I'm going to be completely honest with you, readers (if there are any of you still reading!)
I've had a rough few months.
It's been a long, rough battle.
And the worst part?
I've had it easy compared to several.
Lately, I've been hiding from this space. I've been telling myself I don't have anything to say here, that I have lost my voice - but that's all bullshit.
I haven't wanted to face my emotions, to make myself deal with everything that I've had going on.
To be fair, my problems are fairly trivial in comparison to most. I guess I should probably stop blathering on and actually fill you in:
On August 19th, I got a phone call from my mom. I was just back from my honeymoon, running errands and taking care of doctors' appointments while I had the day off. The phone call from my mom was to tell me that my great aunt, Mary Lee, had gotten bad news. Her cancer was back.
Mary Lee had had her bladder removed late last year due to the entire back wall being a tumor. This time, the cancer came back with a vengeance. She had it wrapped around her gallbladder, filling her liver, behind her breastbone, and in her left leg. She was given 3-6 months left with us.
On October 1st, Mary Lee passed away.
Let me tell you about Mary Lee. She was the oldest of four (my grandma was second in line) and fiercely protective of her little sisters. She was a lover of animals - you couldn't tell if she loved her only son Darren or her dog Yaki more sometimes! She was always giving to anyone or anything, giving away money she didn't have to anyone who needed it more. She was willing to believe almost anything you told her, because she was so determined to see the joy and the good in everyone. I wasn't lucky enough to get to see her as often as some of my cousins, so I didn't really get to know her as well. But her loss hit everyone hard, and it's still hard to believe I'll never get a Facebook post from her, telling me how wonderful my husband is, signed "Love Aunt MaryLee and Yaki Noodle."
I hate cancer. The rat bastard has hit my family hard too many times, and shows no signs of stopping.
Last week, my cousin Kylee started urinating blood. She's only 4. She didn't have any other signs of a uti, but this was her second in a month, so they scheduled an ultrasound just to check things out a bit.
They found a large tumor on her left kidney. Cancer strikes again.
Kylee was taken to the children's hospital in Portland, where a full body CT scan was done.
The poor girl has a large Wilm's tumor on her kidney, and spots on her lungs.
She had a port put in, and has chemo treatments once a week for the next six weeks. After that, they will try to remove the left kidney, if they can shrink the tumor off of a vein that it's currently pushing on. Then they begin chemo and radiation to help the lungs.
again, Kylee is only four years old.
To say that the diagnosis hit too hard is an understatement. We just had a celebration of life for MaryLee on the first of November, and now this?
I hate cancer.
The two good things I have learned with this?
1) I married an amazing man. Jacop has been by my side, holding me steady as much as he can. He is new to all of the cancer business, but he is trying his best to help out.
2) The amount of support and love has been overwhelming. Hundreds of people have come out to support Kylee by donating to her gofundme.com account, or plan to attend one of three upcoming fundraisers for her. They have changed their profile picture to one of her, either her holding her little rifle or her dressed up as a princess for her birthday photo shoot. #TeamKylee has prompted her own Facebook page, as well as many, many, many thoughts send to my cousin's family.
On top of the cancer hell, life has been rapidly changing. Jacop and I both start new jobs on December 1st, and we are constantly trying to improve in areas like budgeting, exercise, and healthy eating habits. I am trying to get a routine down, both in the morning and the evenings, so that I can feel a little more organized and in control. Hopefully that will lead to me working on this space a little more!