A picture is worth a thousand words

Some of us are moved by words, and others pictures. For me, I like both to complete a story or emotion. Take 9/11 as an example, listening to someone speak about that day moves me, but when I see a picture or video that goes hand in hand with the story being told, I’m instantly covered in goosebumps and tears fall down my face. I’ve decided in conjunction with my blogging to share this journey, I will have a ‘photo journal’ as well. Maribeth with Maribeth photography has so graciously joined me during some appointments and some upcoming important dates to help me document my journey with her phenomenal photography. I know with her amazing talent she will be able to capture moments of raw emotion, details that not everyone gets to see, the truth in my journey, and I will have forever memories to look back on. The pictures that I am sharing with you now are from my last infusion. If you remember, this was a big day! On this day, I started my maintenance Herceptin and began what is supposed to be a much easier step in my treatment plan. In the first photo you can see the entrance to the Kaiser building where my infusions take place. It may look like a simple picture, but to me it stirs up quite a lot of emotions. When we would park and walk into that building, that exact view would make the butterflies in my stomach flutter a million miles a minute, my hands start to sweat, and I would take a deep breath because it was time now for the next treatment. The next photo is my husband and I checking in. I really love this photo. Every appointment we have the same routine together. For most of you, you see us our backs and us checking in for our appointment, for me I smile because I know my husband is swiping my credit card for me, because I can never seem to make it work. In the beginning of all of this, I was so emotional and scared, one morning we were trying to check in just like in the picture, and I could not get my credit card to work and it stressed me out so much and about pushed me over the edge. Then, my husband jumped in to help me and make everything better like he always does. Now, every time we reach the check in, he already has my credit card in his hands, has wiped it on his jeans to ensure it will work the first time, and ta-da no stress for me. This may seem like such a small thing, and in reality it is, but the big picture for me from this photo is just how much my husband does to help, and take care of me, nothing is too small, he’s happy to do anything to make this easier on me. Next, you will see my Onco RN preparing the needle to access my port, me closing my eyes and preparing myself for him to access my port (because no matter how many times I’ve had it done I always get nervous. Especially because sometimes I didn’t put my lidocaine cream on for enough time and it hurts), my ‘oh my gosh that hurts I obviously need to put the lidocaine on sooner face, me inspecting his work, and finally laughing at myself for being such a wimp. The next photo has 2 parts. I am showing my RN my nails because I jammed them a week prior and chemo really destroys your nails, so with me jamming them I developed a really nice infection and the week following this photo I ended up completely losing 2 nails. I was showing him my nails, as well as the antibiotic I was put on for the infection. Fun story, my infected nails got so bad when I was in Dallas for a work trip that I ended up going to a pharmacy and getting needles, band aids, and Neosporin. I stood outside took a deep breath and stuck the needle under my nails to “pop” them. Then, a combo of blood and puss dripped all over the sidewalk and I felt instant relief. Now, I have some really awesome purple band aids with neon green polka dots that I rock on a daily basis, you’ve got to look as cute as you can while you go through all these fun things! The next pictures are my blood being drawn through my port, me getting fluids while I wait for my labs to come back, and my RN getting my chemo started. There is a lot that I get out of these pictures, but there is one thing I hope others can see. I hope you can see my happiness, that although this is all very hard and probably the hardest thing I’ll ever do, I’m okay. I’m happy, and I am doing this! I am so very excited to add these photo memories to my blog for myself, and all of you. Surgery is fast approaching and Beth will be alongside me then too. I am sure when I see her photos afterwards I will have so many emotions. I know with her talent she will catch the smallest details, along with the biggest emotions that words cannot seem to explain. I will have these to look back on forever, to remember what all we put into this, and the ability to feel those emotions time and time again by looking at a simple photo.

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