Spike Balls & Otter Pops

I can hardly believe it, only two more treatments and i'm done!! Well, for now.

Radiation has been going really well. It is still 100x better than chemo, so I can't complain. I have completed 15 of 17 treatments, and things are looking good. Jake and I figured out a nice little routine that has worked well. I load the kids in the car, drive to Salt Lake and pick Jake up at work, they drop me off at Huntsman, and I run in to get radiation. Then, after about 15 minutes, i'm done, we drop Jake back off at work, then we go on with the rest of our day :) It's a pretty good gig.

As far as side effects go, they're pretty minuscule compared to what I was dealing with. My skin is a little irritated on the radiation site, but I make sure to keep it moisturized, which helps. I have a sore throat that is mostly noticeable when I eat. As I swallow food, it feels like i'm swallowing flaming spike balls or something ha. But, I have found that Otter Pops go down quite nicely ;) (does anyone else sit on the couch at night, six otter pops next to them, and a pair of scissors handy, ready to watch all of your recorded shows?...no?, just me? Well then you should try it!) Add a bit of heart burn, a constant pinching in my chest, and load on a huge amount of fatigue, and that's about it for the side effects. It's not the most fun, but hey, it's almost over!!! And all of those symptoms will go away.

To be honest, the reason for my 'blog neglect' is just that, I have been so tired. I've had a hard time balancing everything. It's no secret, my kids tell me i'm a "rude mom," well, right now I think they may be right. Come to find out, i'm not very patient when i'm tired, i'm extra hard on myself, and I seem to forget that I have cancer when I plan my days and think I need to do it all.

If only I wouldn't let myself forget this beautiful council,

“As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don't dwell on your failures, but think of your successes. Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey.” ― Marjorie Pay Hinckley

I love that. It has been so amazing to see the blessings and opportunities that this cancer journey has afforded me, one in particular, is feeling more able to comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and mourn with those who mourn. What a gift, and I hope I can do my part and live up to that.

I have told some of you this, but I was texting a fellow cancer friend. We were talking about the many hard parts of cancer, when I received a text that said,
'I just wish they could put me in a comma, treat me, then if all goes well, wake me up.'

Of course she was 'mostly' teasing, and I, of all people totally knew where she was coming from, but, the very first thing that popped into my head when I read that text was,
"But then you'd miss out on all of the blessings."

It is so true. This "trial" has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.

I was heading up to radiation the other day. I was alone this particular day because my mom wanted to hang out with the kids and give me a little break. So, taking advantage of a quiet car ride by myself, I prayed as I drove up to the hospital. I thanked Heavenly Father for too many things to mention, but then I asked Him for something. I prayed for a service opportunity. I have been the recipient of so many acts of service lately, I really wanted to be the one to serve and hopefully lift a burden this time. I asked Him to trust me enough to send me on an errand and I prayed to be aware and ready to act when I received a prompting.

As I was walking into my appointment, my cancer friend popped into my mind. I thought, 'I should text her and see if she's here.' But then I disregarded my thought after I remembered it was a Friday, and she wouldn't be in until Wednesday. As I was finishing up with my appointment, and about to leave, my phone buzzed. It was my friend. "You at Huntsman? I just walked in." I immediately went to find her.

What a blessing a trial can be. Through it, I have made cherished friends. As I found my friend, who I have only seen two times prior, we gave each other a big hug and shared in our hello's and I love you's.

After following her around as she got all hooked up and was getting set, there was a time when we were able to sit and visit for a little bit. Well, you know me, I am not the most quiet person, and while I followed her around the hospital, I was saying hi to all of my new bff's at Huntsman. Those employees are the most amazing and kind people you'll ever meet, so it was fun to see them all again. Once we sat, she looked at me and said, "How do you do it? How can you be so happy and positive"

What was I going to say? Hundreds of thoughts filled my mind, but at the same time, I felt my mind go blank. I had to start talking. Through tears, I bore my testimony to her for a good 10 minutes. I told her how I knew there was a plan. I told her how this experience has been the greatest blessing, I told her stories and the miracles that have happened, I told her my thought about missing out on blessings when I read her text about a comma, and I told her how I prayed in the very beginning to hopefully help be a light and a strength to others around me. As I said that last part, and looked into her longing and tear filled eyes, a distinct impression came into my mind. 'This is why you are sitting here with her. You are doing that right now.' We sat and cried together while her cute husband handed us tissues and then I just listened.

As I drove home, it all came together. Heavenly Father planned every detail that day. My kids were taken care of, I was alone, He heard my prayer, He sent me a thought, He propmted my friend to text me, He blessed me to be able to bear my testimony, He blessed me with confirmation, and He blessed all of us with His spirit. What a beautiful experience that was. I was filled with joy and thanked Him as I drove home.

Now...who has the phone number for Super Nanny? I need her to help me teach my kids to obey after being asked to do something the first time, and to cut our bedtime routine (post baths, books, and prayers) down to 1 minute...Wishful thinking? I say Positive thinking ;)

xoxo Jen