Saturday Smiles

The Update On My Health

Dear Friends and Family,

“We found cancer…”

Last year, on May 31, I heard those three words no one wants to hear.

From that moment onward, I have tried to maintain an upbeat, happy-go-lucky attitude, God’s plan, and all that positive perspective power that we hear so much about. After all, they (and I quote) “caught it early.”

The Truth

Let’s be serious, folks…breast cancer STINKS. Not only did I have not one but TWO breasts removed and lymph nodes removed (which, on the left side, had cancer…so much for “catching it early”!), I had horrible implants that were, in my opinion, inflated too large by the (now terminated and detested) plastic surgeon doctor.

1That one mistake resulted in further issues:

  • multiple hospitalizations,
  • skin grafts,
  • life threatening infections,
  • an open chest wound that started last October and is, just now, almost gone!
  • blood transfusions (YUCK!),
  • daily IV antibiotics (which I administered myself for a month!),
  • implant removal (and not at the same time…try walking around with one breast for two months! #notfun),
  • and probably other things that were benign in comparison and, therefore, I have chosen to forget!

The view from the hospital bed when getting a blood transfusion…

2<My daily IV kitthat I administered through a tube that hung from my chest for 30 days. Fun!

But wait! THERE’S MORE!

Let’s not forget the Chemo Cocktail Lounge. Sure, I tried to make it fun. I handed out homemade soup to people, I arrived with an entourage and pink umbrellas,  I even distributed my Pink Umbrellas devotional that I co-wrote with Lisa Bull.

And then there was horrible radiation (I quit midstream), an on-going battle with super de duper hypertension (200/120 was my winner which resulted in a rush to a cardiologist), and now lymphedema (I have to wear compression sleeves 8 hours a day and go to physical therapy…it will never go away but, hopefully, it won’t get worse).

Oh wait, did I mention that the day my short-term disability ended, I was terminated from my job…a job which I loved with students I adored…and where my insurance came from?

Now there is this spots on the brain thing. Might be nothing, might be something icky (but it’s NOT cancer…). In the meantime, while I get blood tests, MRAs, and EEGs…and wait (because we caught it early last time, remember???), I get to deal with headaches, dizzy spells, a horrible memory (who are YOU anyway????), and increasingly bad vision among other things.

3It’s enough to make a person’s head spin, isn’t it?

<— Speaking of heads, losing your hair isn’t that much fun either…Bald is NOT beautiful and, even if it grows back, it’s humiliating.

Anyway, the fight continues…

Yes, I’ll win.

And I still say that it’s better to have happened to me than any of you reading this.

 

Behind The Green Curtain

4Putting up a tough front is one thing. Pull back the curtain to expose the mysterious Oz and you’ll see the real story: The physical and emotional turmoil that this stupid, ridiculous disease has poured onto my family cannot be adequately explained.

My children suffered more than you (and I!) could ever imagine.

One was a lost sheep. No teenager should experience the dark fears and places that my son encountered…all while I was undergoing chemo… Today, I’m so proud of my son. He’s the new, improved, and (finally) happier version, but still with a cloud of worry for his mother that, while endearing, is not something I want my 16 year old to deal with. He has become a man far too early in his life.

The other one basically lived off macaroni and cheese for a month and barely left her room last summer. Oh, people tried to coax her out, but, even at eleven, she was too stubborn (apple=tree?). Today, after a lot of hard work, she has transformed back into my Cat, thanks to attention, love, and horses—especially the horses (check out her latest video —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cysNQJ0usGo). Just in case you miss her comments, I’ll quote the part that sums up her feelings how her mare, Summer, helped her when no one else could:

“…I love her so much because she is all I had while I went through some crappy months in my life last year, and she made me so happy. All of the mistakes we made together, we fixed together, and we learned everything else together… I know that I may not be just a few pages in her life, but a chapter. That’s all I could ask for from this mare. I love her so much for getting me through the rough few months in my life last year, she helped me more than anyone else could. ♥ Love ya! ♥”

And of course, my supportive and loving husband, parents (although Mom got  a bit crazy with her hand sanitizer and not letting me see my dog), sister, friends, Facebook family, readers, strangers worried terribly. I could go on and on and on….

So, why am I sharing all of this with you?

SHARE THIS LETTER

I’m asking you to share this with YOUR friends and family and ask them to do the same. This year is MY year for asking for favors and that favor is to ask for donations to one (or both) of my two chosen charities.

You see, I have been asked to represent the face of a Cancer Fighter for The Pink Fund and TJ Martell Foundation.

DANCING FOR CANCER

On 10/2. I am participating in Dancing with the Survivors with a professional dancer in Morristown. If you cannot attend, please consider donating (https://www.crowdrise.com/sarahprice1). Donations support the Pink Fund which supports women who, unlike me, do NOT have a good support system and struggle.

WALKING FOR CANCER

On 10/5, I am an honorees for the TJ Martell Foundation’s Walk for a Cure in Madison, NJ. Please consider sponsoring the Pink Umbrella’s Team (https://tjmartell.myetap.org/fundraiser/njwalkathon/individual.do?etapCacheBuster=1412431522929&participationRef=3407.0.536071255&shareMedium=label.facebook). TJ Martell Foundation funds research, not just for a cure but to PREVENT cancer. This is my second year with them and I am deeply honored to represent their organization this year as an Honoree…

HELP ME…HELP YOUR LOVED ONES

People always asked what they could do to help…THIS IS IT!

I know that many people ask for donations for fund raisers. This request isn’t going to result in a donor listing on a plaque, wall, or brochure. People might not even know you donated. But you will be helping not just me but possibly yourself, your daughter, your granddaughter, your best friend…a complete stranger.

Thank you for your consideration…

Sarah Price

 

10 thoughts on “The Update On My Health

  1. God bless you Sarah! I LOVE this letter and will be passing it along AS WELL AS donating. I, myself am a 14 yr survivor of Ovarian cancer. I had an AWESOME Christian doctor who prayed for and over me prior to my hysterectomy surgery. They knew I had Cervical cancer but being a cautious, thorough physician she said with my cancer cells rocketing off the charts while she was “in there” she was going to check my ovaries. God in His infinite wisdom put that doctor in my life or I wouldn’t be here today. Both ovaries were completely cancerous. At this same time period in my life I was having issues with a stalking, lunatic ex-husband. The doctor had alerted the staff and extra security was provided for me following surgery…and yes…the booger tried to get to me but was caught. I had a “death wish” and a battle with the Lord. I just wanted to go to be with the Lord but he chastised me…and I had a personal, life altering visit from Christ in my hospital room. He basically chastised me for thinking my health and life issues were more than He suffered on the cross for ME. So I fought the good fight…localized chemo…found my new husband a year later. My family and I were able to bring him, his children and other families to Christ. So yes…Christ was right…He wasn’t ready for me in heaven yet. My work here wasn’t done yet and NEITHER IS YOURS SARAH!! DANCE YOUR BOOTY OFF FOR THE LORD!! Your work isn’t done here yet and there are still lives to be touched!! Love you as a Sister in the Lord Sarah! THANK YOU for the PLAIN FAME series….I LOVED THEM!

  2. God bless you Sarah and thank you for sharing your story with everyone. Cancer is horrendous. My niece got it at 19 and at 37 had to have a heart transplant because of all the damage from chemo and radiation and now she suffers with massive migraines. I will continue to pray for you and your family everyday. Stay strong and know we care.

  3. SARAH, KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT. I KNOW THAT IT IS HARD ON YOU AND THE ONES YOU LOVE. YOU MAKE ME PROUD TO KNOW YOU AND I WILL BE PRAYING HARD FOR YOU.
    I WILL LEFT YOU UP TO THE LORD TO HOLD IN HIS ARMS AND COMFORT YOU, THROUGH
    THIS TIME OF FIGHTING.
    I LOVE YOUR WRITING AND ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO NEW WORKS. YOU GIVE SO MUCH TO US. GOD BLESS.
    NORA F.

  4. Sarah, I’m not much on medical charities generally. Health care reform that would bring every person in these United States the level of care our veterans receive – a single payer – is my wish. That said, when friends ask … I left the TJ Martell Foundation a modest donation for your team. I send you a wish for the necessary small miracles and my thanks for the guts to share your medical story with us. Thanks. Jon

  5. Hello Sarah, I’ve always thought of you not only as an amazingly gifted writer but as a wonderful woman of great faith who has been given the ability to inspire many, many people. As I’ve written to you in previous e-mails God has gifted you with a talent to write in such a way that it actually brings to life the things that you write. You seem to be so approachable that it is even somewhat unbelievable. Sharing your story here with us is so endearing. Thank you for trusting us with this very personal and private part of your family’s life. I lost my mom to lung & liver cancer on May 1, 2011 and I miss her dearly even now. I am also thankful for the update because when I e-mailed you and received no reply as I normally do, I figured that something must have been going on but that knowing you-you’d get back to me (and the millions who had no doubt written you as well)as soon as you were able. I will send a donation an get your message out. God bless you! I will continue to stand with you in prayer.

    Ellen

  6. God Bless you Sarah and all that you have endured along with your family. May God wrap his loving arms around you and heal you.
    Your story has touched me. Thank you for sharing this with us all.
    I look forward to reading many more of your books that have yet to come.
    Stay strong & God Bless,
    Cheryl Baranski

  7. God’s mercy, blessings, and miracles are what makes his children’s lives livable. He sends the devil packing and gives us his love to see us thru the hard times. He teaches us that he is always there for us if we just ask for his devine healing. Love and Hugs and Thanks so much for sharing your story with all of us. May God Bless you and your family and anyone else who may be facing this.

  8. God’s mercy, blessings, and miracles are what makes his children’s lives livable. He sends the devil packing and gives us his love to see us thru the hard times. He teaches us that he is always there for us if we just ask for his devine healing. Love and Hugs and Thanks so much for sharing your story with all of us. May God Bless you and your family and anyone else who may be facing this.

  9. Dear Sara, I have followed you through this all. Our daughter Kellie had pancreatic cancer. She fought a long hard battle this past year, and has now become one of our Lords angels. I want you to know your fight helped keep us positive even when it wasn’t good. We always kept hope and prayed. Now we are thankful she is not in pain any longer. Please continue your upbeat positive attitude. You have been a blessing to us as well as others I am sure. God Bless you and your family

  10. Dear Ms. Sarah
    Not only is it my pleasure to donate a small amount in your honor I will be donating for my mother as well. See I believe the 2 of you were diagnosed about the same time. My mother also was diagnosed with breast cancer and it also was caught early. She also went through the double mastectomy and had some lymph nodes removed. She did have the reconstruction which also caused her some complications as well, but through it all mama never lost faith. Or at least mama never showed it anyway. From day one she has said that we were going to beat this thing that God was not calling her home just yet. She even put off the mastectomy for a month for reasons that don’t need to be shared. But simply because my mother had that much faith in God that it was not her time to go, while the rest of us were having panic attacks she went about her normal everyday business. When surgery time came everything went smoothly. No troubles in the operating room. They got all the cancer and the few lymph nodes that were enlarged as well. No chemo or radiation. She was right waiting a month was no big deal, although it still felt like we were dying. They even put in the skin stretch things to get ready for implants. Trouble came with them. One of them caused an infection so bad that she was hallucinating that boobs were on walls talking and that she was crocheting even though she’s never learned how. After finally removing the skin stretchers and allowing her body to heal in between removal and replacing with new implants I’m proud to say my mama is a healthy woman as far as cancer is concerned. She was right. It wasn’t her time. Reading your stories while she was going through her “ordeal” allowed me to probe her with questions. It gave me a starting point. Mama was a large breasted woman and to be honest they kind of defined her, not that she used them for anything it’s just that they’ve been a part of who she was since before she was a teenager. Thank you for sharing not only your good days but your bad days too. I will continue to pray for you and other men & women like you who are suffering from breast cancer. It really does help. In Jesus name please dear Lord in Heaven wrap Your loving arms around all the men & women Lord who need You to guide them, love them, heal them, comfort them, & let them know You will never leave them. Let them know Lord that You will be there from beginning to end and that they are never alone that they may call upon You at anytime. Heal their bodies Lord for You are the Master physician, the Master of their world, and the Master of all things. It is in Your Son’s Precious And Holy Name of Jesus that I say AMEN

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