Cancer Sucks, but there is Joy and Healing

Before you go thinking I have jumped off the deep end, I haven’t. My faith remains the same – it is not shaken. I am really still at peace and am not concerned about the positive outcome of this process. God is a mighty Healer and will be glorified through my journey. I have just recently come to the conclusion, though, that cancer sucks. I will not say that word in front of my boys, because I don’t actually think it is a “good” word, and I don’t even really like the word, but we are adults here, so “suck” should be more admissible (or should it?) Anyhow, I have a whiny, it has been a rough few days, list of why I think cancer sucks:

Cancer sucks because it is using my time in ways I don’t really want to. I want to be at home raising my babies.

Cancer sucks because it is using my finances in ways I don’t really want to.

Cancer sucks because people have offered to help and I don’t know how to receive help well. I am practicing, but my strong independence has always limited my ability to receive help, so I know this is a God thing.

Cancer sucks because I am too tired to be the mom I want to be.

Cancer sucks because I am too nauseated to want to cook for my family I love.

Cancer sucks because I may lose my hair and I really like my hair. Lot’s of people say, “It will grow back.” That is not comforting. (I am not scolding anyone who has said that, so do NOT feel bad… it is just not a helpful statement.)

Cancer sucks because my treatment may kill my ability to have children in the future, and I am not done!

Cancer sucks because I caught a cold last week that completely put me out of commission. I slept for 20 hours one day alone. I am a full-time stay-at-home mom – that is NOT an option.

Cancer sucks because I yelled at my husband last week and it wasn’t even his fault.

Cancer sucks because my husband is helping me more with the boys, which limits what he can do on the ranch. We are ranchers, so there is always something to do and we are always behind. This is making us further behind. Again, we have wonderful cowboy friends who would drop anything to help us, but we are struggling to decipher what jobs cancer is truly effecting versus our knowing that we were already behind???

Cancer sucks because it is using up my extended family’s time and resources.

Cancer sucks because I feel like I am using up prayer time that would benefit someone else more. I have a dear Christian family I know, who’s little girl just got to come home after months and months of a gruelling treatment. I feel like ALL prayers should be focused on Esther and her family. My cancer is so small in comparison to her fight and their journey. I know God loves us to pray for one another and I am so thankful for the prayers. Please don’t let my ridiculous complaining stop your praying – keep on keeping on. Just add Esther and her family to your prayer list, please, and thank you. 🙂

Cancer sucks because just when I am ready to do another round of chemo, my “absolute neutrophil count” is at 0.09 and needs to be at 150 to proceed, so I couldn’t complete my infusion yesterday. More time is used up. Here is a pretty picture of a neutrophil (the purple blobby one). I loved looking at these cells in histology – they are easy to identify under the microscope and that is always helpful. Never thought I would care so much about these little cells…

Cancer sucks because I have 3 additional appointments this week to boost my bone marrow production to produce more white bloods cells (specifically, my neutrophils) and it makes my bones hurt.

Okay, okay, okay… My goodness that is enough. I will be lucky if half of you made it to the bottom of this list. Whew! Well, there is my humanness out on the table. This list is NOT a plea for help, or sympathy notes. I really am okay, but I believe in being honest. Although, I know I am on this journey to show God’s joy and peace and constantly praise Him, I also want you to know that sometimes…cancer….just…sucks. I promise my next post will have more encouragement, a great verse, and a bit of humor. Oh wait… a bit of humor should actually finish this one off. On Sunday evening I was talking with Jake and Matt about the idea that “Mama has to go to the doctor tomorrow to get my medicine that is going to shrink my lumps”… Immediately, Jake is jumping all over the room, dancing and singing, “Shrink the lumps! Shrink the lumps! Shrink the lumps!” Matt chimes in with jumping and bouncing, singing, “Jump for joy! Jump for joy! Jump for joy!” Thank you Lord for a bit of perspective. The boys were excited about chemo – the lessons they will teach me and have taught me are already astounding. They reminded me that there is joy and healing in the power of Jesus! Amen.

This is my port. I have a sign hanging in my office that says, "Stupid should hurt", I love that all you can see it "Stupid" and then my port. It made me chuckle :)

This is my port that was surgically implanted just under my skin on my chest. You can see the catheder entering my jugular vein (the raised line on my neck). I have a sign hanging in my office that says, “Stupid should hurt”, I love that all you can see is “stupid” and then my port. It made me chuckle 🙂 Go ahead and laugh.

This is my port hooked up to the IV. They use a special needle that is bent at 90 degrees in poke it into my skin to make contact with the port.

This is my port hooked up to the IV. They use a special needle that is bent at 90 degrees in poke it into my skin to make contact with the port.

My first round of chemo.

My first round of chemo.

Me looking veeery sleeping during my first round of chemo. I took a nap immediately after this picture was taken.

Me looking veeery sleeping during my first round of chemo. I took a nap immediately after this picture was taken.

The final quote of today. I would have added... "with Jesus."

The final quote of today. I would have added… “with Jesus.”

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4 thoughts on “Cancer Sucks, but there is Joy and Healing

  1. I just want you to know that I am praying for you. Your honesty is refreshing…cancer does suck…and yes we have a big God we can trust totally because this is all his plan. (I am a friend of Jane’s from college and she shares this on her FB page. I will be watching as I pray to see the story God is writing for you and your wonderful family.

  2. Linda Best says:

    you are a very very strong woman, let people help you now so you can help them later.Karma… Aunt Linda

  3. Brandee, all I can say is, “You’re awesome.” I love your honesty and transparency. Love it.

  4. Joy Nelson says:

    Hi Brandee! We, Doc & I, have been praying since we heard the news, and you are on our prayer chain, my daughter’s prayer chain (in Spokane, WA), and have asked that they ask all their friends to add you to any other prayer chain they know of. . . now you must be on literally hundreds of prayer chains by now! 🙂 You are such an inspiration to share your honest feelings – – thank you for your transparency & keep on sharing this way! We applaud your brave approach, and will continue to lift you up during this “bump” in your journey. We are believing in your complete healing, and pray for your family as well. We love you! Joy & Doc Nelson, Calvary Chapel Sheridan

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