Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Halfway There!

Tomorrow marks the halfway point to the finish line for Chemo - yahoo! I have had several times throughout my life when it has been hard to keep going during a difficult time.  During these times I picture myself running a race and hear in my mind my friends and family cheering “go Amy go!”  One of my greatest cheerleaders has always been my mom.  She has literally sacrificed everything for the happiness and comfort of her children.  If my life has amounted to anything good it is because of her.  My dad is pretty great too :). 

A marathon runner recently gave me the advice that when you reach the last 6 miles of the race you should consider that your halfway point.  Otherwise the last 6 miles seem like an eternity.  Perhaps these words of wisdom may apply to my situation.  Even though I am now halfway, there are some bumps in the road that have been difficult lately. 

“I can do hard things”

This was the sweet note I got tonight from the Chemo Countdown Chain that my cute sister made for me.  It was a good reminder after a challenging couple of weeks.   I think losing my hair and gaining a few pounds have affected my psyche – apparently most people gain not lose weight on Chemo.  Really?  I thought maybe I would be puking my guts out and get some kind of side benefit in the process :).  But instead they give you a bunch of anti-nausea medication and steroids that puff you up and make you crave junk food . . . for some reason being bald and fat does not appeal to me :). 

I do have a trainer at Huntsman that I am working with twice a week and he is good at reminding me that I need to pace myself and take things a little more gently than normal, given my situation.  I know in my head that things will work out and I will be able to get back to my normal self in just a matter of time but the delayed emotional reaction seems to have finally hit me head on.  So I am working through the grief cycle in accepting my situation and once again acupuncture is proving to be very helpful.

Even though I have my moments of insanity when I feel so alone and unlovable, I know that I am truly blessed to have such wonderful cheerleaders as I continue the journey.  Thank you to each of you who have been there along the way.  I would love to hear from you as I continue to move ahead and know that you play an important part in helping me finish the race.  Tomorrow is the last round of Adriamycin and Cytoxan.  The last 4 will be a different drug called Taxol. I pray that I will respond as well to it as I did to the first 2. So keep the faith and prayers coming.  I have no doubt they have made all the difference!

I came across this quote by C.S. Lewis tonight as I was pondering my experience:
“When you are happy, so happy you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be — or so it feels— welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence”

It is during those times when God seems silent that real faith comes to life.  I know He is there and that He continues to have a hand in my life. 

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” - Teilhard de Chardin

Keep the faith my friends - no matter what you are going through, we are all in this together! 


  1. I taught RS last Sunday (on Eternal Marriage of all things!) Here is a quote that I shared from Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk titled, Face the Future with Faith:

    "If we pray with an eternal perspective, we need not wonder if our most tearful and heartfelt pleadings are heard. This promise from the Lord is recorded in section 98 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

    "Your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord … and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.

    “Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.”

    The Lord chose His strongest words to reassure us! Seal! Testament! Sworn! Decreed! Immutable covenant! Brothers and sisters, believe Him! God will heed your sincere and heartfelt prayers, and your faith will be strengthened."

    Your faith is great, dear Amy. Keep it up. Hugs!

  2. The other interesting fact about a marathon is a mental game. Anyone who hadron a marathon will tell you that doubt, pain, and regret will creep in. BUT those who finish the race are prepared for these feelings and accept them. Those who are successful have a plan of how to handle these feelings. I am so proud of how well prepared you are and how well you have been prepared. I love you! You are at mike marker 13.1 mile. You do have so many cheerleaders and support who care so deeply for you and your happiness!

  3. Amy, you are so incredibly courageous. I admire so many things about you. Your honesty and the life lessons you are sharing with us are just a couple of things that you might think are helping you learn something about yourself. I don't know if you realize how much you are helping others along the way. Through your insights you are affecting lives in such a positive way. Mine is just one of them. I don't know you as well as others do, but I get you. I was thinking about you yesterday and wondered where were you one year ago. Who were you? Who are you now? Where will you be in your journey one year from today? I see a beautiful butterfly who will be telling me all about her trip to England. Butterflies don't starts out looking or feeling beautiful. They go through their process before the transform into beautiful creatures. I already see your beautiful colors, your amazing transformation. It is only going to keep getting better.

    Love :)

  4. Amy, YOU'RE HALF WAY THERE!!!! We think so much of you over here in the Wood home. You are an inspiration of courage, and good attitude while facing adversity! This has to be, I'm sure, one of the most difficult challenges you have had or will likely have in your life and we think you are handling it like a super star! We love you! Big hugs and kisses from the Wood's!!! XOXOXO

  5. Amy, I watch with great awe and anticipation at each of your mile markers. This cancer journey is great track with laps, and some of us have been on it a little longer, and no doubt you may be aware of others who have just joined the track. Being halfway means you are now half-way to being a mentor! (you are already doing it unawares), but your example counts. Continue to "feel your feelings fully" and the stages (like grief) will be shorter as you truly feel them. To squash them, when you feel bald, swollen and utterly cut open and "accessed" so often is normal at this stage. I can promise you now that I feel fully restored, FULLY. I am only a slightly bit more tired....than I was a year ago, before all the surgeries and treatments. Amy, you can win this race. You are doing it. Unlike a real marathon, you can TAKE NAPS, TAKE WATER BREAKS, and TAKE IT EASY. This one isn't a race of who gets there first, only who gets there HEALTHY. It's a mental race, and it takes strong mental ability to learn to say "no" to things, and YES to your health. Continue to ask for what you need (hardest lesson for me) and remember... 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 GO AMY GO!!!!!! You are in the crucible now, and you can do it! You are not alone!!!!

  6. I remember watching a play about a cancer patient called Wit. It was incredibly powerful because it was so raw-- nothing flowery, nothing fake. Your blog is the same, for me. You tell it how it is and I appreciate the authenticity. It's funny how we can have the ability to bless others through our own trials. I don't mean to say that it is Heavenly Father's joke to give us hard times for the benefit of others. But it does help me find meaning to my trials to know that I can help other people find hope or avoid tough situations because of what I've been through. You're doing that for me and for everyone else that reads your blog. Thanks!