Tuesday, November 30, 2010

something peaceful.

there is something peaceful about me sitting in bed on our laptop and justin asleep next to me with the nbc rockefeller special on tv. his cold has gotten a lot worse tonight. so after some night time medicine he was out. but ava. well little ava on the other hand was put to bed at 7:30pm and i totally thought she was sleeping until i looked at the monitor only to see her little hands waving in the air. she has not cried. not once. but now i am worried her little cold is getting worse because she has not fallen asleep yet. ok i just looked over and i think she is sleeping...

i have been thinking about august a lot today. a girl emailed me who is in the midst of her own lymphoma diagnosis. same age. married. and with a two week old little boy. my heart broke when i read her email. i started crying as i wrote her back. it brought it all back. all the emotion. the fear. the pain. the anger. all the unknowns. wanting answers. begging for them but being asked to wait. august was by far the hardest month of my life. and even as i type this out. i am realizing that i was a different person then. i literally do not feel the same anymore. and i can't explain it. not in a bad way or even a good way i guess. it just does not seem like this...like what we are living right now is even our life. and august. well that seems like a hundred years ago. and certainly it did not happen to us. i bet this sounds strange. because i am actually processing this as i type this. or actually not really processing anything, but maybe just beginning to for the first time. what this means. how i feel. what has changed. where we go from here. and then i remember. we are still living it. we are 7 treatments in with 5 more to go. we are just over halfway. i think in many ways since hearing that the chemo is working its been easier to not take all this so seriously. because i am "fine."and i guess tonight when i was driving home i thought...wow we are still in this. in the middle of it. and this is still real. and we still need to be on our knees. how easy it is to lose sight when your prayers get answered. we prayed and prayed. we begged and begged for the chemo to work and for the cancer to stop growing. and it did. and its working. and i still want to live with the deep dependence on christ that i did before we knew if the chemo was working. and tonight i realized that i have not. that since we heard the news from my pet scan things have looked and felt different. but i desire to trust and depend on the lord regardless. not only when its good or when its really really hard. but no matter what.

we are sick.

ava and i are sick. she had a runny nose this weekend and has passed it on to me. but along with the runny nose i also got a sore throat. headache. and overall achy feeling. thank you sweet ava. we kinda like when she is sick because then she cuddles with us. we do not really like it when she is sick though. and justin may also be getting it as well. we are drinking lots of orange juice and eating lot of soup. and we have tissues available in every room. just in case. not sure what it means when you catch a cold and you have cancer. i know i am more susceptible to getting sick and maybe it takes me a little longer to get better. i will email my nurse today and find out.

i am feeling basically back to normal since chemo. just the usual exhaustion and now this little cold.

i wanted to buy a new christmas tree on saturday. but that never happened. so on sunday i tried to decorate the house. but all i got done was some garland on the banister going upstairs. and then i got too tired. so i laid down. but we decided thursday night we will decorate the house. and i am in search of my first real wreath for the front door. this house deserves to be decorated well for christmas and with everything going on we need a little holiday cheer around the house. and along with that i did a little christmas shopping online yesterday. it was cyber monday and i got some deals. got a few little things for ava and something for my niece and three nephews. i like shopping for them. its more fun than buying for adults i think. i do not shop online very much...but it sure has been nice since i spend a lot of time in our bed.

justin just texted me. he is in dc for the day. "crap...i'm sick as well. feeling better?" so now officially the entire ryder family is sick. great. at least ava has remained real happy and sleeping great despite her little cold. she is awake now. and she is yelling...momma....momma. wow. there is nothing like that in the world. those sweet words from your child. now its time to begin the day.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

7 down 5 to go.

chemo went fine yesterday. my mom came for a little bit so she could picture where we go. it was nice. i got sick right when i got there and then when we left. but its done. five more to go. i can do this. my parents had to head back to michigan when we got home. so i went to sleep and justin took ava on a little dinner date. he loved it. my parents made for a wonderful thanksgiving. sitting on the porch was a dream. and the food was good. and it was pretty healthy too. except that my favorite part of the meal was the stuffing. wow i never knew how much i loved that stuff.

chemo days are always a bit of a blur. but justin got home with ava around 4:30 and she took a nap until 6:30pm. good girl. thought it would mess up her schedule but she went down fine for justin at 8:30pm. thank the lord for ava. she will always have a special place in our heart because of this time with cancer. she has been the greatest part. our bedroom is right off the hallway so its pretty central. i cracked my door open so i could listen to ava and justin while he made her dinner. its precious. there is nothing like it for a mom to hear her husband loving their child the way i heard justin last night. it was a peaceful night. a somber night. no guests. it was dark. the house was cleaned up. thanks justin. i was resting and justin was in the midst of a perfect night with his dear ava. it made me realize how often i steal that from him. without even meaning too. that time with her i mean. its easy for me to just do it. because i want to. but he does too. and when i am resting from chemo and justin gets to take care of her. just him. there is something real special about that time. i could feel it last night. and maybe because its the holiday season and there is something different in the air. but in the midst of our sorrow. this has been a sad chemo round for us both. i felt at peace. and i know last night was a night i will i never forget. even though i had no physical part in it. but i laid in bed just listened to the two people i love the most on earth share a very special night together.

i heard the bath water running and was in and out of sleeping/closing my eyes and i heard justin yell..."babe, i forgot how does twinkle twinkle little star go again?...to which i burst out in song for him to hear from our bedroom. and i trail off as i hear him pick up where i ended. then i hear the water draining and he gets her ready for bed. such a special time of the day. if you have kids. try not to rush that time. is precious and a day will come when they do not want you to tuck them in. so i will not rush it. even though i often do and i hate that. i see him grab the ipod speakers from the kitchen. i know what he is doing. he is about to dance with his other girl. the first of many. ava goes to bed. justin bursts in our room to which i say..."babe, why do you do that? you never sneak in. or even attempt to be quiet in case i am sleeping. its always like you barge in. lets work on that." he says..."oh, sorry ok i will."

i could tell he was going to post on the blog last night. its been a while. i realized it when i got up around midnight and saw some blog comments had come through on my blackberry. i cried through the post and the video. cancer is sad. and we are young. trying to figure this out and sometimes we fail. but we sure are trying. thanks justin for being real and honest and showing me your heart. lets never stop doing that.

i was reading 2 Corinthians this morning. chapter 4. i read 16-18. which i have read many times. but this morning it struck me in a new way. therefore we do not lose heart. though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  so we will keep our eyes on christ. if not we will not make it. seriously. we will not be able to handle this emotionally or physically. its all too... too... too much for us. but we are not alone. and we will focus on what is unseen. for what is seen is temporary. and this little temporary part of our life with cancer is not forever. oh, how we pray it is not forever. but justinjustin and that sometimes its hard to even talk about. let alone express on the blog. but its big. its life changing. and marriage changing. and family changing. so there is the gift. in the midst of the sorrow and the pain. because man i am in pain today. we will keep our eyes on christ.

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's been a long time, baby, I love you. (from justin)

At some point when Thursdays roll around -- this time Chemo was a Friday -- I realize that something is about to steal my wife, and I hate it. I feel so powerless right now, and so sad, thinking about how Libby feels. This is the worst Chemo so far. And it's so bad that I cannot avoid it, which sadly, I think I have been doing lately. It's easier not to emotionally give yourself to cancer. This is my mistake. Libby, I'm sorry for doing that lately. I know I have. One reason I know I have been doing it is because I haven't cried lately about it, and it is the thing I have cried most about in my entire life. I said that I am 100% in this with you from the beginning, and I still mean it. This is not old news. This is us! How can I show you? You are hurting bad tonight. I feel like an idiot. At least, I just made you toast.

 It's weighing both of us down. Where as in the beginning, it was easier to say, "this is our story" and live it, now it hurts and often feels sour. I am seeking God tonight for help, because it all seems so colorless. But it's not. LIBBY ITS NOT. There is a reason this is happening, and Christ is still your treasure. Nothing can change that. Think of the different lives that we have now! We know each other better, we love each other harder, we love Christ harder. We don't care about anything but that! We know our families better -- we know we are loved. It's just hard right now, but I'm with you.

Ava, someday you will read this. Thank you for tonight, I had a blast with you. It meant the world to me tonight to see you laugh and live your little life.

Tonight, for the first time, I played Ava my favorite classical song, "Air on Strings in G". I danced around a little, and she watched the ipod the entire time, mesmerized. She looked at me, as if to ask if it was ok to like the song. It's a sad song -- I told her -- but it's ok to like it. That's how I feel about cancer right now, I love the Lord, but it's a sad song right now. I KNOW we will rejoice in Him. Goodnight my darling Libby. Hang in there.

also, here's an update on life with home movies

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

marriage. and our life.

i have been thinking about my marriage a lot. someone asked me recently about being a spouse to a young life staff and what was good and what was hard. i do not know marriage any other way. right when i got sick we talked about moving home and justin not being on yl staff anymore and maybe doing something different. in those brief days we talked about what would be different. what would be easier. what would be harder. all of the variables that go into a huge decision like that. but after a week or so we both felt very certain about staying in chesapeake. and continuing our lives here. we just felt like where ever we would go or be... there we would be. i would still have cancer. and it would still be hard. but thankfully we have a huge family here in chesapeake and throughout virginia who love us so well. so for now we are here. and will stay here. although i often think about the joy it would be to live closer to family and for ava to be able to play with her cousins. and maybe at some point that will be become a reality. but not right now.

and for the first time. maybe since we have been married. i feel very in tune with justin. in the midst of cancer so many things seem easier. nothing about cancer is necessarily easier. its actually been harder for me recently. it is less about the physical pain and more the emotionally pain. its like i was so numb for so long. it all seemed fake at first. and then when chemo started i just went through the motions of what i needed to do to get cancer out of my body. and now i am half way. and i still have hair. and i now weigh the most i ever have in my life. minus when i was pregnant. and that is hard. but i will take it. it could obviously be far far worse. and i know that. i just think its all settling in for me. and maybe because its thanksgiving tomorrow. and then christmas is right around the corner. and then ava's first birthday right after that. that in the midst of such joy. a season i love so dearly. i am a little sad. i am grateful for so many aspects of my life right now. back in august i envisioned myself dying. i never really said that. but i thought it. and now i am not as scared. we have every reason to believe that after six more treatments i will be fine. and our life will continue as it once did. but everything will be different. and i am okay with that. just hard to get used to. change is so good. and still so hard. so in the midst of everything i am thankful for...i am still trying to figure out how to live. really live in this season of life and after this season has passed.

i love my husband. and i am so thankful that after three years of trying to figure it out. marriage that is. not that we got it nailed down or anything. please. we have only just begun. but its a heart thing. schedules get busy. life overwhelms you. but you have a choice. everybody for the most part has a choice. to stop working and come home to eat dinner with your family. and put your daughter to bed. and really connect with your wife because you chose her. out every women on the earth you chose her. and before you know it  life will slip you by because you want to be someone important.  being successful is not a bad thing. not one bit. but it can be if you lose sight of your life. and your sweet wife. and your kids. and what brings you joy. for my husband its reading. going running. drinking starbucks. taking our kayak out on the river. we as a family have been forced to find out what it means to rest. and i pray. oh i deeply pray that what we have learned since cancer will not be forgotten. even when cancer does not exist anymore for us. i know its easy to change when you have to. but i hope we keep changing and growing not because something big and scary happens but because we cherish what God has for us. and what He is teaching us. if only we would be willing to listen.

i like being with my family. but i miss my sisters. all three of them. but my parents did arrive on monday night. and we will celebrate thanksgiving on our screened porch if the weather allows it. that would be a first for us all. thanksgiving dinner outside. we do have a big heater out there if necessary.

Monday, November 22, 2010

getting ready for the holiday season.

britt is back in ohio. justin is home from camp. my mom and dad arrived tonight. its been good. justin took the day off and we spent it relaxing and hanging out with ava. we did make one run. to starbucks. my new drink is the carmel brulee latte with skim milk and no whip. its good. and feels like the holidays to me. i prefer justin home rather than away. which i guess makes for a better marriage. i mean the fact that i like to be with him. but really i am looking forward to a week of feeling good. being with family. justin taking some much need time off and resting before chemo. i bought my first thanksgiving turkey last night. my dr. was nice enough to let me have thanksgiving and then i will get my chemo treatment friday. i am really looking forward to cooking. and learning how to cook better with my mom and dad helping me. i am shocked too because a few months ago i never would have imagined i would be helping cook thanksgiving dinner with cancer. God is good.

i am getting into the holiday mood too. thinking about new traditions we will start as a family now that we have ava. christmas gifts. decorating. buying a larger christmas tree (we do fake). finding matching stockings. and how our kids will get new pajamas for christmas the day after thanksgiving to begin the excitement of the season. i like pajamas so i hope my kids will too. oh, the thought of it all makes my heart really joyful.

i still have my hair. its taking its sweet time. and maybe it will not end of falling out. which would fine.

on a final note justin and i decided we are going to go to new york city once i am cancer free. stay in times square. go to a broadway play. dress up. eat good food. go shopping and experience life. and we are going all out. that means different things to different people. but it will be going "all out" for us. and i love having that to look forward to. this season will pass. and the idea of that fills my soul in a new way. i feel like i am learning a lot right now and trying to put my thoughts together. but that is for another day. i am real sleepy. when ava gets up in the morning we are making breakfast for the family.

finally. one of best friends had a baby today. its an extra special occasion. we love you already little jonah.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

sometimes i feel different.

the past few days i have been feeling good. pretty much like myself. but i am so exhausted. but its strange because its not like i always need to sleep. its like i do not have the energy to real be present with people. and invest in people. and really be available. and be like myself. that is hard for me. thankful that i do feel good. just hard that i feel like this. not one hundred percent. i realize its normal. and its part of the deal with cancer. its just difficult to accept the fact that i can not live my life at the pace i am used to. it many ways its a gift. and i am thankful for it. but other times i am secretly annoyed with myself. i for sure have an internal battle going on. i went out for dinner on thursday with four girls that mean a lot me. i have not spent time with them in a while and i was so thankful the last minute dinner plans came together so well. but as i thought about that night with them i thought a lot about how i acted. and how different i felt. i guess i am different. not in a bad way. i sometimes feel distracted when ava is with me because i could not ask them all about their lives. and how they are doing. and what's hard in their lives. and what is joyful. and how they are growing in christ. and what is new with  school, friends, and boys. i just sometimes feel "off." mostly i just feel less engaged and i hate it because that is not my heart. its not a reflection of who i am and how much i love them. but maybe for right now that is okay? or maybe its not. i am not sure. but either way it is what it is. and life is about seasons i think. and this season just looks a little different for me. that's all.

enjoy the party sweet ella. have a berry good time! baby ava loves you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

things are good.

things are good right now. thanks for all the birthday emails, texts, phone calls, flowers, gifts, and cards. i feel so loved. the nausea from chemo has subsided. the exhaustion has not. one of my roommates from college is here. britt. she is great. she loves to clean. so right now my house is beginning to smell like bleach. in a good way. when she planned her visit we thought i had chemo today so she was coming to help with ava and whatever else we needed. but my schedule changed. so instead we actually get to hang out, shop, run errands, and hang with ava. i really do not have much to say today. just kinda felt like i should blog.

justin has done a good job maintaining my birthday week.  we saw a movie on tuesday night. which was only $10 total. we had no idea. our movie theater offers that special every tuesday. so we will do that every tuesday we possibly can. we love movies. and tonight britt is watching ava and we are going out for dinner. he is going to rockbridge this weekend. a young life camp. its the best weekend. my heart aches not being there with high school girls. next year i guess.

we all went out for breakfast this morning and we were talking briefly about cancer. what we are learning. and how we are doing. justin said sometimes when tough things happen its quick to be like...how is God not in this? where is he? why would he allow this? normal questions. and questions that are okay to ask i think. but we so beyond thankful. like not sure how to express how thankful that we see God more now in our lives and around us than we ever have in our entire lives. my friend and i were talking yesterday about the whole idea of beauty for ashes in Isaiah 61. and through her own story of pain and through my own story of cancer. we get it now. that in the darkness. in the ashes. were its lonely and hard there is a promise from the Lord. that from all of that...he will bring beauty. and joy. and we are living that promise. we would never for a second wish this never happened. cancer i mean. i still hate chemo and hate throwing up and hate being tired. but i see the beauty of Christ in the horrible disease of cancer. and i am thankful for that. not everyone gets to see life how we see it now. and it really is a special gift. so that is where my peace comes from.

well i guess i do have something to say this morning.

Monday, November 15, 2010

my birthday gift from justin.

all photos taken during a secret photo shoot (i was pretty much the only person who did not know about it) thanks justin. matt benson. and oma.

bittersweet. but mostly sweet.

so today i am 27. and in theory it should be a little bittersweet of a day. i mean i have cancer. that is sad and hard and we hate it. but instead i have chosen to think about all the sweet things about this day and this year. first is justin. he set up a secret photo shoot of ava. our friend matt captured everything about ava that makes ava...ava. i love it. then he made a mini version of the photo collage for next to my bed that says..."momma you are half way there." and yes we are. halfway. thanks for loving me and for you all you do. this is not fake, babe. this is my heart. promise. then comes ava. this is my first birthday where i have been a mom. and words can not even begin to express what she has done to my heart. she is starting to say more and more words. and last week was a big week for her in terms of her vocab. she is growing and she is a joy. (took a little break in my post...jus and i needed to chat a bit...we are back on the same page). actually i am a little sad right now. its hard to celebrate my birthday feeling like i do. but i am trying. really. i promise. from my dear family...thank you for my new hoodie. that i have not taken it off since friday night. kinda gross. but i love it. thank you for our new prints for the bedroom. they are not officially hung yet, but they are resting on the headboard waiting for there permanent home. thanks for my uggs. my favorite clothing apparel of the winter. thanks for my new clothes and my nook gift card and for my nook (not book. its nook. its the barnes and noble e-reader...there was some confusion about that). it is not even 11am and the birthday wishes have already been pouring in since midnight. thank you. this will always be a memorable one. as justin walked out the door for a little lunch meeting he said..."can this be your birthday week?" and i happily replied..."of course, babe."

Friday, November 12, 2010

half way. not that cool of a post.

i am half way done. i like that. but in some ways i feel like i should be further along. six more seems like a lot. but yesterday went fine. did not see my doctor. just went straight from blood work to chemo. i got a little sick so i got some medicine that helped me sleep. actually i am getting incredibly nauseous just typing this post. so i will try again later. but all in all doing okay. just nauseous and exhausted. makes me more thankful than ever for how great i felt this past week. off to sleep...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

a thousand emails deep.

i should be sleeping. but i'm not. instead i am sitting at my laptop which feels like my second home. seriously if justin ever takes this mac away from me i will cry. no joke. randomly i felt the urge to go through my email inbox and respond to emails. i realized i am 1,092 deep. and keep 'um coming people. they are such a source of encouragement. i can not even explain it in words what it does for my soul to hear from people. from friends. and mostly from strangers. its such a joy. it goes back to mid august. i decided right away after getting sick that i would not delete one email. and i would attempt to respond to every email i was written even if it took me months. so this morning after putting ava down for her morning nap. i went back to august. and re-read a few emails. i did not get very far. because i was weeping. it brought me back to august and all that month had for us. a time full of fear. pain. so many unknowns. two surgeries. lots of anger. a cancer diagnosis. and my first chemotherapy treatment. but in the midst of that it was also a time of love. support. joy. strength. rest. and jesus. but he was in all of it. he is in all of it. he is in the joy and the pain. that is why jesus is perfect. he is not just for the good days or the really bad days. he is for all of it. and i am so thankful for that. like the word thankful seems so lame because i can not find the words to articulate my heart. i so wish i could. but i guess that is the mystery of our hearts. so instead i will keep it between me and jesus. because he knows. even when i can not express how i feel to justin. or my mom. or my dad. or my sisters. or my friends. but he knows the depths of me. the parts i do not talk about. because i do not know how. or the parts that i did not even know existed until cancer became a part of me. like when i became a mom. i did not even know that this part existed. this part of me that would love my sweet ava the way i that do. it touches me in different way. like nothing before. and cancer has done that to me. those microscopic cancerous cells that are inside me. although i hate them. i also am thankful for what they have taught me about jesus. my life. a voice i never knew i had. and strength that could only come from jesus. because this is too big. and too scary to do on your own. and thankfully i have not felt alone. maybe in some dark moments i have felt alone. but i think i know more now what is real and what is true. and what is true is jesus. and what is real is jesus. and that life is hard. but not too hard. not too hard for him to handle. i may not be able to handle any of this. i am usually faking it. being strong i mean. because when its just me. i cry. and am sad. and wish i did not have to go to the doctor today. and leave ava. and probably get a shot. which i hate. but because jesus is the strongest i am even given a chance at having an type of strength in this. because i am openly admitting that i can not handle this. but he can. so i will rest in that.

Monday, November 8, 2010

best weekend. ever. seriously.

really it was. i do not remember feeling this good in months. i was able to go to yl leadership for the first time this semester. it was nice to regain some sense of normalcy this weekend. some friends of ours offered us there beach house in nags head. so we went there for the weekend. we left around 9pm so i had to wake up ava and we were a little worried about how she would do. since we had never done that before. but she was fine. she feel back to sleep after a little bit. she is so easy. we are so thankful. i had thought earlier in the week about not taking her so justin and i could really rest. what a crazy idea. it was so fun with her. justin and i talked the whole way to the beach house. it was nice to really connect. we definitely feel like we were on the same page. which is always the goal. when we arrived around 10:30pm ava was a little mad when we woke her up again to put her in her pack n play. but after a few she settled. we had a view of the ocean from our bedroom. it was gorgeous. although it was a little cold. i loved it. i love the fall. everything about it. everything smells different. its crisp. and the outer banks is one of our most favorite places to go and rest. and wow did we rest.

in the morning we went out for breakfast. one of our most favorite things to do as a family. we found this great little pancake place. and justin talked about that meal for most the day. he loved it. i did too. came home and ava napped so we watched college football. well pre-game stuff. we read our nooks and napped. got ready and when ava woke up we all went to the outlet mall. one of my favorite things to do. i have noticed since having ava that is way more fun to shop for her. stuff is way more cute on her than me. justin got some stuff and i did get a couple things (early birthday present from my husband). ate lunch. ava napped again. we watched an amazing game between u of m and illinois. and u of m won. and up until now i had been feeling so good. not like fake good. but actually good. randomly in the afternoon i got a horrible headache and threw up a ton and then felt fine. it was strange. after ava got up we went to the outlets to return one thing and buy a couple more things. and ate dinner at one our most favorite places...the outer banks brewery. it was a good night. ava did so well. we love that we can take her pretty much anywhere and she behaves so well. hopefully this will last. we put ava to bed together. something we are trying to do more. we really want to create memories early on with ava that her mom and dad are real partners. and this weekend was such a glimpse of that. i really love my husband. and appreciate how well he has loved me and served me since getting sick. i see a change in his work schedule and how he is home so much more. its been essential for our marriage and parenting ava. its been by far one of the greatest gifts to come from cancer. and justin said over and over how good i looked. how i have my color back. and i look like me. not cancer me. but pre-cancer libby. and that meant so much to me. because i am insecure a little. especially because so many people have not seen me in a while so i am always nervous about how they might react when they see me. its like because i have cancer people maybe are anticipating the worst. now i could be in denial (justin said i'm not) but i do not think i look that different. i can tell my hair is way way thinner but no one else seems to. and i know about my extra 10. but hopefully if people are smart they will not comment on that. its kind of like when i was pregnant and people would say on my gosh you are huge or you look like you are going to pop. its like come on people. i know i am big. but you do not need to tell me that. its been the same thing with cancer. its like either tell me i look amazing (and maybe lie) or do not say anything at all. i am sorta joking here. i am just happy i still have hair. and i like my short hair now. i have come full circle with my hair. because i left the salon mad. like seriously angry. but not anymore. not at all. just needed some time.

i got up around midnight and checked my phone. i do that randomly throughout the night. i got this email. well two really awesome emails. one from a sweet women in kansas and the other from a fellow cancer survivor. her story was awful. in terms of what she had to go through to beat her cancer. chemo monday thru firday for 8 hours. every other week. its been such a gift to hear from other cancer survivors. it has helped me to gain perspective within my own cancer experiences. and helped me to be thankful for my own story.

we got up. packed. cleaned up and headed home. we wanted to go to our church since i have not been there in months. avajustin and i we checked on her only four times. that is not that bad. and she was fine. it was way more about me than her. it was nice to be back at church. we came home and ran some errands. and i bought two pairs of comfy pants. simply trying to embrace my new body. justin and i put ava to bed. and we fell asleep yet again to football. nfl this time. who am i?

p.s we love you sweet isabella. and hope that your pink little cast is not bothering you too much. ava sent you some mail. hope you get it today. its the perfect thing if you want to lay on mommy and daddy's bed and rest. (our sweet little niece. who is almost three broke her arm on saturday).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

good day.

today i forget about cancer. these days are nice. i got up at 7am no problem. was not super tired or nauseous. so i grabbed ava's bottle and we hung out. i made coffee. and it tasted good. since i have been sick coffee has tasted weird. but not this morning. justin came home at 10am. surprise. we loved it. he made me breakfast. but not make it sound like we have it all together all the time. first we got in a little fight. just a little guy. after we both stated our sides. i got quiet. and took ava over to her toys and read her book. and was stubborn. but then i walked through the kitchen where he was making us each an omelette and he stopped me. and we hugged. so moving on...i put ava down for her nap. we ate together. then he stayed him with ava while i ran some errands. it is now officially cold enough to wear my uggs. my favorite. since being car less i have missed the freedom that a car brings. bought ava some bows for her hair from a cute baby store. and did some boring errands. then got my nails done. got my new fall drink first. starbucks skim chai latte with three pumps of chai (thank you gift cards). i have been getting my toes painted in a dark gray recently. but never my fingers. i always go subtle. but this time i did dark gray on my nails. and i love it. like seriously love it. jus and i ate lunch together too. thai food. our favorite. no spice for me. and the most spice possible for him. he napped. i rested. and now ava is up. its been a good day and its only 4:47pm. i am so very thankful for days like today. i like it when my family is all together. and i love how my nails look as i type. sorry that is strange i know. but there is nothing about today that has to do with cancer. and i am so happy i could cry. i actually just teared up about it. this is a precious day. and its rainy too. which i kinda love since living on the water.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

no title today. could not think of one. so instead i will just write about today and my heart and how i am doing. justin said to me this morning that he wants to hear more from me about how i am doing...more of my heart he said. so i said...stuck in the house, lonely, and tired. stuck in the house because his car is getting repaired and he is using my car so i am car less for the week. and the lonely is really my fault. and the tired. well that is because i am chronically tired. and to all of you cancer patient, fighters, and survivors i commend you for working and raising a fmaily while being sick. i do not know how you do it. but i applaud you. the more and more chemo effects me the more and more i realize how thankful i am that i am able to stay home full time with ava. thanks justin for making it possible. i love being home with her. she is my little partner. it is nice to be in my comfy pants and my robe all day if i want to. but sometimes i get sad about it. like i have nothing to do except keep ava alive and maybe do some laundry. which is sitting in a pile in the hallway. i like the laundry in the machine part. but not the folding and put away part. but in the midst of my own thoughts i struggle with not having a lot to do and not rushing around and having all this stuff going on. i mean i for sure could think of some things i would like to do and then go do that. and usually i do when i feel up for it. but since i do not have a car this week i have thought a lot about how i spend my time. and how i often times find my worth in how much i do. or how many different things i have going on. like its embarrassing to say to someone who you know is super busy...well today i am not doing anything but caring for ava, reading, laundry, and napping if i get a chance. and by the way of course i will "get the chance" to sleep. i try and sleep with ava does. and i am backspacing a lot while i write this because i secretly do not want anyone to know that i am not that busy. but i want to remember this day and how i feel and what is going on in my heart. and my heart is tired. and i want to rest. i want to take this season in and not miss it. i am so accustom to moving through my day from one thing to the next and in some strange way finding my identity in that. which is a lie. i know my worth is not found in anything of this world. but i struggle with that lie. i battle back and forth in my head about it. but since i got sick my prayer was that i would take this season. this cancer season and be still. not miss a second of it. but take time to read. i love to read. and rest. for the first time in a long time. maybe ever. to really rest and allow my body to fight. to fight this cancer real hard. and so far according to my PET scan its working. so i will try to ignore that little voice in my head that tells me i am lazy and i should do more and keep busy. and instead rest. in whatever way that looks like for me. and cherish these days with ava. that i hear go by real fast and try in the midst of it all to see this as a gift. some of the people i love the most have a lot going on and i feel like i can only really see it now because i am not running crazy busy alongside them. but instead i am the one when asked...what are you doing tomorrow? i sometimes reply with..."well nothing". and i am trying to be okay with that. i also realized that i am my own worst enemy and hardest on me. but i think we all do that. and its silly. and its a lie. so today i will be thankful that i do not really feel like i have cancer today. i only know i do because i am still in my comfy pants and rode and about to read my nook to help me fall asleep while ava naps. and that this...my internal battle about how i spend my time...is all okay.

Monday, November 1, 2010

another side effect of chemo...maybe

i have gained weight. about ten pounds. and i am not sure if it has anything to do with cancer or everything to do with cancer. but either way i am ten pounds heavier. people have been real nice about it though. with some select people i have mentioned this fact. not sure why. almost like i want to mention it before they think in their head...oh, libby has gained a little weight. and they are kind because they step back and say...you have not. you look great. and it is very nice of them. oppose to them saying...yup, you sure have put on a few. but the reality is i have gained ten pounds. and because it is winterish here in chesapeake i can hide it with jackets and over sized sweaters. and not to mention the fact that i live in comfy pants. i can not keep enough clean. its not that ten pounds is really that big of a deal. but i did have an eating disorder for most of high school and college and therefore i am a little insecure when it comes to my weight. so i decided at our last appointment to ask my doctor about it. and he of course said it could be lots of things...chemo. my metabolism slowing down. stress. not being as active (that is for sure). anyways i think secretly i was looking for him to blame it all on cancer. that would make me feel better. but really its so hard because i am constantly nauseous. so i will eat something hoping that will help. well it doesn't most of the time. so i try something else. or i will go a few days without really eating and then its like for the next few days i make up for lost time. now i do understand that now is maybe not the time to worry about it. considering my body is trying to fight a disease that is inside me. its more or less needing to process this out. like how its making me feel. i mean there is no way around it...its a bummer when your favorite jeans are just a little bit too tight. that's it. that bums me out. and i am trying to eat healthy. i swear. and i do joke about it because its just easier that way. but honestly in my heart its hard. i am already a little insecure about my hair thinning. i lost a ton yesterday in the shower and cried the whole time. not just about my hair...i had just watched a you tube video from blacksburg young life and that started the tears. but its just hard when your insecurities come to the surface and you have to face them. and my weight has always been that for me. so instead of just talking about with my sisters and complaining i think i will start running. but i am not a runner. never have been. not even for one day. and justin even said to the doctor...i have never seen her run a day in her life (its true). so out of feisty-ness i am going to start running. so i say to justin this weekend all i want for my birthday is a jogging stroller. maybe if i have a jogging stroller i will run. we will see. so today because i do not have a jogger yet i take ava for a walk. in my head i had mapped out where i wanted to walk with her. well we only made it half way. and i was only walking! but seriously i was exhausted. not lazy at all. honestly. i have never known exhaustion like this. i mean i can walk. i have always been capable of that...not sure what the deal was today. i will try again tomorrow. but i still want a jogger stroller from justin. if we get it off craigslist and i only end up using it a few times i will not feel as bad about it. and all this to say maybe i will deal with my weight gain after chemotherapy...that's a thought. and also real thankful that i am not bald yet. totally thought i would be by now.