I’ve started no fewer than six posts about my week last week, telling y’all that I missed posting on World Arthritis Day because I was incredibly sick, and that I also missed The Dead show I was incredibly (oh so very) excited for that same day – both because I was sick and because I’m too immunocompromised to go – and that it really sucked and I was just crushed and sometimes I too wallow in a mud puddle over being a chronically ill patient and that my CRPS escalated to the worst pain I’ve had by the end of last week and it took two infusions to knock it down to manageable and I was beside myself, not knowing what the hell to do, and it was just a freaking nightmare. . .
(Deep deep breath.)
As I said, I’ve started several posts, reporting all of that awful news – in much greater detail.
Suffice to say, last week was ROUGH – and I am still just exhausted from this flare. My pain is also still very much elevated – but it is tolerable and more manageable now, so much better than its worst last Friday, when I was at my wit’s end – and I decided this abbreviated version of events was enough because there are other things that are bigger to talk about today.
Through all of that hell, I am deeply grateful for my husband who would absolutely move heaven and earth to get me whatever therapy or treatment I need – and he did – and my sweet Sara Bug, who looks after me when my body suddenly decides – and sometimes it happens in a matter of minutes – that my hip and leg are just going to quit. She literally has just stood and held my hand while I cried – because sometimes that’s all there is to do. Bless.
My people are my greatest blessing and I am so so thankful. ❤
It’s actually another of my people that has me wanting to be sure I write to y’all about another “day” I missed last week while I was so ill – Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Awareness Day.
As y’all know, our precious Lindsey went to be with Jesus back in April after she battled metastatic breast cancer like all hell for six years. She was fierce and mighty and unwavering in her faith that it would be okay no matter what; she never gave up. She was a freaking warrior.
I miss her all the time and it’s different little things that often make me think of her.
This week has been a really interesting one in my anthropology class – and I’ve had more than one moment of pause, wanting to message her about it – because goodness knows she would want to talk anthro, like she always did (even when she was so very sick). ❤
What’s more, it’s what we call “Tennessee Hate Week” here in Alabama – the week of the annual University of Alabama/University of Tennessee game, for those of you not from our area – and I have been missing my favorite Tennessee fan/graduate something fierce. This time last year, I was on the hunt for orange flowers she would enjoy – even though Tennessee orange isn’t in my color palette. . . 😉
In her memory, I can’t miss posting about Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day – even late.
First, here is an interview with her and an article from October 2019:
She was such a light. ❤
Talking about Metastatic Breast Cancer
Though we focus on breast cancer awareness through all of October and MBC is included in that conversation, metastatic breast cancer is stage four breast cancer, where it has spread to other organs, often the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. The cancer cells are still breast cancer cells; they are just invading a different part of a person’s body.
Statistically, 20-30% of breast cancer patients will develop MBC after their initial diagnosis, while another 8% will already have metastatic disease when their cancer is diagnosed.
Once the disease is metastatic it cannot be cured, though more treatment options are being constantly developed to improve patient’s quality of life with the hope that eventually it will be managed as a chronic disease – but we aren’t there yet.
Women who are living with MBC report a completely different experience than those facing the early stages of breast cancer – understandably – but this graphic may be helpful to understand more completely:
Of course, more support and resources are needed for MBC patients, particularly those who are dealing with financial hardship, as we all anxiously await more research findings.
For yourself, be aware of your risk factors and discuss them with your doctor. Consider genetic testing if this is appropriate for you.
Reduce your modifiable risk factors as well:
Finally, as Lindsey said in her interview, she found her cancer initially during her monthly breast self-exam – so it is important to remember them also. Write them on your calendar.
I really miss my sweet friend – and I hope this helps someone remember their own self care this month and going forward in her memory.
For today, I’ll be off to find some fresh orange flowers for this weekend for her – even though – as I wish I could tell her – that team of hers is still going to lose. 😉
Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Grace and Blessings.
P.S. It’s a whole story as to why Drew and Ellie were extra special to Linds and me – but I just saw on my phone where she sent this Kitchen Cover of them doing Kacey Musgrave’s Rainbow one week when I was crazy sick – and it just belongs here. ❤