Friday, March 1, 2013

Good-bye Radiation!

Since I have been slacking lately and I have a quiet house, I thought I was due an update.  Don took Justin to the Blackhawks game (hockey) and Ryan is in bed.  I did some work and now it is time to do an update and then relax.

It is hard to believe but this coming week is my last week of Radiation.  I am burnt pretty bad, but I was complemented on handling it like a trooper!  When you don't know if this is the worst of it, or if the burn could get worse, it is easy to just sit back and enjoy the ride.  My armpit has taken the brunt of this.  It is peeling and irritated which it doesn't help that shirts or my compression sleeve cause rubbing and probably is making it a little worse.  All along the radiation has been shot in 3 different directions.  One to the right armpit area, one aimed straight above me and one aimed from the left.  Today was my last treatments like this.  Next week for 5 days they are called "scar boosters".  This is one shot that is aimed directly on my mastectomy scar. Then Friday I will graduate from another life event that I never expected to go through.

So what is going on in my world??  Actually a lot!  The house is busy.  Justin is learning away in Kindergarten.  He wrote and illustrated his first book for Kindergarten's "Young Authors".  He is taking Chess lessons on Monday nights through the Park District with the transportation provided by Nana Naughton. And is so loving that NASCAR started back up this past Sunday.  He knows every driver and continues to have races with his NASCAR Cars before and after the races, keeping Don and I informed of every last move!

Ryan is going to be ONE on Wednesday.  This brings a tear to my eye.  I feel like this last year as hard as it has been has just flown by!  I do not remember a lot of his "firsts".  I am so sad about this!  I keep thinking  back to last year this time.  We were anxiously awaiting the arrival of Ryan.  He didnt' have a name until we were driving to the hospital.  In fact I had downloaded an app and that you shake your phone and it gives you a name.....Oh the good times!  That was one of our biggest concerns with his arrival.  So funny how that is a problem that I would take in a heart beat compared to what we didn't know at the time was lying ahead of us. I am happy that his birthday this week will also signify the end to my cancer journey.  The journey started on Don and Justin's birthday and will end on Ryan's.  A little Ironic, huh?

The biggest news for our family is we have decided not to relocate to Atlanta with my company in June.  This was probably one of the toughest decisions I have been faced with.  Queue a prayer at this time for me please.  How much more can I take is right!  During my leave of absence for my surgery, I spent a lot of time (I think)  just finding myself.  As I have mentioned in the past, I really feel like I was diagnosed and I dove so deeply into water and just swam and didn't come up for a breath until surgery.  After surgery when I was healing, I was just able to put things into perspective.  That perspective was: I NEED A BREAK AND I NEED TO TAKE CARE OF AMBER.  Still that decision was easy to make while I was at home during the day with the kids at day care and still getting paid, driving my fancy Porsche and running errands by myself.  Then I went back to work and fell in love all over again with my supportive co-workers and my job.  I realize when I am working, I can put aside the daily struggles and just put my heart into my work.  But during this return to work, I was struggling so much too.  This decision was weighing so heavy on me.  Don and I had gone back and forth with so many scenario's.  I wanted to make it work so bad, I am not afraid of changing hospitals, Doctors, day cares or houses.  What I am afraid of is the stress.  I do not think my poor little body can take anymore.  Moving to a new place, getting the family situated and our house here sold and then on top of it working with a new staff, just seemed like it might be what finally causes me to break.  So one Tuesday afternoon I found it within me to talk to Brian (my boss) and let him in on my decision.

I do not have regret because I know that this is the right thing for me and my family right now.  My employer has been wonderful throughout this small little issue and that is what I will always be grateful for.  I do not know that I could have handled the chemo, surgery and radiation with so much ease if I did not have the support that I have at Porsche Financial Services!  Some of my biggest supporters are there.  As we all know, we spend more time with our coworkers then we do with family and I will say that I don't really consider my coworkers as coworkers, I consider them family. It will be a sad day in June when I say good-bye to them.  Thankfully I have the support of all of them on my decision and have been told maybe it is just "See you later", rather than good bye.  I won't count that out.

There are no big plans for me come June 14th  just yet.  I plan to take my summer off.  I want to get to my parents house and Justin wants to get to Whitney's apartment because he just needs to see where she lives.  So some traveling is in store. I also want to spend some time on healing.  I continue to hope and pray that I will remain healthy and follow up appointments are the only reason for me to walk into a Cancer Center again.  And lastly I just want to enjoy my family and get that Disney trip planned.  Hopefully by early fall I will have found what I want to do work-wise and I will be back to working full time, but until then, I just want to slow down and enjoy life more.

This should be a memorable week!  Ryan's birthday is Wednesday and then Whitney arrives on Saturday!  It will be great to see her again and for her to get to spend the week with us and enjoy the kiddies!

I thank you all for checking in and continuing to pray for me.  With radiation coming to an end and me closing the chapter of cancer, I ask that you keep me in your prayers.  I am still very fearful of the unknown, but I feel that I am handling it the best I can.  Prayers are much appreciative.

I have attached a picture that I took when Justin was around 6 months.  I had sent it to my mom at the time and it resurfaced today because she told me that when something happens at her work that is not planned, this picture is attached and sent around to different people.  I feel that the picture sums up how myself and my family feels about cancer.....

Enjoy your weekend!



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