It's important to celebrate the mini-victories along the cancer journey, whether it's with your favorite food or a small parade.
Lori Luedtke is a native Texan but has lived in Florida since 1996. She is married and has one biological son and two stepchildren. Lori was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer glioblastoma (GBM) grade 4 in May 2012. After doctors gave her a prognosis of two months, she participated in Standard of Care which consisted of radiation and chemotherapy and took part in a clinical trial at Moffitt Hospital in Tampa, FL.
Lori has produced a testimonial documentary, travels the US speaking about hope and inspiration, and created a blog where she talks about how her Christian beliefs have helped her not only deal with her cancer but also inspire others who either have this deadly disease or have a loved one who is dealing with cancer.
Today, I wanted to write about celebrations.
When you are struggling with a terminal disease, celebration is probably not a word you think about. However, when you are battling such a grueling disease, you have to celebrate the mini victories. It helps you to get to the finish line. Early in my diagnosis I was prescribed a giant pill called Kepra. It was for seizures. It was very difficult to swallow, and my family really struggled to get me to take my Kepra pill every day. There were negotiations, begging and even cookies.
After several weeks of taking this medicine at home, I received a phone call from my neuro oncologist office that said they didn’t see any signs of seizures so I didn’t need to continue to take the Kepra. Hallelujah!! This was a reason for a huge celebration. For some reason I decided this was “parade worthy”!!
I texted my family and told them to meet in the Living Room at 4:00. I proceeded to get out of my bed, walked into the living room and paraded around my coffee table saying, “no more kepra”. My family looked at me like I was crazy. For starters I haven’t even been out of my bed on my own yet. I actually think they thought I made it up, because everyone knew I did not like to take that big ole horse pill.
This little parade was just the beginning of the mini-celebrations I had throughout my journey.
I had no more radiation parade with my Aunt Jan.
A no more chemo parade with a few dozen people around my neighborhood.
And a no more shots parade around the CRU at Moffitt hospital with my nurse.
My husband and I went to Siesta Key and paraded for my 3-year anniversary of diagnosis with our friends Richard and Claire Beckley.
I think parades are fun, and I will continue to have them for each and every mini victory. To celebrate the wins along the way as the journey continues.