This is Cancer.

rhea and kieran

This was one of the first pics of me feeding Kieran after losing my hair. These moments are incredibly special to me but still difficult in light of circumstances under which I had to stop nursing.

 

maddie and rhea2

Trying to make silly faces with Maddie.  She has been amazing through this (“Hair grows back, mama! You are still my mama inside!”) but I can tell it is starting to wear on her and it breaks my heart.

 

pills

Pills/creams/stuff I have had to take since being diagnosed. Amazingly, there are quite a few missing.

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Sleeping it off during a 9 hour (you read that right!) chemo session.

rhea

Day 5 after my last chemo and finally waking up with no bone pain!

 

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First warm day. First day at the playground. First swing for Kieran.

 

maddie and rhea

Walking Maddie to school.

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Getting wiggy with it at Maddie’s kindie concert. Her teacher was amazing and set up chairs in the front row and ushered us in before the crowds came. Maddie got to introduce her class and I was so thankful to be there.

rhea and trina

Chemo fail. Last Monday, my incredible Trina showed up to take care of me with BAGS of snacks and crazy headbands.  We waited to see my oncologist and then I got sent home. Luckily, she stuck around and we went out for lunch, so all was not lost!

Finally, in an effort to be honest, I know all of these pictures show a lot of smiling but for every smile, there are days of tears. I just don’t take pictures those days 😛

4 Comments

  1. This is Rhea. A warrior. A hero. Keep it up! Every morning I set my intention for you. You got this, lady!

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  2. Rhea – I’m not online often as I’m still recovering from a freakin’ massive concussion. But I heard about your battle and needed to spend my screen time allowance reading your incredible posts. You are an incredible woman – so strong, so full of heart, and so beautiful inside and out. I’m often on the Toronto healthcare “strip” for my apts. If you’re up to some company, I’d love to come and see you and bring you a smile or two. I’m not on fb often, but please email – Ben checks them for me often. Kerry xoxoxoxoxoxo

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  3. Cancer’s a scary-ass opponent, but unintentionally it’s also a great teacher. I applauded you in my heart when you said… ” I used to feel guilty that I could not do these things as easily anymore. Now I try to imagine each moment that I am able to spend with them as a small victory.”
    and
    “When I am able to, I try to understand my body as strong and resilient, enduring so much already. I remind myself to take care of the body that has taken care of me for so long.”

    I found that Cancer gave me a deeper appreciation of many things: like time spent with family members who I wouldn’t have had as much time for had I not been sick, relationships I built with family members who were also doing the cancer-dance. I also found it comforting to be able to lean on my family during this time as I was so used to being the caretaker. Another thing cancer gave me was the realization that many people cared about me and what I was going through. The last and best thing that cancer gave me was an abiding appreciation of my body. So many times over the years I’d been annoyed with my body for being too much of this or not enough of that, but with cancer I learned to appreciate just how much it could withstand and how very much it does for me when it’s healthy. I’ve learned to try to be kinder to it and treat it better, just as it takes care of me.

    I was also thrilled to hear that you’d connected with other moms who were going through the same experiences as you — there’s nothing like having someone who can completely relate to what you’re going through. You are doing so well in this struggle Rhea, I just know you will prevail and be the stronger for it. It ain’t easy, but the things that shape you seldom are.

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