Monday, April 13, 2015

Silver Linings

Today, I asked Facebook friends and family to send love, prayers and positive vibes our way. I know we are on many people's minds and hearts all the time, but as we face the challenges of a results day... it really, really helps me to read the comments and see the likes. This outpouring and reminder of the incredible support we have helps me get through the day and be as strong as I can. So, thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm sending you a hug and love right now.

I'm very, very happy to report that the scans are stable! Thankfully! Wonderful news!!! A lymph node is progressively getting larger, but overall, everything looks good and we will remain on the current treatment therapy for a while longer. We'll check the brain on April 23 to see what's going on there. If nothing, and as long as Jon feels good and is symptom free, we will go until the beginning of July until our next scans. Radiation and chemo are tools we can bring in if we need, plus there are several different clinical trials and drugs on the verge of FDA approval which we can try when the time comes. We are so incredibly blessed and thankful for this medication, our doctors, and all of our many loved ones.

Last time we got good results, we were both ecstatic with happiness. It was a good day. We got good results today, but it was harder. Please do not get me wrong, we are thankful and so very happy. But, this type of journey wears you down emotionally. The anxiety building up to the appointment this morning was intense. I can't believe we've had such good results for so long, so I felt like the good news wouldn't go on. I get very fearful, as anyone would and so many do who face the challenge of cancer. Afterwards, I needed to disappear for a little while so forgive me if I haven't answered any messages or calls. I will. I love and need you to check on me. I just needed some time alone to sort things out. Remember, one of my very first blog posts was about the very real issue of depression among caregivers. Things have gone so well lately. I want to go into that office and for the doctor to say we've been cured and to go on our way. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen. This is a chronic disease we need to manage. I've mostly been having great days emotionally, but reminders of our past experiences sometime creep in and I get scared about the future. I know you all understand. I just hope by me being so open and honest, it helps other patients and caregivers deal with some of their own depression. Know that you are not in this alone, no matter how lonely you may feel.

Further, I've been digging around for information about fertility. I wonder if it is ever possible for us to have children. The more information I gather, the worse it looks. Cancer medications are really strong and could lead to severe deformity and an unhealthy baby. I certainly don't want that. I've also been dealing with some of my own health issues concerning this over the course of a few months.  Without going into too much detail, the fact is it just doesn't look good. This makes me very sad and I am having a very hard time coming to terms with this. I want to think optimistic and I'll continue to do so. Something could work out in the future. But for now, I need to put this desire in my back pocket for a little bit and learn to be okay if it doesn't happen. If there is anybody reading this, a close friend, acquaintance, or even someone I don't know, who has faced a similar issue or chosen not to have children, I'd really love to hear any words of encouragement you may have. Please write to me personally or leave a comment for me to reach out.

No matter what you're dealing with, it's always good to focus on the silver linings in your life. Our world has been quite wonderful lately and extremely busy. I'm still plugging away at grad school and submitting my feature screenplay Nobody's Darlings into screenplay competitions and labs. Jon is working on his feature screenplay entitled Cottonmouth, as well as a little editing work here and there. We premiered Nirvana: a short film about cancer this weekend at the Ozark Foothills FilmFest in Batesville, AR. It was an incredible experience and we got to catch up with old friends. Making the festival and road trip experience a billion times better was our dear friend and oh so talented filmmaker, Jen West riding along! We laughed and made many wonderful memories!

Nirvana will be shown in Chatt Hills/Serenbe where it was filmed on May 29 for a private screening for cast, crew, donors, Serenbe residents and a few ATL industry members and friends. The film is really beautiful and poetic and I have so enjoyed the process of watching Jon create from such a raw, honest place. I am really looking forward to sharing it soon. The film's composer (and our superhero friend) Anthony Johnson and The Mosley's will be there to provide music beforehand. It'll be a wonderful, special night!

I'm also in a production of Our Town playing Emily with two performances, May 1 and 2, as part of the Chatt Hills Community Theater. It's been fun to get back into theater a little and work with incredibly talented neighbors and friends along the way. I've always wanted to play the role, so it is nice to see this dream fulfilled! Reach out if you're interested in tickets.

That's about it! We've been happy, healthy, and busy! Thanks again for the prayers, love, and (as Jen and James would say) all the POSI vibes!!!

We love you all!

Ozark Foothills with Jen and founders Bob & Judy Pest! We love them!!!

Before our screening + Q&A of Nirvana and Jen's Little Cabbage!

Spontaneous poetry in Memphis at Burke's Books. I loved this! They have a typewriter and a desk available for you to sit down and write what's on your mind. I wrote a tiny love poem for my Jon. 

Incredible brunch on the way home at Memphis' Celtic Crossing! PLUS we got to visit with the amazing and talented Brighid Wheeler. We first met Brighid at 2013's Indie Memphis Film Festival. It was great to see her! I love having friends in different cities who you can meet up with spontaneously when you're traveling through. Also, do you see the gold necklace she is wearing? Her girlfriend gave it to her and it has the coordinates of where they met engraved in it. How sweet and beautiful!!!

Opening May 1 for two nights only! :)

Have a beautiful week,

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