maggie strong.

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

daughter.

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Having a tough night. When I’m having sad thoughts or just can’t seem to quite get it together, there are two people that I know will always be there… my Mom & Dad.

I started to think tonight about the scary word, the one that keeps haunting me and I can’t seem to ignore: death. There hasn’t been a day since April 25th that I haven’t thought about dying. Unfortunately, that magic word cancer has become just as magical as death. Nate has been so strong. My family has been so strong. I know they get sad and that is the worst feeling in the world. They’re sad and it’s basically because of me. They sure as hell are good at keeping me positive, and keeping themselves positive, too, when I’m sure all they want to do is break down. So many nights I have cried in bed because “I don’t want to die and leave Nate alone every night”. The first morning after I found out I had a tumor, I told my Mom that I kept thinking about Nate going to bed alone, with our little kitty cat, Ruby, snuggling next to him, and I cried and cried at that thought. He is amazing. He keeps reminding me that cancer or not, I need to live my life. I need to dream. I need to smile. I need to live.

I didn’t want to say something to my parents, but I text my Dad tonight. I told him that I actually hoped that he or my Mom passed away before me. I don’t want them to watch as I get more and more sick. I want them to be able to look at me as their baby girl, the healthy and vibrant daughter that they know. I also told him that I don’t want to be alone in heaven if I died first. How the hell do you explain something like that to your father? God, I don’t want them to have to watch me suffer. At the same time, I would be lost in this world with out my parents. I used to joke that if anything happened to one of my parents, that I would crawl into a hole because I would be so devastated. Well, I actually think I would crawl into a hole because they are the two most important people in my life. I need them so badly, just as much as they need me.

Well, another raw emotion brought out by that asshole known as cancer. We always joke in my family that I was the little adopted red head and that my parents are senior citizens that still make out (eww). How lucky, lucky, lucky am I to have them for the ups and downs. I would never, ever trade those two. Besides, my mom is the best shopping partner and my dad can fix anything in mine and Nate’s house!

 

 

 

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thank you.

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There is one thing that I have said and continue to say over and over. THANK YOU.

Thank you God for giving me the ability to wake up every morning, strongly put my feet on the ground and smile. Thank you God for giving me the ability to laugh at life’s happy moments. Thank you God for giving me the ability to see my loved ones, flowers and beautiful skies. Oh, how long this list could be.

From the first day I knew I had cancer, I have expressed how thankful I am. Don’t let me get wrong, there is a lot that I am angry about. I have an Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma, brain cancer, and have been told that the average survival rate is 15 years. Every day, every minute, innocent peoples lives are being turned upside down. Unfortunately, some of these people have been given days, months and very few years to live. How thankful am I for having been given a better prognosis than what I could have been given?

Too often patients search and beg for answers to their pain for months or years. How thankful am I for having been given a diagnoses of a tumor within hours, and cancer within days? I am so lucky. I am so lucky that I physically have no signs of being ill. Most people look at cancer as a death sentence. There are so many types of cancer that have no hope for surgery, treatments or a future. From day one, I have been told that my cancer is very treatable and responds well to treatment. What a relief that I have been given hope. I have been given hope for myself and also to those that never may had a chance for hope. 

I am scared. I am overwhelmed. More importantly I am lucky, grateful, fortunate, blessed and loved. I wake up every day not knowing what my future has in store. But I do know that I’m alive. I have been given another day, another day to dream, hope and fight. For that, I will never take for granted how beautiful of a life I have.

who I want to become.

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I’m finding myself disliking myself lately. 

I keep explaining to family and friends that I really feel badly towards Nate. My parents and my sister all live out of town and they luckily don’t have to deal with my illness 24/7. I understand that they really are dealing with it 24/7…mentally, emotionally, etc. Luckily, they don’t have to deal with it physically…they don’t have to see me cry, hear me yell, watch me get angry. Nate has to see all of it, hear all of it and feel all of it. We live together and his only break is when he’s working, and that isn’t much of a break. I hate that so many people are affected by this, more than just me.

I’m finding myself getting more angry. I’m angry that I have cancer and I’m angry that my future is not what I had planned. I’m angry that I can’t just physically do things that I could before my surgery and that I won’t physically be able to do things during my treatments. I found myself this weekend being the party pooper, the one that can’t do the same things as everyone else because I’m ill. My doctors are all telling me to “Live my life as normal.”. I just don’t quite know how to yet. Nate is getting angry that I’m not listening to the doctors and just doing what I want to, just enjoying life. He’s angry at me that I’m using cancer as an excuse, and quite frankly I’m angry at myself for using this excuse, too. It is so easy to pull out the cancer card, but this is just a hurdle I need to overcome within myself. 

It is so easy to read a quote, a brochure or research that has positive words, ones that make me smile. Those words make perfect sense and enough to want me to be a better person. The second I’m feeling sad, frustrated or angry, those words just jump out the window and I act as if they never entered my mind. Unfortunately, too many cancer patients understand these feelings, but if you’ve never been told “You have cancer.”, you just don’t understand. I feel like I’ve been inducted into some awful secret society. I just want everyone to understand how I feel, I pray that no one ever has to understand how I feel.

I feel as if I need some kind of incredibly huge emotional and physical cleanse. I want to cleanse my body of my anger, towards others and myself. I want to be someone that I’m proud of. I want to be happy. I want to be at peace.

 

choices.

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I hate to think that “Life is too short” because it makes me think like I’m going to die. I know, I’m going to die, we’re all going to die, it’s just different now. 

I got gas today and went inside to pay the cashier. There was a woman in line ahead of me just standing there waiting. The cashier said she would be right with us, that she had another customer who needed to run outside to their wallet. I stood here with my hand on my hip, probably with a disgusted look on my face and stood there, waiting. I find myself getting very anxious now, more than usual, especially when I’m in public. I know this sounds ridiculous but I feel like I need to make everyone stop and listen to me, “Stop! I have cancer! Get out of my way!”. See, it sounds ridiculous, but it’s how I feel. 

The customer came running to the cashier, paid for her food and thanked everyone for their patience. I genuinely smiled and took a deep breath, tried to calm down and relax. The woman waiting in front of me said “People are always in such a rush! Slow down! You’ll get there!”. Then I felt sick. I thought “I can’t slow down! I have cancer! I’ll never be able to relax again!”. Nate would have killed me if I did, but I wanted to tell her exactly what was thinking in my head. No, I didn’t say anything, but I wanted to. The icing on the cake was when that same woman then asked the cashier for a pack of cigarettes. Dude! Stop smoking! 

I don’t smoke. I don’t tan. I don’t know drink. I’m a good person. I don’t want to have cancer, yet I have it. Now, I have to watch perfectly healthy people fill their bodies with toxins, and not have cancer. It’s not fair. I have cancer, I didn’t choose it and I really, really don’t want it. There are people walking around every day that don’t have cancer and they have the chance to avoid it, but they don’t. Please, please, please… do WHATEVER you can do to keep your body healthy, disease free and cancer free. I’m praying to make it past my 40th birthday, but if you put down a few cigarettes or whatever your guilty pleasure is, you’ll probably live past your 50th, 60th and most likely your 70th birthdays. I’m not that lucky.

Take care of your body, take care of your loved ones bodies. I want to be here to live a long life with my loved ones.

everything you read isn’t always true.

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“Holy crap, stop reading things on the internet!” I just needed to give myself a quick pep talk. 

I was in the middle of sending an email and needed to double check the spelling of my asshole of a tumor. It’s long, starts with an “O” and I just call it OJ Simpson. It’s stupid, why do they have to make such long, complicated words when fact is, it’s very simple… it’s cancer, it’s just simply called cancer.

Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma. See, it’s stupid. I googled it to make sure I was spelling it was correct, and it was the first time since April 25th, when my tumor was first found, that I even searched anything on the internet that had anything to do with cancer, brain tumors or Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma. I mistakenly clicked on 1 link and started reading about other patients prognosis and survival. Luckily, they were all over the place so I didn’t feel an overwhelming “I’m going to die in 3 years” sensation. I’m still scared-as-shit. 

I had to close the website, sit up straight and say “Maggie! Stop!”. I put a smile on my face, took a deep breath and brought myself back to Earth. I might have to tell myself that it will be okay, and say it like I actually mean it, but it will be okay. One day at a time.

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