Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Staying Positive

A few weeks ago I was walking downtown and ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while. She asked me how I was doing and it was clear that she hadn't heard about the cancer returning. I began to tell her and as the word “terminal” parted my lips, I thought to myself, I have to stop saying that word. There is really nothing good to be said about this word, it's not very poetic, it doesn't feel good in my mouth when I say it, and furthermore, it doesn't describe me. As I left her and headed towards home, I passed a car parked along the sidewalk. I glanced through the passenger side window and on the dashboard was a giant neon pink sticker that read, POSITIVE. Okay, I get it, I thought out loud, I have since decided to disown the word “terminal”.

The day before my appointment with my oncologist, we spoke with one of the doctors in Mexico that I will be seeing. He went through his treatment protocol with us and at the top of his list was a hormone therapy, the same therapy being offered to me here. Never say never, I guess. I will be starting the hormone treatment here at home sometime this week. I feel much better about the decision knowing that the treatment plan in Mexico supports the drug plan up here. My oncologist seemed optimistic as he gave me the results of my bone scan and CT. The bone scan was clear, so no cancer in my bones and the CT scan looked great. So at this point, the disease does not seem aggressive and my goal is to keep it that way. We are considering going to Mexico sometime in January. That will give the hormone treatment time to settle in and will give us a baseline to work from.

The past month has been a complete whirlwind but things are settling down and a new normalcy is taking shape. I am well. I feel healthy, safe, excited and loved. Loved beyond measure. I am learning how to surrender to the waves of emotion, that come less often but still exist. The fear and sadness are raw, and the unfairness is biting. When they well up I am often overtaken, but it passes and when I kiss Coady goodnight, and tuck him in I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love. When I lay my head down at night I say a prayer of gratitude and remind myself, “Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened”.

13 comments:

Michelle B said...

“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened”

I love that quote! Beautiful.

I'm glad to hear your treatment plan is taking shape and the recent scans look good! Awesome :)

Anonymous said...

You are A-MAZING!!!!
I love that you are positive, and have disowned that horrible word.
Keep seeing those wonderful signs!
-B, M, M, & E xoxo

barbara said...

Hi Jenn
love reading your blog and so happy to hear things looking up. also great that you said good bye to the word terminal....On a similar note, one of the things i learned in metaphysics class was not to call a disease state "my" disease i.e my cancer....subconsciously, we then don't want to part with it because it is ours...instead I view it as a temporary invader, not at all a part of you... i.e the cancer...hope this also helps and resonates for you... many blessings, Barbara

Jenn Zahavich said...

Thanks Barbara, I fixed it immediately! xox

barbara said...

so glad it resonated for you, Jenn:) sending heaps of Love and Light your way!I so admire your courage and sense of self!

Anonymous said...

HI Jenn, We've been reading your recent posts and you are in our prayers. We think of you often and are sending you positive thoughts. You are showing amazing strength and you are an inspiration! Live each day... All our best to you and your family. Sandy and Allison

Erin said...

You are inspiring the world Jenn Zahavich. I love reading your blog, and I know that if you wanted to be a book.... it would be a number one seller. friends of mine have been reading your blog( they dont know you) but they are addicted. They are addicted to your positive attitude, your amazing way to put your thoughts into poetry and amazing words. You inspire me to be more positive :)
So much love Jenn.... Im so happy its been spread !

Love you lots,
Erin Springford

Anonymous said...

You are "loved beyond measure" Jenn, not only by friends and family who know you, but even by strangers who are following your journey through your blog and on facebook. You are a very special person, from the twinkle in your eyes, to the generosity and love in your heart. And I agree with Erin - you should write a book. I know it would be a hit, and I would be first in line to buy it! We love you Jenn! xoxo Dawn

Anonymous said...

Jenn, you don't know me, but I have been reading your blog. I want to send you my positive energy and say that you are such a strong positive lady. I too went through breast cancer last year at age 43. It's a lot to take in and deal with, I know. Then to have a recurrence - which is something every cancer survivor dreads. But you are keeping up that positive attitude and keeping your spirit intact. Best wishes to you and your family.
Sue

katrinna louise said...

I just read about your story today in the paper, and I have to say that you are such an inspiration! You are strong, beautiful, and I'm sure you're helping so many people with your blog!

Anonymous said...

Jenn, you don't know me. I'm only a year or two older than you with 2 young children at home. I read your story in the paper, then I shared it with my husband and then we talked about your story with my 2 young daughters tonight. Now as they sleep I visited your blog.
I felt compelled to write you to let you know what an inspiration you have been.
I have recently thought alot about how fast the kids are growing and wonder "When did they get so big?"... I mortified when I consider that perhaps its been me who has just been to "busy" to notice.
Today I played "Barbies" with my 5 year old for the first time instead of cleaning or laundry. The first time in her whole life...thank you.

Kelly said...

Hello Jenn, I read your story in the paper yesterday. I don't usually read the paper but it was sitting in the Van and I wanted to pass some time as My husband and I and our 4 childred were on a long drive. I couldn't get it out of my head all day. My 7 month old baby awoke for his regular feeding, but afterwards I just could not sleep thinking about you. I just layed there and prayed for you and your family and thought about my own and how blessed I am. Then today I took about 2 hours from my work day to read your blog. It made me smile, cry be inspired and cry some more, I am certain that I will carry with me always some of the things that you have said in it. I thought I had colon cancer and that whole experience turned out to be one of the greatest things that have every happened to me, you just look at everything differntly. What really matters comes into such an awesome perspective and I clung to God through all of it, gone are any doubts of His existance. I am certain that He is real and your friend is right about this not being our home. I just felt compelled to let you know that even though I have never met you, you have effected me in such a positive way. You will never know how many people your life will inspire. You are part of a bigger plan. So much bigger than you could ever imagine.Thank-you so much for sharing yourself so transparently with all of us.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jenn,
I am from PEI and find you an amazing person...My prayers are with you ...stay positive and I know you will beat this!
You truly are a beautiful person!
Debbie