I’m determined to not let this cancer thing rule my life so that means that as much as I am able, I try to live a ‘normal’ life. That means that I avoid cancer-things, like this blog.

It’s my excuse, I just made it up and I think I’ll stick with it.

Update

After a one week delay to get a nasty little infection under control, yesterday I received my fourth and final treatment of my first course of chemo. Now, I’ll enjoy a two week mini-chemo-vacay before I start 12 weeks of weekly treatments with a second kind of medication. Truth be told, I’m a little scared of what the other medication will bring in terms of side effects:

  1. Nausea. With just a few mild exceptions, I’ve been able to keep this at bay thus far. I’m given anti-nausea medications by infusion just before they load me up with poison ((chemo)) and also two types of pills that I take on a daily basis. As long as I don’t allow myself to get hungry, I can keep the nausea away.
  2. Low blood counts. Same shit, different day.
  3. Hair loss. Can’t lose it if you ain’t got it, right?
  4. Diarrhea.  Maybe this will offset the anti-nausea medication’s side effect of constipation?  One can only hope.  ((TMI?))
  5. Edema.  Swelling of the hands or feetsies.
  6. Can affect liver function.  This means more blood work to monitor.
  7. Low blood pressure.  Obvi.
  8. Peripheral neuropathy.  Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet.  This one scares me. I’m a photographer.  Cameras and numb hands don’t mix.  To combat this, my evil-twin Lynn has found me an acupuncturist that works with another local cancer ((accredited)) that treats this side effect with good success.  Tiny needles don’t scare me.  Numbness does.

I’m a lot skurrr’d.

Change of subjects.  A happier one.  Maybe a little emo – deal with it.

Blessings

chemo cocktail

Purple Rain

Chemo day seems to really makes me stop and take stock.  As much as I try to avoid this cancer shit I refuse to let it swallow me whole. I can’t avoid it on chemo day.  Instead of wallowing in sadness, I count my blessings. My overwhelmingly-abundant blessings.  Read on –

Yesterday, after chemo, my friend Melissa sent me a text asking to see I was free for cocktails.  Well.  It was chemo day the only day I’ve allowed myself to booze it up and it just so happened that I was. Melissa is a treat. We’ve known each other for awhile but have really only begun to get to know each other over the past two years’ish and I love her. To bits! She’s officially in my kidney club.

During our cocktail hour conversation, the topic of blessings came up. I have a really hard time putting this into words without it sounding seriously jacked up – but I will try.

My cancer diagnosis is like a dark cloud.  

I’m a firm believer in the old saying that ‘each dark cloud has a silver lining’ you just have to look for it. It’s been how I’ve dealt with every roadblock, shitty circumstance or stumble throughout the course of my life – including this cancerous one.

Melissa snapped this of me after our lunch and wig shopping date on Saturday. Too much fun!

Melissa snapped this of me after our lunch and wig shopping date on Saturday. Juanita (the wig) comes with her own personality and flair.

This one though is different. This dark cloud has so much silver lining that there’s barely a speck of dark cloud present.  It’s through this tiny tumor that I’ve received an awe-inspiring amount of support and blessings. I had no idea that I had so many people that had my back. NO CLUE. So much that I’m beginning to count cancer as a blessing because it’s made me take stock, to slow down and appreciate the things that make me smile. Cancer has given me a change in perspective, something else to be grateful for.

Squishy n’shit,

Petra

 

 

 

For your viewing pleasure:  Christie and I during treatment

:) this girl makes me smile