Caringforcamille.com emerged soon after I was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma in the summer of 2013.
While I was recovering at Evergreen Hospital from my first surgery, my sister Diane commented that I should consider starting a journal. So I did…I wrote about my thoughts, the pain, hospital food, etc… just about anything that came to mind. It was quite comforting writing in this journal because it wasn’t always easy expressing my feelings and it certainly didn’t help with the healing process had I kept everything bottled in. Even after I got released from the hospital I continued writing – this time, I wrote about recovery, my diet, the meds, the joys of a handicap pass, my fears, and my new life.
Only my family and close friends knew about my situation, but I knew sooner or later people will eventually find out. I mean how long can I keep this cancer hidden?!? My friend Muriel was the one who thought of the idea to start a blog. It would be easier to direct friends and family to the site so that I wouldn’t feel bombarded with everyone asking questions since I was still in shock and recovering. I thought…what a GREAT idea!!! Since I already had a journal going, I just needed to transfer the material online. And so with the help of my dear friends…caringforcamille.com was born.
Gosh, I can’t begin to tell you how nerve wracking it was to make my blog public. I mean, everyone was going to know my story and I don’t think I was ready for all the talks and people feeling sorry for me. It took me about a week after the blog was ready to make it public. There were days where I felt like okay, todays the day, but for some reason I couldn’t press the send button. My friends being supportive as they were kept telling me to not be so scared – that nothing bad will come out it, that I’d have more prayers and support on my side. So when the day came when I made it “Facebook” known (cause come on now – it ain’t official till it’s on Facebook right?!?) I made sure to not be online for the next few hours.
When I finally had the courage to get back online and read all the comments – I was in complete shock! The amount of love and support that I received from everyone was overwhelming!!! I was in tears from reading all the encouraging and inspirational posts and comments! THANK YOU! All this time I thought of the bad but all I got was the good. Thank you guys for making this journey that much more easier for me!!!
Fast forward to my second surgery, I went to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to get a second opinion on my diagnosis. I met the most amazing surgeon Dr. Pillarisetty who told me that he would be able to remove the tumor without having to go through chemo or radiation treatment. Of course, I said let’s do it! The surgery date was set – it was one month from my previous surgery. I was pretty hesitant considering I wasn’t even fully healed yet and just had my staples removed. To be opened up again was just overwhelming to say the least but I couldn’t have this tumor in me…killing me!!!
My second surgery was a success; they removed the tumor and all traces of bad cells. With that in mind, I thought that would be the end for caringforcamille. I mean, I started the blog to keep friends and family updated with my cancer journey but now that my cancer was gone, I didn’t know what else I could write about. After speaking with my sis and dear friends, they all encouraged me to keep the blog up. So I did.. writing about my fun adventures, personal life, things I love, food especially brunch, events, and the list goes on.
Well, all good things must come to an end right?!? Unfortunately my cancer came back about 8 months from my last surgery. I was devastated but remained hopeful. Luckily, I kept the blog going so I was able to keep everyone updated with my current situation. This time around, I did 5 weeks of radiation before going under the knife…again! My third surgery was scheduled at exactly a year and one day from the second surgery. Not much time has passed, but I was more ready for it than last time!
I had another successful surgery!! The recovery was a bit challenging with getting addicted to the medication and all. Since I’ve already had a recurrence, Dr. Pillarisetty wanted me to do the MRI and the CT scans every 3 months instead of every 6 months like I was initially doing before. So far, my last 3 scans have been normal and in the clear!!. Yay!!! Praise Jesus!!!
When I look back at the last couple of years, it’s quite interesting how my life has turned around. Cancer makes one aware of just how precious life, family, and friends are; that small annoyances are not worth fussing over. I’m glad that I have this blog to look back at and realize that even though you are faced with the most difficult struggles, just know that there are so many people rooting and cheering for you. I am grateful for the support I have received from people near and far; for the many new friends I have made, for people who have come back into my life.
Today I celebrate life along with my fellow cancer survivors and hope that a cure is found.