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The Struggle is Real

We came back from 25 incredible days (some I even forgot I had cancer) on July 25. On July 26 I had my final CT Scan. Yep, reality hit quick and hard. I then worked 26-30, and also met with my surgeon on July 28th, had an EKG, and did blood work. My surgery was set for August 24, with Covid test and final blood work on August 20. Last day of work August 19. I received a phone call on August 17, that my surgery may be cancelled due to the overwhelming amount of Covid cases in the hospitals. Hello? I'm not having a boob job. This is cancer.... ugh. Commence to total state of denial for 3 days, thinking maybe this is all a mistake, maybe it's not really pancreatic cancer, maybe I should wait. I showed up for my Covid test and blood work, and at 3:30pm Friday, August 20, I received the phone call. Surgery is at 8am on the 24th, be there at 6am...bring on the tears, bring on the panic, this shit just got real.


Let's backtrack to Friday, August 13, where I was driving alone to Broward Meat & Fish, and about 1/2 way there I couldn't stop the tears, and realized I could barely breathe, and was having a major meltdown. I called my friend Conchita to see if she was home, drove to her house, and barely made it in the door, she helped me to a chair, gave me some CBD pills to ease my anxiety and I yelled, cried, and she held me while I to put it mildly, lost my mind. The big one that sets me off? If one more person tells me how strong I am, I'm going to scream. It sucks being strong all the time, sometimes you want to lose it, to be held, to not be strong. Yes, I am strong, and there is NOTHING I cannot do, but dammit, I have cancer, and am having a portion of my pancreas removed. I will be in the hospital for 4-6 days. I've never been in the hospital that long, and NO one is allowed to come in the building. PERIOD. Not before, not after, not at all. I am having major surgery during a pandemic, and it sucks. It sucks for me, for all the people who have been in this position over the past 1.5 years, for everyone that died alone.


And, so, with my friend I cracked. My friend whose son had brain cancer, who went through one of the toughest decades ever. Who am I to complain to her; I was there, in the hospital, at radiation treatment with him, fighting the school, fighting for him, at Gamma Knife Radiation when 3 surgeries failed. He's fantastic, 28, living his best life. Who am I to complain? But yet, she gave me permission to melt. A couple hours later, so grateful for this lady, I was able to leave, mostly in tact.


This is a journey, not a date, not a moment. All journeys, all adventures, are processes, ups and downs. You rise. You fall. You get back up, and move forward.


Sunday, 2 days post meltdown, we had a bbq. Just some close friends, a HUGE water slide, great food, but greater company. I was telling Kevin (Charlene's brother), as we looked at the boys on the slide, people laughing, talking, smiling, I wanted this - to see all this happy, I wanted the good stuff. He looked around and said "you're right, this is the good stuff".


When I'm laying in that hospital bed, I want to look at pictures, think back on the past 2 months, and smile, because I've killed it. I filled my time with an amazing road trip, a beautiful wedding in my backyard with my bonus son and his amazing wife, and a great barbeque with love, laughter, and yes, some alcohol😋, and I even took Natasha and my sister-in-law yesterday down to Everglades National Park where we had wine and lunch, and laughed and talked. Tomorrow I prep, today - church and lunch with the family, laundry, and some more happy.



Life is good. Make memories - because that, my crazy friends, is the GOOD STUFF!


Be blessed. Be a blessing. Always be crazy! Yours in adventure, CrazyLady!💜

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4 Comments


R J
R J
Aug 25, 2021

Beautiful photos and words Sandee. Prayers from manatee County- Rhiannon and Nate Mahon

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Sandee Hamilton
Sandee Hamilton
Aug 25, 2021
Replying to

Thank you so much. I covet the prayers and friendship! 😘

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Amen on making memories! Love is where life happens—not in the in-between spaces of fear, doubt, pain, and sorrow. Those unavoidable black holes serve their purposes, but love covers all. And you live in love. 💖

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Sandee Hamilton
Sandee Hamilton
Aug 25, 2021
Replying to

Thank you for being part of my tribe - my prayer warrior, my cousin, my friend. Love you. 💜

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