Shesten’s Story

Site created on January 31, 2019

I am not defined by my disease. 
My cough is not contagious. 
Actually I can. (Punctuate and accentuate that appropriately for whichever scenario we’re in.) 
I fight. You fight. We all fight something. Let’s win. 
Butts are sexy too.


Chemo for Colon Cancer 4 years so far.  Yeah, I lost my hair.  Twice. Yeah. I ordered a purple wig and it’s of course back ordered.  Yeah, I get sick, like lots of nausea sick. Yeah. I am tired.  A kind of tired that I can’t describe for you if you haven’t experienced it.  Yeah, I can handle it. But sometimes, that’s all I can do. 


I give up on people, but not on myself. 


Things I want to do, desperately, but experience difficulty with because of the stupid disease poisons: 
Reading
Writing
Hiking
Singing
Sleeping
Speaking

Newest Update

Journal entry by Shesten Melder

Normally, I wouldn’t be awake at 6:06am... like ever. 

Normally, on a Saturday night/Sunday morning, I’d be sleeping 💤 pretty heavily around this time. But I can’t stop staring at this magnificent little being beside me. You see, the best part about my weekends is that my favorite girl in the whole entire world spends the nights in my room. It might not be the kind of sleepover that normal little girls look forward to, but it’s quickly become a beloved tradition for my girl and me.

Normally, she will come home from whatever activity she has done on a Friday or Saturday, and she will  beg for a movie.  I’ll meet that with a requirement for her... some chore, or something domestic that she has to do before we can watch.  Something to teach her responsibility and/or time management skills. Then we will select a series or a movie and we will start watching, snuggled in my bed. But, tonight, when she came home, I had fallen asleep. I vaguely remember her asking for a show, and me informing her that I was asleep and couldn’t watch with her. 

Normally, I don’t sleep all night. Especially this close to a chemo treatment. I have to wake up for various... things.  Tonight was no exception on that front, but when I woke, there was a little girl, snuggled next to me, already asleep, who had put herself in my bed, followed her own sleep routine, and made her place next to me.  

Normally, I wouldn’t dare post a picture of her head on a pillow without a pillowcase. *gasp* The horrors! But, this little girl... this most extraordinary little girl, she transcends normal in every single way. So what if she fell asleep without a pillowcase? It was important to her to have her sleepover.  Even if it wasn’t bursting with television and popcorn and treats.  Even if I didn’t have my arm around her holding her close. And it touched me quite deeply that she doesn’t just do it for those aforementioned things. She wants to spend time with me. Even if that time is spent asleep. 

There is nothing normal about our lives. I gave up trying to create a normal environment for her years ago. It’s just not a priority. But you know what is?  Finding our own normal. And making the most of this most not normal time in our lives.  I often lament the lack of normalcy I can give her. But, nights like tonight?  I stare and think and ponder how those voids will impact her development and growth and how she will see everything so differently from someone who had normal at her age, and I pray that it is an advantage for her when she encounters the millions of not normal situations she is bound to face in the future, with or without me beside her. 
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