Liza Yore's Journal
Written Feb 6, 2013 12:01am by Liam YoreLiza here-It is a rare moment where I get to express joy on this journey. Tonight, I experienced complete and utter happiness when I tucked my boys in.I find that this cancer diagnosis brings either very big highs or very big lows. Tonight, I am elated that I was able to set everything aside and to appreciate the very little act of tucking my boys in. We snuggled, we had tickle wars, we talked about how much we mean to each other. The boys need me more these days as the reality of our situation sits in. I am just happy that we can take something that is ugly,sad, and hard and reframe it together. We all know in this family what matters most; us. We love each other and now spend time together to appreciate our shared experiences no matter how little.I live in the moment each day, as thinking to the future is too hard and too painful. But on nights like tonight, I wouldn't have it any other way. My ability to appreciate what i have and the love I feel is priceless. I love my kids and my family so much. And there is nothing better than being able to spend my moments living and sharing those moments with them.
Written Jan 23, 2013 1:04am by Liam YoreLiza here-It has been a while. This journey isn't like my other one, it is harder.Tonight while tucking my 8 year old into bed he asked me " mom, what happens if you die in Mexico?" We are traveling to Mexico for a family vacation in February. It is supposed to be something to look forward to something to enjoy. And yet my 8 year old is wondering what happens if I die there. These are the things that we as a family deal with on a daily basis. So we talked about how he could bring me home and i hoped that he would. We talked a little about where he would like me to be so he could visit me after I am gone. He talked about how he wants me to be able to see him play football in this spring. Then we moved onto things like the Super Bowl, his favorite songs, and to practicing for the spelling bee. He is processing and that is good. I am able to have these conversations with him and not cry and to be truthful. I am sad that my child has to have these conversations, has to think about these things. I am happy, that he is comfortable talking with me about them and that he is resilient enough to go back to being a carefree 8 year old.It hurts me tremendously that we have to have conversations like this. That my kids have to live the rest of their lives wondering when their mommy is going to die and what will it be like without me. It kills me to think about their future without me. That my time with them might be very limited and that I may not have the future with them that I always have seen. But I am beginning to be ok with that. I have begun to live my life differently, to think differently. I appreciate that I can snuggle with my son at night and have conversations with him about tough things. That we are close enough that he feels safe sharing his most intimate thoughts with me. He knows he is loved.I know my family knows I love them. They know I will do anything within my power to stay with them. I hate that they won't know life without cancer as long as I am here. So I fight. I fight for more time with them and to create moments of life where cancer seems to be absent. I fight to live long enough that my youngest child will remember me not because of stories people tell her and photographs, but because she remembers me. Remembers who I am, what I bring into her life. I fight so that the people who are important to me know life with Liza. I fight because I am not done yet. I want to live. I want to survive. I fight so that the cancer doesn't win. I am not cancer. I am living with it.So far the treatments are very tolerable. I can tell you that 11 days into my 14 day cycle of Xeloda, I am feeling it physically. I am starting to wear down. I am beginning my love hate relationship with food all over again. Friday will be a good day because it starts my week of, the week where I only have to take one chemotherapy drug. I seem to have developed a rash from the other chemo drug I am on. I hear that this means I have having a good response to it, so I will take it. The itching is enough to drive you mad and I am fighting taking any medicine to counter that. I am done adding more drugs to my system at the moment. So I am getting good at sitting on my hands and trying not to scratch. The good news is the nausea is gone. And since I am almost done with my second cycle of the Xeloda, I have a pretty good sense of how my body responds to the medication all all times of the day. So I am getting my new routines down. I have to get up a little earlier and have to stay up a little later but it is manageable. The side effects of the various meds are tolerable. I did have to change one of my heart medicines recently, as I had a reaction to it. My face blew up and I looked like i had a very bad botox session. I just had to laugh. I have been through so much lately that there was nothing else to do. I itch, have GI issues, have had to change my shampoo, and things taste funny. Not anything people would sign up for, but all are manageable.I have about another 10 days before my schedule is filled with more doctors appointment and tests than I can keep track of. For now, I am enjoying the down time.Life gets hard sometimes. But I have come to really appreciate all that I have. It is an understatement to say that I have a new understanding of what each person and each experience brings into my life. All of you out there who are reading this enrich my life in so many ways. You are thoughtful and generous and love me and my family no matter what. I can't thank you enough.This is a very disjointed update. That seems to be how my brain works these days.I am happy that I am now able to write some of my thoughts down. It is hard to acknowledge all that comes with a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. This is significant progress for me. I am beginning to reframe things and see things differently. I am beginning to be able to enjoy life again. I feel like I am beginning to live my life again. For a while, it had been taken from me. I am still struggling. But I am glad that I am beginning to take it back. I am glad that I can be happy again. Even if that means I can only live life in the moment. I will take that.
Written Jan 14, 2013 4:21pm by Liam YoreLiam hereNot much to report. Liza is doing well on the meds. She has a lot of fatigue but is remaining fairly functional.The main reason for this post is that I've had a lot of people express interest in helping out the family in whatever way they can. We are very open to that, but it's a bit tricky figuring out a) what our needs are and b) how to coordinate.The good news is that we have got some time to figure this out. Our needs right now are minimal as Liza is feeling good and I am not working too much. However, over time I am sure that there will be more of a need, depending on how things go. We are very aware that we are running a marathon, not a sprint. Hopefully it will be a very *long* marathon!What I have done is enable a function called "SupportPlanner." You can see the link in the menu bar above and also in the "My Story" section. Basically, we will put up events or tasks as we need them, and you can see and sign up for them. Unfortunately, I think you have to create a CaringBridge ID to use this feature. Right now the main items there are transporting kids to & from soccer or swimming, and some babysitting. However, February is looking much busier as we have a lot of stuff going on, a lot of medical tests, and I am working more. In the future, I can see meals, cleaning, and laundry being items that we might ask for, though for the moment we are OK on that front.One note on meals: from our previous go-around on the cancer ferris wheel we realized that people really seem to enjoy and value making our family dinner, and, frankly, we liked it a lot, too! However, all I ask is that you PLEASE check with me or Liza before coming by with a nice hot meal. Text me or email me at ltyore (at) mac dot com. It happened several times that a friend would drop by with a spontaneous hot meal when we already had dinner on the table. Awkward!I will say that this is something of a challenge for us. Liza and I both have a mortal dread of imposing on people. We hate to ask for help and we hate the thought of not being self-sufficient. However, there are two compelling reasons that we are putting this out there. The first is the reality that at times, we will need help. I hate to admit or acknowledge it, but there it is. This is not going away, and we are going to be living with cancer for a long time. So from time to time as treatment progresses, there will be some rough patches, and we will need help. The second reason is that I know most of you reading this know and love Liza (and tolerate me). It is very valuable to our friends and community to be able to express love and support, and this is a great way that you can fill that need.Again, thanks to all for reading and for your support.