Happy Valentine’s Day

Are you the person who sent me these sweet strawberries in the mail? You forgot to sign your name, but thank you, mystery person.

I thought I should post something because I’ve ignored several messages this week and don’t want everyone to think I’m dead, seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day and all. So I’m here to let you know I am still alive. I’m not sure if I should regale you with the thrilling details of my week. It was not a pretty one. I don’t think I would wish what I have been going through on my worst enemy. Well, maybe Hitler, if he were still hanging around. But everyone else, I think I would spare. (Sorry for talking about Hitler on Valentine’s Day. I believe that must be some sort of faux pas.)

The agony and pain I have felt since the weekend has been nothing short of nightmarish. I had read many horror stories about the drug I was given prior to my treatment, and knew of the possible effects, but I believed maybe I would be spared. I had to, or else I wouldn’t have let them hook me up to the poison so willingly. A lot of people believe that as long as you think positive thoughts, good things will happen, and you can get through anything. But sadly, here I am, the Valentine’s Grinch, to tell you that chemo doesn’t give a poop about warm, fuzzy, happy thoughts. It doesn’t care if you’ve had a horrendous six months of terrible crap thrown your way and really need a vacation. It will kick you on your ass until your jaw throbs, your muscles seize, your taste-buds disappear, your bones spasm, your heads spins and your nose bleeds.  It’s one sick, ugly bastard.

I threatened to give up again this week. I said I wouldn’t do anymore treatments. This makes me feel like I have an ounce of control over what is happening to me, even though I know I really do not. Right now, the idea of putting myself through this again in two weeks seems like something only a severely mentally unstable person would entertain. I can currently sit up and walk through my apartment without screaming and crying, which is a marked improvement over a day ago. The fact that I’m typing right now seems like some sort of miracle, actually. Hopefully this means I am on the mend and will have an almost complete recovery by the next round. Because I need enough days to go by that I can wipe this week from my memory in order to do it all over again. And if that doesn’t work, I need one of you to hit me over the head and knock me unconscious and hook me up to the drugs yourself. Just remember to wake me up when it’s over, or that kind of defeats the whole purpose.

So it’s Valentine’s Day. The day of love. Valentine’s Day itself makes me a tiny bit queasy, but a lot of it is about chocolate, so for that reason, I can get behind it. And I suppose it’s also about love, and I am happy to say that I experienced a lot of that this week. From my dad’s cookies, my mom’s back-rubs, my brother’s drug stash, my sister’s hugs. My poor family had to sit by and watch as I cried out in pain and threatened to jump out the window, which I imagine must have been quite upsetting. And of course, my #1 Valentine, my husband, who sits with me in bed at night while I cry and says It will all be over soon. This is love. This is what matters. Giving chocolates and roses and expensive things is very, very easy. But this kind of love is the hard kind. And it doesn’t come often. And if you are fortunate enough to have it, you should thank your lucky stars. I do. I am the luckiest unlucky girl in the world.


21 thoughts on “Happy Valentine’s Day

  1. Hang in there, girl. Your outlook and the way you are handling this terrible disease is so unbelievably amazing. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  2. I read your Uncle Robert’s newsletter and was saddened hearing about the death of his twin brother. He suggested his readers head over to read your blog. He admires your resilience. My sister is now in her 4th year of cancer free living – going strong – she had very aggressive cancer – was treated in Roswell in Buffalo with great results. If you would like to receive a little something from another far away place just have someone drop me a line at comberkm@primus.com.au and I will send you a little gift from Perth Western Australia. Praying that somehow with the strength of God you get through this trial – warmly Kath Comber

    1. Hi Steph,
      I have corresponded with Kath from Australia for a number of years. She also wrote to me about you and I know she would love to send you something from Perth. She’s a very warm, caring person.

  3. Steph its your baby uncle Jack again with words of wisdome ,shit if i could only spell,any way your aunt Fran and me have decided to adopt you and jacob any time you are ready,we also checked with are two little pom,s Franky and Johny and they also agreed . In meantime stay strong and fight the good fight,you can beat it Steph,you will,can,must. We all lv you and follow your journey through Cup Cakes ,it is a wake up call for many. Love Uncle Jack[john] and Aunt Fran.

  4. Hi Steph
    So sorry you have to endure this. My mom had the chemo for breast cancer and she wasn’t so lucky to have a husband around to give her support and now after reading your words, if I could go back in time, I would have stayed with her through the night. I guess we never know how bad it is until it happens to ourselves. Much love to you and please don’t give up ever

  5. Hang in there! I can’t tell you that it will get better, because I haven’t started my chemo yet, but it will end and good days will come, until then dig deep for the courage to continue.

  6. Stephanie I wish you didn’t have to go through such agony. You are so amazing, so honest and so very open!!!!! Keep Blogging!!!!!!

  7. My story is not about cancer, but about friendship and how much I love your Mom and what you have been through as a family. I don’t say “I get it ” ’cause I don’t, just know that I think of all of you all the time. With love from a life long friend of you Mom, wish the pain could go away x

    1. It’s friends like these that will get you the tough times Steph. They are the ones that are there for you 24/7, fill your life with humour and unconditional love.

  8. I battled breast cancer this past year – I was diagnosed 11 months ago today – so I have a vested interest in your words. I love reading your blogs and have good thoughts for you always. On your worse days dig deeper – you are stronger than you know! xo

  9. Hi, I’m introducing myself, I’m Lorraine Arias O’Brien. I went to med school with Larry Brooks and I consider myself good old friends with he and Debra. I love your blog and find it so motivating. I will follow it closely and pray for you daily. Wishing you health and the best,

  10. Your husband is a special kind of hero. I would tell him I think he is lucky to have you in his life but clearly he knows it! Happy Valentine’s Day to both of you!
    There is an old talmudic saying that Roger always quotes when things get tough…”The world is a narrow bridge, be not afraid.” XXOO

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