The Highs and Lows that Ebb and Flow

I went to my last post from May 13th and re-read it. It’s funny b/c this is my life, I live it daily; I experience all of the feelings and sometimes on a day like today, I can’t remember the terror and defeat that I felt a month ago. For some reason, I am able to tuck those sad and scary feelings into the back of my mind for a little while….until they poke their ugly heads out again, which they always do.

Since learning that my cancer continues to spread at an alarming rate in May, there have been so many highs to celebrate.

I travelled to Portugal with three of my greatest friends. A trip we have all been talking about for years. I felt amazing on this trip. Almost rejuvenated. Maybe it was the 14 hours of sleep I had on the first night there, maybe it was the much needed girl time and the break from mom and wife duties, maybe it was knowing that the chances of me making it back there are slim and I needed to soak it all in.

I witnessed Colin win his little league championship with his team- The Pirates. A group of kids that have been together for years and who my family have become fond of and have become close with their families. The energy of the crowd this night watching these kids and cheering them on was something for the books. A comment was made to me recently when discussing my illness with another mom in town. She said to me “This town will always take care of your kids.” This. This right here has stuck with me since the moment she said it!! I believe this to be true. I witness it daily through the people my kids are surrounded by in town- their teammates, their coaches, their friends, their teachers, the parents……so many people that I know will continue to cheer my kids on long after I am gone.

I was able to watch Quinn graduate from 5th grade. This was momentous to me for so many reasons. You see, 6 years ago, weeks after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, I sat in an auditorium and watched my 5 year old daughter walk across a stage in a cap and gown and graduate from pre-school. I sat in that auditorium and the tears streamed down my face because I wondered if this would be the only graduation ceremony of hers that I would ever attend. I made a goal to make it to her 5th grade graduation and in true April fashion, I did it!! Now my next goal is to make it to Colin’s!!

Both kids are now on summer break and we have a lot to look forward to. I am so proud of both of them. They do really well in school. They do really well in their activities- young soccer and cheerleading stars in the making! All while dealing with a very sick mom at home and all that comes with it. And while they drive me crazy like most kids do to their parents, they are really great kids (if I do say so myself).

While the highs are plenty, so are the lows unfortunately. I reported for chemo on June 1st. I was terrified, full of anxiety and really wondering if i wanted to do this. I kept saying to all of my nurses that I didn’t want to do this chemo- Taxol. I kept repeating over and over that I didn’t want to do. Said it so many times, that my NP said to me “April, you have the right to choose not to do it!” I love my NP and I looked at her and said, I am going to do it b/c quitting right now is not the choice for me. For some reason this exchange snapped me out of whatever chaos was happening in my mind and I said, I’m ready. So……I did it. My nurse helped me put the cold cap on my hair. The cold cap straps so tightly on your head and gets cold…….not just a little cold…..a severe and very uncomfortable cold. Thankfully, i only felt this discomfort for a few minutes b/c as soon as the IV Ativan and IV Benadryl (a wonderful combo) hit me, I was out like a light! The next thing I new my nurse and stepmother were telling me it was time to try to start waking up. I looked at them and they said you are all done and it all went great! HA! I slept through the whole thing!! In my opinion, the way to do chemo!!!!

Taxol for some reason felt like a turning point for me. Felt like the beginning of the end. Felt like the life as I knew it would be over and I would be so sick for the rest of my time. With hopes of not jinxing it, I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised with how “not bad” I feel. Do I feel amazing, NO. But……I don’t feel too bad!! Thankfully. I report to DFCI every Wednesday for treatment. 3 weeks in a row with a one week break in between so my body can recuperate! Ann (my stepmom) has been my partner in crime on this journey. We have a great little routine going for chemo days and she even spoils me when I ask to stop at Chic Fil A on the way home!!! So thankful for her!!

Happy Summer Everyone! Enjoy, Make memories, stop sweating the stupid stuff and LIVE your life to the fullest!


Nurse Sandy setting me up in my cold cap.
Lots of ice on my head after the cold cap is removed!
The greatest nap! Thank you Ativan and Benadryl.

5 thoughts on “The Highs and Lows that Ebb and Flow

  1. Lauren says:

    I’m so proud of you (and your babies!). Hoping the next three treatments continue to let you love the way you want to <3

  2. Jon says:

    In so many ways its amazing what time can do. We are always pulling and praying for you, love you April. We’ll have to open up a bottle of Portuguese wine and talk about our vacations later this summer.

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