Marianne Emery 2017. Powered by Blogger.

I Have Perfected Lemonade; Can I Try Making Something Else?

The last 2 months have been seriously challenging.

I have been having some serious bone pain. On it's own or if it had visited and hopped the next train, probably not concerned. But, it wasn't alone; it's sidekick is chest pain and shortness of breath, some really goofy headaches and fatigue that I can't shake.

Kinda sounds like Lyme disease, right? That is what I hoped and prayed for. But, that test was negative. My blood work AMAZING: no vitamin deficiencies, tumor markers not elevated, and ANA tests were negative. 

Unfortunately, my PA oncologist seems to have attended the Movie Doctors School of Medicine. "You look fabulous! You're fine!" HUH? Wow, if only it were that easy because I have perfected the art of looking better than I feel when I don't feel well.  Clearly, it was time to find someone with some real credentials and diagnostic tools.

Teaching Moment #1: Know your body. Recognize when something is not right. Unfortunately, as we age, things start going wonky and trust me; you're not popping up on any doctors crystal ball- and they aren't calling you to invite you in for a chat because they got notification that something might be wrong. A good rule of thumb: if it's more nagging and persistent than a baby with a wet diaper, it might be time to get checked out.

Teaching Moment #2: Advocate for yourself. Educate yourself. And push forward to get answers even if it means you have to be a pain in the ass. In all fairness, you're going to have to be a pain in the ass. Buckle up buttercup!

Enter a new oncologist and a script for a PET scan. And that folks, is how I found myself knee deep in Christmas decorations, covered in glitter on Friday the 13th of October waiting for results.

Teaching Moment #3: A cancer survivor waiting to be scanned and twiddling their thumbs (or in my case: decorating for Christmas way too early) waiting for their results is a very fragile creature. I was so thankful for my family and friends that had the good sense to make me laugh, distract me and keep me busy in the pre and post PET scan hours. How can you help a survivor tackle this mass insanity? Just be there!! Distractions are most welcome!

Having a fabulous imagination (which I do) and being seriously armed and dangerous with information (me also!) is a horrible combination in this scenario. I could probably type for the next 6 hours and not adequately explain my state of mind as all of this was going on. Suffice it to say, scanxiety is real and it's epic. I was instantly taken back to the days after Christmas in 2013 when I waited for biopsy results; everything hanging in the balance.

Thankfully, cancer has not decided to go another round with this little warrior. It was the sigh that made all boxers jealous- and it was heard for miles around. (Only my boxer people will get this one!)

Where does this leave me? Well, at this point, I know what isn't wrong with me. It has been suggested that I see a neurologist, a rheumatologist,  and a psychiatrist. And I need to have an echo. So, if anyone knows "1" doctor that specializes in neuro, rheumatology, cardio, and psychiatry- please send me their number- I'm really tired of waiting to see doctors.

Oh and...I'm a little tired of playing with lemons and my lemonade has been perfected. I need to move on!

Hallelujah! I'm Another Year Older

Yep, you read that headline correctly. I am another year older. Additionally, I'm happy about it. I'm not drunk and I'm not insane, but I am thankful and 43!

Birthdays have become a bigger celebration for me since I beat cancer because there was one point when I wondered how many more I would see, or if I would see any more. Thankfully, not only did I see another birthday after that diagnosis, but this was my 4th birthday since hearing those crazy words.

I'd be crazy not reflect on the blessings that I have seen in the last year, the ways that my life has changed for the better and all of the fun that I have had. 42 was a great year (but 43 is going to be better!): I moved into a new home, made a ton of new friends, started a new business, and did a million other things that I'll never be able to recall. But all of those events, experiences and moments contributed to the serious smile on my face the morning of my 43rd birthday.

But, all of that is not why I am sharing this news with you. I'm sharing this news with you because I want you, the people who I care about the most, to reflect and realize that getting another year older is a gift. Age is just a number, and regardless of how high that number gets, it's still important to be thankful for the chance to see another birthday.

I wouldn't want ya' all to wait until something crazy happens in your life for you to start seriously celebrating the crap out of your birthdays and genuinely appreciating the fact that you are celebrating another year. Take this chance and this opportunity to do something amazing with this year, and the next one, and the one after that too.

Embracing What The Good Lord Decided Was Right For Me

3 years ago, I was the picture of efficiency; spoiling 2 boxers, maintaining a 3000 square foot home and yard, and running a business 7 days a week. There were no mountains of dirty laundry, the house was clean, and I cooked dinner almost nightly. Bills were paid, everything was always in it's place, and never once did we run out of toilet paper.  Everything in my life just miraculously fell into place. I swear that there was a tiara lending this super power, perfectly perched on my head that said "Queen of Efficiency".

Fast forward to 2017; the tiara is gone. Umm. This is bad. You had better sit down. Yesterday morning, I turned the microwave on without anything in it. Last night, I grabbed the vacuum to clean something up and was seriously stumped when it didn't turn on.  Did you know it had to be plugged in? Yea, me neither. When did that happen?

A typical morning looks something like this: 5:00 wake up, let the dogs out, start coffee, realize I have to pee, then remember I need to make the bed, oops forgot about the coffee, go to look at my watch and realize I'm not wearing it, go find the watch, "you need to do laundry",  coffee... make the coffee.... Wait! You need to take out the trash! You've got mail! Oh no, Duke's getting mad, breakfast is late! Feed the dogs and come to the realization that I need coffee- the coffee I never finished making. And if I somehow end up on Pinterest, it's all over with!

I suppose I should be bothered by this. (And if I could remember for more than 2 seconds how inconvenient this all is, I probably would be!) But, seeing how I have made an art form out of finding silver linings, embracing my ditziness and my new 2 second attention span seems like the most fitting choice. 3 years post chemo, clearly it isn't going anywhere. Except that I am a problem solver by nature...

So, I recently started a wonderful new vitamin regimen; Lifelong Vitality.  I had great hope that these 12 pills were going to change my mental situation (maybe it just needs more time, it's a huge job!?). I have crazy amounts of energy, I sleep much better, nothing aches, allergies are gone, and I don't remember the last time I had a headache, and in general I feel like I'm 25... but then again, maybe I don't really remember what 25 really felt like. All of this, and I am still the ditzy blonde that everyone always assumed that I was, but never was until now.

In light of all of this, it is time for me to accept that I'm never going to find that tiara again. So, I am fully committed to embracing what the good Lord decided was right for me (for the next 2 seconds anyway). He definitely had a plan, and while it doesn't really seem like a much sought after situation, when I really think about it, it is ideal. I don't stress over the little things anymore (granted that is because I've forgotten about them), and I'm always happy and cheerful. I truly enjoy the things that I am doing rather than rushing through them just to get them done. My home, office, handbag and car are always adorned with little notes (complete with smiley faces because they make me happy) reminding me where I'm supposed to be or what I need to take care of. Sometimes, the phrase "blissfully ignorant" applies to me.

And I am okay with this... Excuse me for a moment, I think I started some laundry.

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