on anyone. This is solely therapeutic and a chance to let my story be heard……

We were high school sweethearts, we were hopelessly in love. We left home to start our life together. There were struggles and there were easy times, but we managed to conquer every obstacle that was in our way. We were living a so called normal life, we had four children, a dog and all the “toys”. After years of trying to make a better life for ourselves we were finally living a fantastic life. Then, April 1, 2014 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 lobular and ductal breast cancer at age 35, I had a mass on my breast bone, a mass on my collar bone and a mass on my breast muscle, apparently it had been growing for two years. The next year of my life was the hardest, or so I thought. I had a mastectomy, lymph node dissection, lumpectomy and a sentinel lymph node dissection. I had to endure chemo, which caused me to lose my hair, become depressed, become a very mean person(which I don’t remember), memory loss, vomitting, severe diarrhea and gain 30 lbs.

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My doctors advised me that because I was young and healthy (ok, having cancer is considered being heathy?), I would undergo aggressive treatment. I tried my first chemo on my own, trying to take care of the kids (twins age 9,7,2). I’m not sure if it was my first chemo or second, but I broke down and realized I couldn’t do this on my own. At that point, I realized who truly cared. I received help each chemo for a week, which wasn’t long enough, but I accepted what I could from the few people who extended a hand. I would be sick for almost three full weeks which brought me up to another chemo. There are so many stories I could share about the things I endured during chemo or the things my caregivers could share that would make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

Here is one story that stands out. It was two weeks after my chemo and my husband wanted us to go back to his work with him in GrandFalls for a week. I wasn’t feeling well, but I decided to go anyway. At this stage of chemo I had chronic diarrhea, but I still had four children to entertain. On this particular day I felt pretty good, so after I put the laundry in the washer at the laundromat, I took the kids on a walk, to the park and then grocery shopping. I started to feel sick, so we headed back to the trailer, I just managed to make the kids lunch and bring the groceries into the trailer when I had to go to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom I couldn’t move because I was too sick. 45 mins later, I managed to crawl out of the bathroom to my bed. I started to cry because I didn’t have the groceries put away and I didn’t get the laundry picked up at the laundromat. I remember one of the kids saying, that’s ok mom, we can do it! God love my precious boys, they put the groceries away, took the laundry basket and walked to the laundromat. They walked back, three of them carrying the one basket of clothes and hung it on the drying rack outside. I feel so guilty that my children had to see me being helpless and having to take care of me when they are so young…….a time I should be taking care of them.

There were days I would ask myself, “why me, why not someone else?”. I was afraid of death and all I could think was, I am going to die. What would happen to my children? How could my husband work and raise our four children? Although my biggest fear was death, on my hardest days I thought death would be the easiest way out. The only thing keeping me alive was the love for my children, I had to keep going for them.

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Finally after six rounds of chemo, it was over……now on to radiation. I suffered through 29 radiations, which was Monday-Friday, while still taking care of my family. I was blistered and burned from my chest bone all the way around to my shoulder bone. The day came when my aggressive treatment was all over, I still had to receive a treatment every three weeks that wouldn’t end until June. What happened next was just as hard, depression set in and I cried every day because I started feeling pain and thought the cancer returned. I needed to get away, I needed to escape this life and everything that reminded me of cancer. I underwent testing to see if the cancer returned, thankfully it was confirmed that my cancer did not return. We decided that we would take a family vacation. I thought that would help with my anxiety, it only made things worse. I ended up seeing a psychologist, which helped tremendously. I was finally learning how to cope with the feelings of being abandoned by family, learning how to forgive, learning how to cope with anxiety and the guilt I was feeling. Little did I know, I was about to face a bigger challenge in my life. What could be bigger than dealing with cancer and fighting to live for your family?

Facing infidelity and feeling victimized…….

Kelly

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28 thoughts on “Is cancer the worst thing that could happen?

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  1. so sad…you must be a strong person my love,to survive what you went through.And now infidelity,and abuse.You just hang in there,nothing to be ashamed of.God bless you and your boys.

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  2. Oh my Kelly you are one strong woman and Mom, cant imagine what you must have went through,If theirs anyone that deserves nothing but the best it’s you.My love you got a lot to be proud of ,knowing all you went through all you thought about was those little boys you had their. I’m sure it was times you felt like giving up on everything but you didn’t……hugs to you and the boys

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  3. Kelly reading your blog my heart ached for you and all you have had to go through. I am sorry you had to face these battles but please know that even if people couldn’t physically be there to support you that you were in our thoughts and prayers. And you are one tough cookie….now your life just takes on a new journey and I know you will come out of this stronger than ever from what I have read and heard your children always come first for you and with their love and the love and support of family and friends you will survive all this too! God bless you sweetie!

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  4. You are lucky to have those boys, they sound wonderful and caring and kind. But you know what, they are even more lucky to have you! They are they way are because of you! You have endured so much physical, mental anguish a that no person could ever fathom it. But you have come out of it, stronger, more beautiful and I’m sure more appreciative of the daily blessings in your life. Your story brought tears to my eyes (while sitting in a hospital waiting room I might add). Keep on keeping on!! You’re doing a fabulous job my dear!!

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  5. You are a strong individual ,to have gone through this terrible ordeal and managed to hold onto what’s really important your family ,your boys ,never give up. ,brighter days ahead for you ,I’m sure .

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  6. Kelly,
    You are one strong and brave Woman and one heck of a Mom!!! You have faced more than most of us can imagine in such a short time! No doubt it has made you the person you are today! Keep your chin up- with your four handsome and caring boys your future can only get brighter!!
    Brenda Lee

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  7. Oh Kelly, as I read this I am in the waiting room of the cancer clinic waiting to see my doctor for my treatment (#2) tomorrow. My journey will not be as extensive as yours but totally understand all were you are coming from with 5 year old twins. The fear, just trying to get your head wrapped around the “c” word. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you travel this journey with your family. Obviously your are a very strong person and a inspiration.

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    1. No doubt accepting the “c” word is very hard. Once you get to the point of acceptance, it becomes much easier. Cancer is cancer and it is a struggle no matter the kind or age you get it. We all have to fight to survive. Think happy thoughts whenever you can. Good luck to you and your family!! I’m wishing you all the luck and hopefully soon this will be nothing but a distant memory for you. xoxo

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  8. Kelly…. Reading that blog left me wanting to keep hearing your story. You are the true meaning of what it takes to keep the cycle of life going. God Bless you and your kids and I pray for happier roads ahead on your life endeavours. Looking forward on hearing about your bright future? Take care!

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  9. Kelly you have been so brave & strong to endure all of this! I’m just happy that you had your children to help you keep up the fight. I’ve often felt like giving up(I’ve never dealt with cancer though)… But my beautiful children are always in the forefront as well. They truly are blessings. Keep your chin up! You are a role model for so many others 💜

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  10. Hi Kelly, you may not remember me. My name is Kelley as well & we sat next to each other once at the Chemo unit. We were both there for Herceptin. You were much further along with your year of treatment than I was.
    I can totally relate to your story & the emotional turmoil. I just wanted you to know how much you inspired me during the time we talked. We talked about our hair & how difficult it was having small kids & going through this nightmare.
    I pray that you find peace & happiness. God bless you & your boys.

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    1. I do remember you, your the one who has the mother who is a mother to all….right? I think we are inspirations to each other, one cancer patient to another. For some reason it helps tremendously when you get a chance to talk with someone who is going through something similar, there’s a sense of comfort and a connection you just cannot explain. Hope you are recovering well and good luck to you💕💕 Here’s to a life filled with nothing but good things from here on out and a life without any more cancer!

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  11. You are a very strong and determined Mom been there myself but not so agressive as yours that was twenty years ago so dont give up you have your boys to support you.wishing you all the best

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  12. I have a friend who’s going through almost the same thing :(. How in the world are you dealing with all of this and a husband leaving and stuff :(. It must be so hard. What kinds of abuse did he put you through? ;(. So so sad. Some people are so uncaring

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    1. I’m so sad to hear about your friend. Sometimes the worst kind of things can happen to the nicest kinds of people. It was and still is a very hard situation for me, I take it one day at a time. When you have children, you have to focus all you energy and love on them, they are the ones that matter the most. Wish your friend good luck from me and try to think happy thoughts😉

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  13. This friend has no kids thank goodness for that. But she is sick and is dealing with a lot. Her husband left her as well and she’s devastated! His abuse was verbal and mental. I don’t know what else to do for her or say to her. When a man would do that to someone he said he loved! I cannot even imagine!

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    1. Sometimes verbal and mental abuse can be one of the worst kinds of abuse. You don’t overcome it overnight, it will take time. All you can do right now is to be there for her and give it time. Time heals all wounds. I wish I could do more for her! Let her know that she can contact me anytime via social media to privately chat😉

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  14. I commend you for being so strong and brave. Being a wife and mother is a hard enough job as it is. And then to be dealt that card of cancer? Unbelievable. You are a true testament to not only cancer survivors but to women in General. I am most certainly drawing strength and courage just from reading this. I am going through a similar situation right now and with tears streaming down my face as I read your story, I smiled. I smiled because no matter what, I can do this. I will beat this. I will be healthy. I will be happy. I will move on. Away from the grip my husband has on me. Away from the abuse. Away from the mind games. I will win. Being sick is a big kick in the guts. A true eye opener as to who and what is most important. But being betrayed by the person who vowed to share your life, unforgiving. I will eventually forget… And maybe even in the future forgive. But right now my focus is my health and my happiness. Thank you for posting this at the exact time I needed to read it. I look forward to more posts from you. Stay strong.

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    1. As I read your comment I couldn’t help but feel remorse for you and anyone else going through this. There is something inside me that feels some kind of relief to know I’m not the only one living this nightmare, but I would do anything to take the other persons pain away, so they wouldn’t have to feel it. Nobody should ever have to experience this kind of pain. Good for you to focus on your health and happiness, it is defiantly the first step to healing. You sound like a wonderful, caring person and hopefully you will be able to forgive, I hope one day I can do the same! Forgiveness will be the one thing to set us free💕💕xoxo

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  15. I agree and I’m really really trying. I think in okay most days but then I have days where I miss him and feel like I would forgive him in a second if he just came home. Then another day I have to be tortured to see him living his new life he chose, new girlfriend, new “freedom” and I sink back into the “why me”? “What did I do so wrong”? To deserve this. I am trying to make sense of it after a full year and some days it makes sense and others it’s such a puzzle.

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    1. Big hugs to you for making it this far, that is a big accomplishment! I know that it’s hard and it’s easy for people to say move on, but it’s easier said then done, but I bet one day you will look back and say to yourself that you never thought you would get this far. I’ve learned that I am far more valuable than I give myself credit for, the same applies for you. Remember, the choices people make are for themselves, however selfish those decisions are. Chances are, he left because of himself and you had nothing to do with it. Do not accept the blame for his poor decisions, it is not your fault!

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  16. Kelly you are a SURVIVOR in every sense of this word and your story is so moving and inspirational. Many of us have been through personal crises in our lives. Some of us can relate. But it takes tremendous courage to be able share in this way; to humble yourself enough to talk candidly about something so personal, to expose your vunerabilities. While this may be therapeutic for you, I can assure you that your sharing helps validate so many other people. Some can relate to the shock and pain of a spouse’s betrayal, the disrespect, heartache, the unanswered questions, the guilt you feel trying to be the best mom you can, trying to balance your own needs with those of your children (you have to be strong for them), sometimes trying to give what you just don’t have, feeling alone and abandoned, your family torn a part and not understanding why. That’s more than enough emotional pain for anyone to handle. But to have gone through all of that while enduring the pain of your very personal, physical and emotional journey with cancer, makes you a remarkably strong individual indeed!!! I don’t even know you but I can tell you that I have drawn strength from your story. I hope you continue to draw strength from people who care but remember you can also “build a strong foundation from bricks that anyone else has thrown at you.” (as the saying goes). No one deserves to be victimized. Anyone who does this has issues with themselves. You are a survivor. Most importantly continue to focus on your children and draw strength from them. Stay true to yourself. Stay strong. Stay positive!!

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