In the Thick of It

ThickofItwords & image by sandie rossini: march, 2016

Survival. Sometimes you have to really fight for your life. You have to get through some really bad days to get to the good ones. The hardest part was supposed to be over, so why was I feeling so terrible? My migraines were worse than ever, and I could barely get out of bed- this wasn’t me. I wanted to get back to “Sandie Strong”- the one that everyone was complimenting on being courageous, the one that everyone was “amazed” about how great I was doing, the one that was speaking about how to survive stage 4 Glioblastoma, how to be “Invincible”…but I couldn’t. I just wanted to go back to bed. I just wanted to hide. The pain in my head was too much to bare. It wasn’t my cancer; my recent MRI’s hadn’t shown any new growth- it was my migraines. My migraines were something that had haunted me for a very long time and they were currently making me very sick. Then I suffered a setback and that setback was in the form of a seizure which turned into a trip to the ER and then a stay in the hospital. I was in the thick of it. This time was different though. I felt TERRIBLE and I knew I had to get through a few REALLY BAD days but then there was a solution. A change in medication and a NEW positive attitude was what I needed. I had fallen into a bit of a rut and it had landed me there- back in the hospital. I wasn’t going to let this bring me down. I had setbacks before and this one was scary but not enough to break me. NOTHING was big enough to break me. I could see what was waiting for me-I had a TON of hope and a whole lot of faith. So yes, I needed to get through some not so great days but then I was going to come out EVEN better and stronger on the other side. I could see it, clearly.

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Scars

FarmTunnelby sandie rossini: 11.19.2014

We all have scars. Some are visible to the world, some are internal. My biggest scar is one and the same. I have a large scar starting from my forehead across my head, it’s from my brain surgery. It’s a daily reminder of what I’ve been through over the past year and a half. Not that I need to be reminded, my surgery and cancer is something I can’t forget, no matter how much I try. Most of the time I wish I could forget and there are times that I do but then something happens- like I hear the news in the other room saying someone has died of brain cancer and it makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. It makes me feel dizzy, off balance, like my world is being turned upside down…but only for a moment. Somehow I have learned to right myself. Some people ask me- how do you stay positive? My first answer is faith. Secondly, I ask- what’s my alternative? The scary negative thoughts are just that- scary. I can’t live in fear everyday and I won’t.

No Easy Way Out

Underpassbby sandie rossini: 7.30.14

I would love to take the easy way whenever possible and I can honestly say that up until last year I was a hard worker but I never was faced with any major obstacles in life- like cancer. Now there is no easy way. People tell me I’m strong but I tell them they would do the same thing in my situation. On days that I have to go in for an MRI I am terrified, I do whatever I can to mentally prepare myself. I pray, sing, laugh, think positively- I even meditate. This underpass seemed a little scary for me and my girls but it was the only way through to the other side.

Maybe

Maybe-Sky(written by sandie rossini: 9.30.15)

Maybe I really am different now. I think it’s almost impossible not to be. I don’t just say that I’m grateful for each new day, I really am. If I said that prior to cancer, I wasn’t lying, it’s just different now. I always tried to look at the bright side, to find good, even in bad situations but now I really understand. On this day it was sunny and when the sun slipped under a cloud, just for a moment, I heard someone complain. When I looked up I didn’t see the cloud covering the sun, I saw the sun shining through the cloud. Maybe I didn’t need cancer to show me how to live my life better, but maybe it just ended up working out that way. Someone asked me for some advice recently and here’s what I said- don’t take your health or happiness for granted, don’t wait for a disease or loss to change you. See the good, if it’s not there, create it. Maybe you can have everything you’ve ever wanted, why not just go for it? I am.

The Second Chance

RainyWindshieldSummer(written by sandie rossini: 5.4.16)

 

I was given a second chance, that was the only way I could look at what happened to me, it was the only way I could make sense of it. When I woke up from my brain surgery it took me a little while to make sense of what had happened and to comprehend that I still had a battle to fight and that it wouldn’t be easy. For a while I refused to say the word cancer, I would just say that I had a small piece of tumor leftover that I needed to get rid of and for some reason that made it easier. While I tried to calm myself of the anxiety that began to fill my body, first in my stomach then up to my lungs and throat- but then I remembered a story in the news about a woman who was simply walking across the street who was struck by a car and died instantly but before that car hit her she was able to push her children out of the way. I remember thinking she was a hero, she was only given a few seconds and gave her life to save those children. Then there I was, I had a chance to live and at that moment I wasn’t sure for how long, but the point was none of us really know how long we have so perhaps we should all live like this is our last day. We should all seize the day and live for the moment and in the moment. So at that moment I decided I would live for that special heroic woman who didn’t get that chance and then that anxiety and fear started to fade and I chose to fight for my life. No one knows how long they have to live that’s why each day we are given is a gift and I will not waste a single moment.

Stop

BWDaisyMiddle(written by sandie rossini: June 21, 2016)

Why do we make life more complicated than it has to be? When I was a young girl I took religion classes and I had a lot of questions but when I asked them I was told that I was wrong to ask those questions and that I was wrong to question God. Even at that young age I felt that telling a young child not to ask questions was wrong. If you have a question, I think you should ask it. The church disagreed, they were teaching the fear of God and I was not to question anything they said. In my mind, I was learning to love God, all on my own, not to fear Him. I knew right from wrong. I knew not to lie, steal, cheat and even at that young age I felt that I was a good person. I loved God, I did not fear Him- THAT was very clear to me. I felt like the teacher was making everything more complicated than it needed to be and I continue to feel like that in my adult life, so many times. I see people getting upset, wasting so much negative energy whether it be about work or personal situations. It just seems to me that time and time again everyone is making things much more complicated than they need to be. I’m guilty of it too, but I try to catch myself and that’s when I find myself asking that question-why? Why do we do this? That religion teacher was just doing was she was told, I assume, but as for everyone else, maybe we should just…stop, keep it simple and enjoy life.