Sunday, March 19, 2006

March 19, 2006


The day before yesterday I realized I have cancer. Yup, all that hospital stuff, dropping out of school, my hair falling out didn't clue me in, I guess. The reality of the disease and the duration and duress of treatment has really hit home in the last few days. I think the lag time in real sadness/anger/frustration/etc is due to two things. One, in the hospital, there was a flurry of people and activity around me at all times. I was wonderfully distracted. And two, consultations last week with various doctors informed me of things I simply did not know previously. For example, I didn't know how harrowing a bone marrow transplant is. That it entails another month-long stay in the hospital or that one's immune system is completely wiped out requiring a year of recovering said immune system while living a very very sterile and isolated existence. Also, although I knew radiation was a phase of my treatment, now that it looms tomorrow, I am scared. The idea, the pur-pose, is to kill cells in my brain. I kind of like my brain and use it often. So, naturally, I am petrified and pissed and loads of other anxious emotions. Perhaps my future professors will grade me easier if I say I've had radiation to my head?

Other than emotional trouble coming to terms with all that looms ahead, I physically feel good. Today is the first day I can say that I don't have a headache in a few weeks. We've just been plodding away at the boxes, unpacking slowly but surely. Kent and Joyce were frequent visitors last week; they are always a delight and usually a help too with everything from computer concerns to home maintenance to helping in the kitchen. Thank you! And of course, what would I do, where would I be, without my Mom and Jaci who take such good care of me. Every time I complain, I know that it could be so much worse. I am blessed with amazing friends and family. Amazing. See, I told you I was emotional.

All in all, I feel physically ready to begin the next two weeks of treatment. I'm nervous mentally, but getting better. Here we go.

18 comments:

Jon Endrikat said...

Hi Erica,

I am sorry to hear about your realization. I know what you mean by missing all the signs, and then having it hit you. Actually the same thing happened to me regarding the last time I took a shower. Oops. On a more serious note, you have the love and support of all of my friends and family in Oregon. If anyone can beat this thing, it is you.

Good luck and go get em!

Erik said...

Erica, after tomorrow you can tell people "I'm radiant" and then you can say, "I'm not being narcisisstic, I'm being literal."

(I have NO IDEA how to spell the word "narcissitsstic" or however you spell it. How sad.)

Just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you in California...I read your blog every day to check in and see if there's anything new and how you're doing. I'll be sending you lots of love and healthy vibes tomorrow while you're becoming radiant.

Rock on with the treatment, and love,
Erik (Uma's hubby)

erika douglass said...

Hi Erica,
Just a short note to let you know that every member of team EM Magic made it to the top of the Columbia Tower here is Seattle today!!! Let me point out that the 69 floor we were to climb turned out to be 73, which we didn't know until we got to floor 69 and realized that we weren't at the end. But we made it! We raised almost $2000 I think, and the event is expected to raise over $500,000!!!! So a success, except that I am now completly useless and am not sure that I will be able to walk to work tomorrow! I need to get your address. I have a care package which will include the picture of EM Magic as well as some other surprises. Most of the members of our team have never met you, but are sending love and support and well wishes. Erica, may you continue to get better, and as you well know the support will continue to be there. We all love you and will do anything you need! Now, I am going to pass out again ( I slept most of the afternoon). Lots of love, and I know you will be able to handel tommorow as wonderfully as you have been able to handel anything else. Erika

erika douglass said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
joyce said...

Erica, it was sooooo wonderful to spend a week with you, seeing you laugh and smile, and knowing you were always listening even though your eyes were 'resting'. And thanks to you, I think I can build anything from IKEA now, and I expect you and Jaci to help when Kent and I find an apartment with our dog named Marley or Taiko, but not Jack.

I had a chance to share a moment with you when some of those realizations surfaced. Yes, it'll be hard, but like so many of your friends have said, you are in all our thoughts and prayers and we will make sure you know and hear all our messages, even if we can't come and visit.

If you need a reminder of how much you mean to us, read the back of the t-shirt I gave you - I can only remember the part, "You inspire", because it is soooooo true of you.

Be strong, have faith.
Miss you lots, Joyce

Raven said...

Erika,

Hang in there:) You have made it this far for a purpose. And I believe that each of our purposes are only good. The idea of Erika, when people think of you, the real you.. is not contaminated. It's beautiful and intact and strong, just as the day you were born. You can hold onto that and know that no disease can ever take those things in life that matter away from you, namely love.

We, and I mean just about everybody who checks this blog, are supporting you and lending your our strength and love. You have inspired me from afar and my thoughts are with you. My roomates and I are going to make you cookies or treats of some sort to send with Goia after spring break. Also, I wanted to give you a really cool wig I picked up for fun and thought you might enjoy (it looks really snazzy!).

Be well! (Said with conviction)

Raven
2nd year Fletcher Student

Raven said...

Erika,

Hang in there:) You have made it this far for a purpose. And I believe that each of our purposes are only good. The idea of Erika, when people think of you, the real you.. is not contaminated. It's beautiful and intact and strong, just as the day you were born. You can hold onto that and know that no disease can ever take those things in life that matter in life away from you, namely love.

We, and I mean just about everybody who checks this blog, are supporting you and lending your our strength and love. You have inspired me from afar and my thoughts are with you. My roomates and I are going to make you cookies or treats of some sort to send with Goia after spring break. Also, I wanted to give you a really cool wig I picked up for fun and thought you might enjoy (it looks really snazzy!).

Be well! (Said with conviction)

Raven
2nd year Fletcher Student

ALOED said...

Erica--It's no surprise that you are surrounded by family and friends who care about you...you've earned it by being who you are!

A good friend of mine had a bone marrow transplant last May, and ran the LA marathon (actually a half-marathon) yesterday. I'm sure she'd be happy to talk to you about the decision making and the process if you are interested. She's another phenomenal person!

Our thoughts are with you.

Nancy Kuechle

Lariba8 said...

Erica,

Wanted to say hello and let you I'm thinking about you.

Shane

TheDarkerUma said...

Erica,

I've always had trouble with anger. It always seems to creep up and hit me between the eyes. Or in the ear like a bloody mosquito, so you have to stick your head under the sheets - and lose air in the process.

I wish we had our bunks again so I could gross you out to distraction.

You are never far from my thoughts and I dream of you often. No, not in that stalker kind of way, but more in the - I wish I was there kind of way.

I can't wait to be back in Boston.

Love Uma

Erica Murray said...

I just happened on your blog as I was trying to get to mine at ericalmurray.blogspot.com... thanks for letting me in on your sacred journey...you will be in my prayers.

Erica Murray
Monterey, CA

Anai said...

Hi sweet Erica and family,

Let the feelings flow, they are not a sign of weakness- your solid loving core is everpresent, lying just underneath the despair and fear. I too feel afraid when I hear all of the technical medical breakdown of your situation, an impotence overcomes me and I want so badly to make it better somehow. However I am always aware (dimly sometimes, and very strongly at others) that your powerful spirit, always so full of compassion, love, and wonder has so much to offer us, that it will reckon with this messy earth for a long time yet. I miss you and can't wait to see you again!

much love to you and mom and sis,

anai

Tracy said...

First of all Erica I love you. You are a beautiful strong woman who will make it through this trial. You have shown me that the petty things I complain about on a daily basis aren't really that important in the grand scheme of things. Please know that you have all my love and support and you always will.

Jaci,
Can you please call me when you get a chance? I have some ideas, but I want to speak to you first before I proceed. If you could e-mail me at work I will give you my phone number. My e-mail address is tbaca@la-lakers.com

Erica keep your wonderful attitude and your beautiful smile. You WILL beat this :)

Tracy Baca

Okolo said...

Keep the positive attitude and that beautiful glow about you, you *will* beat this.


Okolo (Running Boston Marathon in your honor)
tnt [at] okolo.org.

Katy said...

Hi Erika. It's Katy Meter from St Joes. I just wanted to day hello and that I am sending you hopeful thoughts and wishes for laughter everyday. Whatever the future holds you are a beautiful inspiration to this world; such an example of courage and strength. I see from Jon Endrikat, who is also in Oregon as am I, you have quite the fan club in this state. Out of curiosity, and I apologize if mentioning this goes against your morals and ethics, have your doctors discussed stem cells as part of your treatment. I know I am a quite far from you, but if there is ANYTHING you need, just drop me a line. Sendng you smiles from Oregon, katy
matyketer@hotmail.com

joyce said...

Erica,

I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you...

I was looking at your blog at school this morning and have told my classmates about you. They are rooting for you too! They saw the pics and say you're gorgeous.

Hang in there sweety.

Alex said...

Erica, it's good to hear you writing out your fears and emotions. It takes courage to address these things, especially in a public forum. Keep on keepin on, you know we're all behind you.

Jen said...

Erica,

So sorry to hear you've had a rough go of it lately. I understand and empathize with you about your realization - it's very hard when that kind of thing hits you all at once. The family is cheering for you all the way though, and we all hope you have some better days ahead.

On a lighter note ... You got dan- ta??!!?? Oooohh - I MISS eating dan-ta!!! Yes, I know - I totally butchered the spelling, but my excitement and drooling got the better of me. So sorry!! ;)

Feel better soon,

Jenny Sing
Cousin, and fellow dan-ta eater