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.
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:
- 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.
- Low blood counts. Same shit, different day.
- Hair loss. Can’t lose it if you ain’t got it, right?
- Diarrhea. Maybe this will offset the anti-nausea medication’s side effect of constipation? One can only hope. ((TMI?))
- Edema. Swelling of the hands or feetsies.
- Can affect liver function. This means more blood work to monitor.
- Low blood pressure. Obvi.
- 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.
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.
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.
For your viewing pleasure: Christie and I during treatment
this girl makes me smile