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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Angels. Angels with Skin On!

Hello friends!  I hope everyone is well.  Today I have completed my 7th radiation.  I am exhausted but my spirit is not broken.  Getting radiation makes you feel like you have been in the tanning bed too long.  You know if you have ever used a tanning bed and you have plans immediately after, you can't shake the sense of smell that you have tanned.  You really want to take a shower.  This is quite the same.  However, with radiation the sensation is coming from deep within.  You cannot get rid of it.  I wonder what it will feel like after 18 more of these treatments.  Except for the extreme fatigue, radiation has not been so bad.  My biggest physical challenge right now is dealing with bone pain everyday.  It comes on in the mid afternoon to early evening.  It seems since radiation started, the pain is coming on earlier in the afternoon and lasting longer. This pain was caused by the last four chemo treatments with the drug, TAXOL.  Taxol causes nerve damage, neuropathy, bone pain, and many of these symptoms can be long term or permanent.  After going through chemotherapy, my bones have felt hollow and weak and my muscles feel atrophied. After sitting for any length of time it is difficult to get up and walk. The good news is I am getting closer to the end of these types of treatments and looking forward to reconstruction.

Now I have to tell you about some amazing people in my life.  As you might remember, my oldest daughter is a senior at Richland High School this year and will graduate in May 2011.  She has the most awesome friends.  Sometimes, like right now, I think of them and just start to cry.  They are happy tears.  There are a few of her friends that make my day great with just a word or a visit.  First of all, there is Hayley.  Hayley is an excellent soccer player and is on the drum line in the band.  She gets up at the crack of dawn and is up late often working on school work.  She and her mother have been clients of mine for a while.  I have been blessed to get to know Hayley on a more personal level.  I have often called her my third daughter.  She and Landri have hung out together since middle school.  However, they have the busiest schedules that have kept them from spending the same amount of time together that they did in the past.  They are still good friends, and Hayley follows my blog.  She just seems to always lift me up whenever she can.  Sometimes when I am on Facebook, she will chat with me...even asking me questions about homework and such.  She makes me feel special and she is such an awesome young lady.  This week she sent me a text asking me to review a college essay for her.  I said I would and she sent it to me through Facebook.  I began tearing up the minute I started to read it.  It was about the person who had made the biggest impact on her life.  It was about me and my battle with triple negative breast cancer.  Wow!  I cannot express how honored I felt.  At the end of the essay, she said that I was her "hero".  How can this be?...That battling this awful disease has gained the attention of a teenager?  As a society, in general, we think of teenagers as self-centered, crazy, irresponsible, shallow individuals caught up in their own little world of friends and fun....existing far from the reality of the real world that is about to hit them.  I am here to tell you, there are some very mature, wonderful kids out there.  These kids work hard and put God at the forefront of their lives...and it shows.  They are kind and considerate and have a great future ahead of them. Hayley is one of these people, a beautiful, smart young lady. She will excel at anything she chooses to do, and I would be proud to call her my own anytime.

Another one of Landri's friends is Brooklyn.  She is a tall beautiful, athletic blonde that will impress you on the basketball court, but at the same time, you could imagine seeing her on the cover of a beauty magazine.  She is kind and sweet and she is a person with high morals and values.  She is a light for Christ and I am glad she is part of Landri's life.  She is often spending time with Landri after basketball practice and I have been blessed to get to know her as well.  She also reads this blog.  She has walked in the Race for the Cure with Landri this year, and was at the salon garage sale ready to help out in any way.  She always seems to give my spirits a lift.  Sometimes she will leave me comments on my blog.  Once again, I am proud of the girls and friends Landri has in her life.

Of course Landri and Presley are the greatest daughters I could ever have.  I am so proud of them both.  Landri is an amazing athlete, a natural born leader, and is strong in her faith.  She has been my cheerleader this year, keeping me up and fighting.  Presley is a beautiful kind-hearted angel.  She is always thinking of others.  Since I have had cancer, she has been especially attentive to me.  She asked me questions all the time like "How was your day mommy?"..."can I do anything for you?"  Sometimes despite how I try to hide them from her, she sees my tears.  She comes up to me and puts her arms around me and holds me.  She says "it's o.k. mommy...I am sorry you are hurting"..."I love you, you are the best mommy in the whole world"...I am truly blessed. 

I believe we all have guardian angels.  I also believe in the hardest times of our lives, God sends us angels "with skin on them".  Landri, Presley, Hayley, Brooklyn, and so many others, are my angels with skin on them.  I love to read your comments so don't hesitate to leave them by clicking "comment" on the bottom of this posting.  Until next time my friends....


luvs2paint said...

Penny, I know I haven't left a comment in a long time but I wanted you to know that I always read your blog and I was especially touched by this last one. You do have the best girls a mommy could pray for.That's how I feel about my girl.
I'm sorry you have been experiencing pain and fatigue.I will be continuing to pray for you.
Love, Tyler

Ellie K. Belfiglio said...

Dear,precious Penny, how you make me cry by talking about these beautiful, spiritual young women who touch your life in any way they know how. Sometimes in life you need big things; but most of times a word here, a gesture there, a text message, a term paper. Oh, so very happy I am that you are surrounded with all these inspiring young ladies who make your fight worth while. I am speechless to hear these. I am so glad to claim your daughters as my grand daughters because it is an honor to be grandma to these beautiful girls and through them get connected to their friends.Oh, my beautiful Penny, hang in there, not much left. I know in my heart as a mom that your suffering will end soon and you begin your new normal with your precious family. Love you beyond measure,
From here to there

SingingWarrior said...

Okay, I'm completely bawling right now. You just helped me to get out there and do one more day with the kids that I know have a wonderful side to them! Sometimes in the midst of teaching, kids test every boundary possible. I know it is because they want to know if somebody really cares. AND I DO! I wouldn't be doing what I do if I didn't. Sometimes I care too much. All I can do is encourage them to learn, to do what will help them, to choose to make right decisions, to go after their dreams regardless of the obstacles they see in their way, and to help them believe in themselves. Some days I have to just look back and reflect on, "Did I reach at least one kid for at least one time today? Did just one light bulb turn on today, if only for a moment?"
So glad you have the girls you have and that they have the friends they have and that they have the parents they have!

Kimberly Heffner said...

Penny, I read you blog and I cannot express the feelings of joy and compassion I have felt in my heart...reading it made me grab a box of kleenex....what a truly amazing person you are....You are blessed w/angels that is for certain, but they are blessed to have you in their life....thank you so much for prayers and my thoughts are w/you...Thank you again for letting us admire you<3

AFWingMom said...

what sweet thoughts you've shared with us in this post. i may not always comment but thoughts and prayers are with you often. (((hugs)))

willow58 said...

God knows what we have need of before we even ask. I thank Him for surrounding you with so much love and support. Some angels are invisible and some are not. Glad to know you are surrounded on all sides by both.

Dorothy McHugh said...

Penny, I'm so sorry I have neglected you over this past semester. I love reading your blog. Today I have spent a lot of time reading over your past couple of months. I like to read your blog when I have time to really concentrate on it. That has not been very often since school started in August. You have no idea what an inspiration you have been. New Year's Day is a time to reflect over the past and improve the future. This was a perfect time to read about your experiences. There is quite a range of emotions. It is refreshing that you show all the ranges of emotions you feel. Sometimes we get caught up in trying to not show our fears. I know you are a strong Christian and you know that God will take care of you and you are a part of His plan. You are also human, and that devilish emotion FEAR creeps in. That is why it is SO important to have your friends and family. When you feel weak, we are hear with our prayers to lift you up. Your blog shows all of that. You'll have a blog of discouragement, and then one of joy and thankfulness. You have shown me to enjoy even the most routine things. I so often get caught up in the meaningless part of life. It is hard to live life like you are dying, but that is my resolution that I won't let the little things get me down. Time is precious. I was proud of you for showing the burns on your chest. It helps me to know what others are experiencing, and who knows may help me if I were to ever have to go through it. Your true legacy is your precious girls. You should be SO proud of them. You have made the world a better place by raising such wonderful human beings. My prayer for you today is that God will help you have peace, joy, freedom of pain and most of all cancer free. Lots of love, Dorothy

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