Friday, 26 December 2014

Goodbye 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, I reflect on this past year and hope for maintained stability for 2015. Both for my sanity and for this craptaculous cancer. I look back and recognize my last month of innocence, whilst still being in pain; January was the only month where I still assumed I was "cancer free." Even in January, although not formally diagnosed with mets yet, I may have already known deep down that it was back. Denial can be a beautiful thing. You can try to suppress the pain. Suppress those little "demon" voices that tell you repeatedly, "your so shit outta luck." I managed to go on a relaxing vacation to Mexico with my mom the week prior to learning I had a recurrence. I think I knew on that trip that something was terribly wrong. I remember someone once saying if you have a cancer recurrence "you'll know." I never really thought about this, until that fateful vacation when the pain became so unbearable that I truly "knew" it was back. You try to go over the scenarios of what else it could be, and I came up with many excuses as to why I was in pain. The other scenarios were treatable, temporary problems. Cancer is not temporary, and it would dominate my life from February onwards.

When I heard that my cancer had returned, and not only to my sternum, I was shocked and completely deflated. I was no longer in the survivors club, but rather the "surviving" club. I made this club up, but anyone is welcome to join:). I would require treatments basically for the rest of my life. This was the exact time in my life where my hubby and I had decided to start trying to have a baby. Instead of a little life growing inside me I had cancer growing inside me. Again. Fuck. The entire month of February was a bit of a blur as I felt so lost, confused, uncertain, and simply sad. Nothing could change what was, and everything I had worked so hard for throughout my life wasn't even important anymore. Nothing mattered.

After the shock wore off I knew I couldn't live in this pity party world anymore. What's the purpose of being alive if you've already given up on yourself? I refused to live sad, and decided it was time to get over it. That's when I started this blog. It had two purposes at the time. One was to inform my friends and family about how I was doing. There's something about having to repeatedly tell people of your diagnosis that feels like a form of slow torture. Not only is it horribly difficult to tell people, but then it becomes horribly difficult to try and console a loved one who is bawling their eyes out. I can handle so much, therefore this was hard. Secondly, I felt it would be therapeutic to write down my feelings and thoughts throughout this "journey." Ok, I hate that word so I would say this is more like a crapshoot, and who the heck knows where the hell I'll end up!!

As the year went on, my treatments seemed to be working! My pain decreased. My life developed a new flow, and I developed an increased acceptance of having, and living with cancer.  My hubby and I went on an amazing road trip that we had always wanted to do. We drove down the California coast, went to Palm Springs, and then went to Las Vegas. This vacation was so needed at this point as they had found a "questionable" spot on my brain. I left that appointment in June completely scared and tried to do some magical cancer math to try and determine what this meant for my survival. Anyone with cancer knows what I'm talking about. Dr. Google can kiss my ass!! I don't even know why I refer to google to determine MY survival because it's such a load of rubbish. I have learnt that with cancer what the internet displays are averages that never pertain to any specific individual. We had an amazing vacation none the less, once in a lifetime, and made memories that I'll cherish forever.

As the year went on, I had my brain blasted with radiation because, of course, that "questionable" spot was indeed cancer. I often wonder if someone approached me with a hand held radiation detector if I would beep off due to the amount of radiation I've had. I'm like my very own, walking, talking, Chernobyl! I kind of think of myself as a slightly contaminated nuclear disaster! I simply feel this way because I hate to even think about the amount of radiation I've received from countless CTs, radioactive dyes, and actual radiation treatments. I'm surprised the hair on my head doesn't permanently stick up like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket!! Oh cancer, the shit you have done to me, and how you've affected the way I think.

My hubby also damaged his knee at work, and was off for a few months recuperating from surgery. This was definitely not the year of health in the Saunders household!

I have had many, many amazing gifts from friends and family that I will cherish and never forget. As a new year approaches, I only ask for health. I ask for disease stability and good health for all my loved ones. I have had more infusions then I care to count, but I have learnt to make the most out of these days, and they have actually become days I enjoy! You see, I know I can't change the cards I've been dealt, but I can, and I will, decide how I play them. I refuse to be reduced by this disease. I refuse to allow other young women to feel isolated and alone, and will do my part to reach out to whoever I can. Therefore, looking forward to 2015 I hope to continue to be surrounded by those I love, continue to laugh wholeheartedly, and live like there's no tomorrow. Bring on the new year because I am ready to LIVE IT UP!!
                                                                  The last bit of 2014!!

My husbands annual work Christmas dinner, and a little bit of dress up on my part!

My sweet Sophia as my date for my last infusion of 2014!

Beautiful date in Banff with my hubby, and our festive hats. I basically had to inform my hubby that yes we are wearing these hat, and yes we will smile. I love how his hat just stood straight up!! 

Just had to post one more with our hats!

My princess noodle at her school Christmas concert!
My love bug on Christmas!


  1. Surviving club. I like it! I will be treasurer. I have a business background... I hope you had the loveliest of holidays. I love the photos! <3

    1. Bahahaha, I love your outlook on this club! We do need a treasurer so you are the perfect fit, and you're hired!!! I hope you enjoyed Christmas with all your loved ones:) xoxo

  2. Hi Judit,
    May 2015 be good to you. May it be good to us all. Love your recap and the photos too!

    1. Thank you Nancy, as to you as well!! I wish all the best for 2015 filled with good health, lots of love, and genuine happiness:)