Happy Days Are Here Again

Hubby and I at the Blowout

Hubby and I at the Blowout

Living with a terminal illness ain’t easy.

My health really took a nosedive the last few months…

My energy was zapped. My mobility was compromised. The pain was never ending.  My arm was completely swollen and non-functioning.  I spent hours sitting in my living room staring out the window and feeling sorry for myself. Wishing I had the ability to take a long walk, or play with my daughter, or make a meal, or do anything except feel like crap.

I really wanted to be that person that could heal themselves without pharmaceuticals.  But I realize now that a rigid attachment to alternative and holistic healing and disdain for Western medicine is not the answer.  Keeping an open mind at all times is key.  It is yet another reminder of how unique each person’s journey is with cancer. It’s not fair to compare. And I am realizing what works best for me is a combination of Eastern AND Western approaches.  It is what put me into remission the first time. And I am praying that the combination will get things under control again this time.

I’ve been on the new chemo regime (Xeloda and Tykerb) for almost a month now. So far so good. I can feel some of the tumors actually shrinking… My tumor marker number is going back down… I’ve been able to slow down on the pain meds… And I swear my energy level is back on the rise again… Or maybe that’s just my spirit being restored…

Because it seems every time I’m feeling beat down. Ready to give up. Tired of fighting the fight. The universe intervenes and bring something or someone my way to turn it around.

This time my spirit was restored in so many ways by so many people. Including all of you…  All the comments, suggestions, pep talks, good energy, and prayers bring me such comfort and pull me out of the bad place that my mind often takes me to.

Plus, I truly have the most AMAZING group of family and friends.

Auntie ‘Cole spent much of the last month out here in Connecticut… Taking care of me and my family… Driving me to appointments… Loving me through tears, fears, and frustrations… Lifting my spirits… And helping me laugh again.

My Massachusetts family continues to rally around me and offer endless amounts of love, support, and help with Miss M.

Plus I have fabulous neighbors who invite us over for meals, bring us fresh veggies from their garden, and offer to take Miss M off my hands when I need a break.

And my in-laws who spent the entire summer here – cooking delicious meals, doing laundry, fixing up the house, passing out plenty of hugs, and watching Marisa when I had to go to appointments.  I can’t believe it’s almost time for them to go. In one more week they will be on a plane, on their way back to Brazil. I’m getting sad just thinking about it.

But I think what really gave me the extra boost I needed to start fighting again was being the recipient of the blowout fundraiser in Dartmouth Massachusetts a few weekends ago. And it wasn’t even about the money that was raised (even though it was VERY much needed and appreciated)…  The boost came from all the people that were there. The loving energy. The fun times that were had by all. The music. The laughter. The chance to engage with hundreds of fabulous people.  To catch up with old friends and make new ones.   Being a part of that was extraordinary.  And I left that weekend feeling energized. Feeling my inner warrior come alive again. Feeling blessed. And full of gratitude.

So a big THANK YOU to everyone that made the blowout a reality – the organizers, the volunteers, the musicians, the cooks and servers, the facepainting team, everyone who donated to the auction, who bought tickets, all those who came out to celebrate the day with me, and of course all the family and friends who nominated me and made this year’s blowout one of the best ever!  Next year I plan to return as a volunteer.

And this is how it goes… Every time I’m at my lowest, exhausted, and ready to give up the universe finds a way to lift me back up again. To show me the joy in living. And give me the strength I need to continue this journey.

Beyond anything else that I am doing, I know it is this love that carries me through and keeps me alive.

Thank you everyone!  Happy days are here again!

Three generations of love!

Three generations of love!

Girls just want to have fun!

Girls just want to have fun! With Auntie ‘Cole, Cousin J, Miss M, & everyone’s favorite puppy – Aura.

Family fun at the Blowout

Family fun at the Blowout

16 Responses

  1. Terri. You amaze me. Your Courage and strength or simply beyond the moon. So happy that you are energized and continue to see the rainbows that are in your future. Stay wrong and continue to fight. Love you my dear sister

  2. I feel like I understand your pull between allopathic and alternative as I have been extreme in my alliance to each side over the years. After switching sides so much I agree it is a blend of both. But my thoughts have taken it one step further….I feel like alopathic medicine can really heal and save people in miraculous ways. But the aftermath damage it can do to the body so it can recover, heal, repair can only be done with alternative medicine…..good food, nutrients, energy, laughter, movement, touch…..it repairs the damage and brings back the breath of life……just because someone is healed and saved and breathing does not mean they are alive and that is what allopathic medicine doesnt do a good job of…..quality of life. So they complement each other. Because as much as it would be nice to think we can cure diabetes without insulin or aids without medication, we can, t. Chemo is a horrific poison…..but it saves lives. I am glad it is saving yours. ☺

  3. So glad to hear! I, too, have found that an integrative approach is the key to my survival (and thriving, too). Great that you have the support of so many friends and family members.

  4. So happy that your journey has turned positive…remission finally…saw you at the Blowout… You looked wonderful…wishing you only life’s best as you continue each day…stay strong and positive :-)). ( I’m a friend of Auntie Laurie’s)

  5. YAY!!! I have to admit,I was a little worried because you were feeling so worn out,but you’re back!Living with any chronic illness will suck the energy out of you,but you have the added worry of a terminal diagnosis to deal with.I have been arguing with myself lately about whether or not I will take the arthritis meds(which consist of stuff that will knock out my immune system,like low-dose chemo or anti-rejection meds)because they rob me of so much ehergy,but I may not have a choice now.I may lose my vision without them.But if you can bite the bullet and do it,perhaps I can too.As always,I appreciate your wisdom,and I send much love and prayer.

  6. Keep on fighting Terri! You will be a survivor!
    Best regards (and wishes & prayers & positive energy) from Germany,
    Stephan
    (I’m just a loyal Fan of your Dad)

  7. This makes me so happy Terri. Taking advantage of all options, traditional and Holistic is the way to go! You still have so much life to live. Clearly nobody else is giving up on you. You are certainly entitled to your moments, but the love of your friends and family will continue to carry you through. Prayers and continued positive wishes and thoughts always flowing your way. Love, Christa

  8. Oh Yay!! How wonderful the Blowout was such a success and that you were able to be there and in such good spirits! It’s so great to see pics of you and your family, the love just flows out of them. I was especially thrilled to read this post and the words “To show me the joy in living”. That just says it all. Sounds like something Jeanne would say…

  9. Delighted to hear of your progress! Made my day! I think you’re wise to use what you need from whatever source, and you know your body and spirit best. You’ve worked your butt off to research your options and it shows. There’s good reason all that love and support’s flowing your way… you’ve earned it with your own integrity, willingness to love and support others, courage and sense of humor. ❤️ Elizabeth

  10. <3 It brightens my heart so much to hear it. I just got back from Burning Man where I wrote a message in the Temple for you and where I prayed both for your speedy recovery and for your dad to start busting out the stories again.

  11. Just sending you more positive thoughts.

    Your blowout, seems to have some of the same feelings of comfort, acceptance, love, and caring that I recently felt at a wonderful weekend I had. There were 132 women who had faced cancer, survivors of all kinds, in treatment, going for surgery, and some who had been out for 25 years. There was
    a wellspring of positive energy created by all of women there, I think knowing there were others sharing the same problems really helped many people. You can be surrounded by people, but feel so alone sometimes, because the people around you, even though they love you, just don’t understand the problems with cancer you are going through.

    Hurrah for shrinking tumors!

    I wish you well.
    Blessings

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