Picking up and getting on with it – guest post

Good things sometimes come in pairs.  The next two Guest Blog selections will be from Ashley, a “youngish” mother of two young children and a survivor of inflammatory breast cancer.  I like the way she writes.  So look for another example in a couple of days.  She writes at Ashley: Warrior Mom

Picking up and getting on with it

because that is what we do next. How do we do that? A hot shower, a blog entry that you then spend an hour second guessing while you fall asleep, counting our blessings, thinking about friends, chatting on facebook with other survivors who are up that late, and realizing how much worse our own situation could be at this moment. Then figuring out what we would do next if the next scan says it is growing.

I have a friend who said to me this week that I was ‘fortunate’, she may have even said lucky, that I can tolerate chemo. Who’d have thought. Two of my friends physically cannot tolerate chemo, it almost killed them. They have to look for other options, they have to vigorously pursue alternative treatments and be even more careful about what they eat, and they have to sometimes consider whether one of the less harsh chemos is worth the risk.

I do count my blessings, starting with the two angels I’ve been given to raise and it seems so impossible that I wouldn’t get to. My family, my friends, my dog, even my health – notice something about most of my blessings, they are people (or animals) – they are living breathing creatures who care about me. I care about them too. I rely on them, I pray for them, I spend time with them. We laugh, we cry, we joke, we complain, we take photos, we exchange coupons, recipes and ideas. We do talk about the bad stuff, we all have things that we would prefer were different, a special needs child, a sick parent, an unemployed spouse, money issues, an incurable disease.

A year ago today a beautiful little girl who had just turned two lost her mommy. A woman with my daughter’s name lost her daughter, a loving husband lost his wife. I’ve never met any of them but last night I REALLY wanted to talk to her because by now we would have been even closer than we had started to get in the six months before she died, I miss her too. I didn’t even realize the anniversary until I had finished my blog last night.

Today someone else will lose a mommy, a daughter, a wife to this thing. Every 69 seconds somewhere in the world a woman dies of breast canser.

Still…this morning is better, a new day brings another sunrise and a brighter outlook once again. Count your blessings, they aren’t as difficult to see as you think.

~ Ashley: Warrior Mom


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.


Picking up and getting on with it – guest post — 2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Picking up and getting on with it | Being Cancer Network -- Topsy.com

  2. A beautiful, poignant post that reminds us to be grateful for what we do have.

    Cancer is not for sissies, and I admire the strength you show. I went through gruelling cancer treatments, and I have to say that battling this disease made me stronger.

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