Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chemo, 1 Year Later

Over the past 5 1/2 weeks I've been playing last years event's out in my mind over and over and over again.  My mind still boggles at the thought of what I went through just 1 year ago.  This week I've been thinking about today and how 1 year ago today I started the process of chemo, which would 2 weeks later take my hair, leaving me bald and glamour-less feeling.  This was a day, that will likely always be an anniversary of sorts.  A day I will always remember traveling the 40 minutes to chemo on the freeway, looking at mom and being choked up say, "I feel so many people praying for me right now."  I've been on the verge of tears all week remembering those dark moments of a year ago, having some fear that the cancer will return and humbled by the love that my family and I received by so many wonderful people in our lives.

It seems that I have angels on MVY in my ED who have lifted me up since I've been here.  One of our secretaries and one of my patients yesterday have had ovarian cancer 3 times.  The stories of these women have shaken me a bit, bringing me some fear of the beast returning.  But these women have also shown me what courage looks like.  Each have told me that they are living their lives to the fullest, having chemo when needed and not worrying about what might happens to them in the future. Both of these women were positive for the BRCA gene, which I wasn't.  I had a patient last week who was a 10 year breast cancer survivor.  I asked her when she stopped playing the diagnosis and events every year.  She said that she didn't remember, but that eventually the fears go away and so do the memories of exact days things happened.

This morning while I was still in bed I got a text from one of my nurses that said, "Happy 1 year anniversary of starting chemo!  You've come a long way.  So happy you are here this summer!  See you tonight."  And from another nurse I got this text, "Just wanted to say you are awesome and you should be so proud on this 1 year anniversary.  I'm in complete awe of you and after seeing my dad go through chemo for the past few months.  You always go to work with a smile on your face and I just think you're a very strong and brave person, so enjoy this day."  I work with some amazing people and am so grateful for their friendship.  Tonight they took me out to Sushi to celebrate this milestone.  It was a fun night with yummy food.  They brought me the most beautiful bouquet of white flowers with a teal ribbon in honor of Ovarian Cancer!
Today I finished the Walk series by Richard Paul Evans.  I loved the last 2 paragraphs which said, "None of us know what experiences we'll face or who we'll meet along our road.  The best we can do is set our hearts on a mark in the distance and try to make it.  For some the road will seem long, while, for others, it will end all too soon.  There will be days of clear skies and pleasant walking, and there will be long, bitter stretches trudged through storms.  But either way we must walk.  It's what we were made for.  I suppose that the trail never changes as much as the traveler.  When we are young, the road seems so sure and firm.  We tell ourselves that we have tomorrow-then we waste our todays in fear of what might be and regret of what wasn't.  And we miss the truth that the road is an illusion, and that there are no guarantees of a new day-there never have been, there never will be.  In the end, it is not by knowledge that we make our journeys but by hope and faith: hope that our walk will be worthy of our steps and faith that we are going somewhere.  And only when we come to the end of our journeys do we truly understand that every step of the way we are walking on water.

I voiced my concern to my mom today about the cancer returning.  She reassured me that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and that good things are in my future.  She sent me a text this evening that said, "Just a thought, doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.  Grandma Betty has had cancer at least 3 times and she is 86.  Love you, celebrate life, and the good things there in."  Great advice from a great mother!


  1. You do have wonderful friends!! I love the white flowers!! You also have the best mom, who loves you so much!! You will be fine Terah, you have the great ability to live life to the fullest, I love that about you!! Its okay to fear once in awhile we all do, but we can't forget who is really in charge here and HE has a perfect plan for all of us!!! I believe you have a wonderful life ahead of you!!

  2. You are so sweet. I do to, I'm excited to see what unfolds in the near future there in Phoenix!