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Wearing An Impractical Skirt!

andreae
Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2003

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the messages. Just what I needed. I cried, I laughed, I cried. It was very good. I'm doing well. The good part about cancer and metastases is that you quickly master disappointing news. What's the cycle? I skip denial because it's a big waste of time. I love anger, fabulous stage, involves lots of swearing. I skip bargaining, again doesn't seem to work. Despairing sucks, but doesn't last long. And within 24 hours I attained acceptance. Back at school despite the crazy snowstorm outside in tights (everyone else is wearing long johns!), absurd shoes, a too-short skirt and enjoying myself. I went shopping yesterday (again, very good coping mechanism) and I'm doing okay. Still getting the occasional passing feeling of panic and experiencing a few tear-welling-up moments, but they are few and far between. I have decided the news is good, really pretty good. I am pretty much in exactly the same position as last year, so stable disease is good. They did manage to remove A LOT of tumors, which can't hurt. Yep, overall pretty good news. AND I still get to go off of chemo for a bit. Which is great. I'm going to so enjoy it. I deserve a break and two months sound wonderful. All my major organs and bone marrow are doing well - better than well. I could do treatment for a very long time if that's what I have to do. We are just taking a break now b/c my GI tract needs some time off from the 5FU and CPT-11 but, otherwise, I am tolerating treatment. It's been two years, which is also cool. I am going to look into some complementary therapies. I was sort of resistant before. Not because I don't think there beneficial, but I am just scared of spending more TIME doing treatment. I never explained my line of reasoning to anyone, but I know you guys will understand. I know metastatic disease is very serious. I know it could kill me. I know that I'm willing to fight hard to beat this, but there are no guarantees that I will. So, my quality of life is very important to me. I already invest so much time in treatment (4 days out of 14) that I am scared to invest any more. I need some time for living, you know? If I just do treatment, than I'll forget what I'm fighting for. So, I try to balance. I have done intense therapy, but I have always maintained a great quality of life. I'm scared to start introducing more "therapy time" because it will impinge on my "living time". Not to say that I don't enjoy myself on treatment days. I have learned that everything can be fun. I make CT days a whole day of fun. I make a friend take me, then we go for lunch and shopping or whatever. I bring all sorts of games to chemo so I can play while being infused. I know I'm still living those days... But it's not the same. I still feel crappy sometimes and that stuff they make you drink for tests, I swear. I am, however, swimming everyday now with my girlfriends. Going to stretch those lungs out so I am ready if they need to hack some more out or radiate. I am also going to continue with school. Since my diagnosis, I have wrestled with whether I'm sticking with it because I don't want to sacrifice another dream to the disease or whether that's were I want to be. I have come to the conclusion that I am a huge nerd and school is exactly were I want to be. I thrive on it. I love learning (please don't tell anyone), it makes me feel productive, it's a domain I excel in, it makes me get out and do, I just need it. I always wonder if it comprimises my health - if it's too much stress, ect. But I think it's good for me. Have any of you read Victor Frankl's "A Search for Meaning"? It's a psychologist's account of concentration camp survival. He maintains that humans can survive the most depraved conditions and inhumane experiences so long as they assign meaning to their experience and purpose to their lives. I think school offers some of that for me.

I love you all very, very much. Thank you for accompanying me along this journey. The next step is to consult with my surgeon so he can compare the scans more accurately and give his opinion. I'm seeing my oncologist at the end of January and my next CT is scheduled for February 18th. You are all so right, I lost one battle but the war is FAR, FAR from over. My best/worse quality (depends on who you ask!) is my extreme stubborness. I think my tumors get it from me! But I will outlast this cancer. There are many things that this disease will never take away from us, the important things like love, laughter, memories, friendship. I'm going to stop now because this is really long. I hope you are all having a wonderful Thursday!

Love,
Andrea

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Love ya back, Andrea...

It's not the amount of years in our lives, but the amount of life in our years.

Live strong... just the way you are.

- SB

livin
Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2003

You Rock Andrea, keep the faith, Livin.

littlejulie's picture
littlejulie
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

You are an inspiration to this board!!! Wear that short short skirt and strut down those streets in it!

Lisa Rose's picture
Lisa Rose
Posts: 589
Joined: Mar 2003

Andreae, I wish you were going to Biloxi to our reunion at SpongeBob's place. You Rock Girl ! !

MUGGINS
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2004

ANDREA,
I'M AM IN AWE OF YOU AND YOUR SPIRIT. GO GIRL!

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Andrea,

I love your spirit. Follow your heart!

Thinking and praying for you,

Kay

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Bravo Andrea! You said it for all of us. We love you and are in this fight right along side of you. None of us are alone.

Love ya,

Kerry

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1075
Joined: Aug 2003

I will keep you in my prayers. But do all you want to do. Many of us on this site are a LITTLE OLDER than you. I have a daughter who is 23. You sound like a very strong young lady. And spend your time living, just like you said.

Maureen

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Rock on babe!!!Great to hear that you no longer have doubts about your studies...that alone I see inspires you to keep up the battle. Speaking of battles Andrea, you mention "A search for meaning". I have not read it but intend to try and find it. Coincidentally I read heaps too and have several books in my possesion that are along the same lines(survival in extreme conditions.)
The well known book(also a movie) of Papillon by Henre' Charrere is one of them. It deals with life in the penal colony of french Guyana(Devil's Island)
Also "For the term of his natural life" by Marcus Clarke. This is from the "convict" era set around penal colonies of Australia's early history.

Ok--they are different to the situations we all deal with here but nonetheless convey the hardships people have had to endure and how they battled to continue to survive and keep their sanity. I find them extremely inspiring.
We all search for the courage to carry on knowing full well that the demon is quite capable of striking back. Dealing with and coming to terms with it is something we all ARE trying to do......your courage sweetie just confirms that it is achievable even with its setbacks.
Gotta luv yu heaps Andrea!!!, kanga n Jen

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Sweet Baby Girl!!

YOU ROCK!!

You are a touchstone for all survivors. And in you is a heart of gold.

Thank you for being you.

So tell us again what exactly will you get your PhD in??

peace, emily who just holds a little BS. :-)

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Uh... "a little B.S."?

Sorry, Em, You hold a LOT of BS!

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

BS-Art haha! (and that's not my hubby)

Go figure why at U-WI-Madison they put the Art department under BS not the Arts--it's in School of Education.

Figures you picked right up on it SB!! :-) ALOT of BS?? Hmmmm. You think???

peace, emily who doesn't even use her degree these days

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Kanga -

"Papillon" is one of my favorite movies of all time. Probably marked the high point of Steve McQueen's career - Dustin Hoffman's, too (well, except for "Tootsie" - ugh).

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

I needed that honey. Thank You.

Lisa P.

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Carry on..... you rock!!!!
Keep us posted. And definately live each moment to the fullest extent. jana

aspaysia's picture
aspaysia
Posts: 257
Joined: Nov 2003

Andrea, you are intelligent and insigntful and wise beyond your years. You have a thing or two to teach everyone on this board. Please keep that stubborn faith in yourself that you possess. It will serve you well in the years to come. And knowing you, there will be many more of those.
Aspaysia, who knows all about those frigid winters and the youthful refusal to give in to the elements.

slammer
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2004

Hi There, You go girl!! I love the emotions we all play them but to look up & be, really just smile & be alive! I too try to battle with ups & downs but I hang in there, where that short skirt & wiggle I can't wait to wear shorts again & tan!! Keep on keepin on! Love Amy aka Slammer

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