“To be clear, I am still very stressed with all the things I have to put in place before the surgery. But as my big sis said, not everything is going to be done by then. (Thanks Michele!) There may be more course changes in the future. That’s ok. I learned this weekend that the best thing to do in the Cancer Lane, is to take pause and,
Savor the journey…
I wrote that entry last December as I was preparing for an emergency double mastectomy when I found out that my cancer had grown back. Ironically, the words still apply today! Who would have guessed that exactly a year later, I would still be in the Cancer Lane, grappling with the idea that I will ALWAYS be fighting this disease. It has been a rough 3 weeks, with emotions all over the place, not to mention the physical challenges. Let’s start there.
I am in the throws of chemo. It is not “as bad” as the chemo I endured last year. What does that mean? It means that I can get out of bed after 36 hours as opposed to 4 days. It means that my hair hasn’t fallen out yet. I have been walking 2 to 3 miles, a few times a week with my friends. I couldn’t do that before. On the other hand, my taste buds are shot. My nails and tongue are turning black. I am achy and tired. I started having nosebleeds, excessive bruising and dizziness. That led to a platelet transfusion. My numbers were supposed to be in the 275k range. Mine were in the 30k range. That’s a problem. My blood couldn’t clot. Today I am going in for 5 hours for blood transfusions. Lovely.
Did I mention that I now have a port again?
New Port scar
Surgery was better this time around. My doctor did a great job of not strapping my head down too hard, or just throwing me up on the table. (That’s probably because I said ”please don’t just throw me up on the table!”) But while I am sore, I can at least move my neck. Last time, it took a few weeks. I have gotten suggestions to name my port. So I am thinking on that and will let you know!
At the end of the day, I am mourning the loss of feeling HEALTHY. That feeling is a fleeting memory. I feel physically broken and like Frankenstein. Yes, I am still here, and able to hug Big and Lil B. But it makes me sad when they hesitate before they hug me, for fear they will hurt me.
2012 Holiday Party!
This weekend someone told me not to have a “pity party”. So ironic, because I am not that chick. I recognize that I COULD be, if I wanted. I think I have earned that moment. But most of the last few weeks, it has been almost the opposite. As I make every effort not to rearrange Lil B’s life too much, it almost seems like things are relatively normal. In fact, I think we were living in a bubble for a few weeks! No one was crying. We were still doing stuff! Holiday parties, play dates, hanging with Lizzie and Lucy when they came to visit from Philly! We kept trucking!
But then Lil B wrote a letter to Santa asking for me to be well. Then Lil B wrote a letter to Santa asking for a certain gift. She wanted Santa to get it for her because she knew Mommy and Daddy had Mayo bills. Do you hear my heart breaking? This emotional cliff was exacerbated by the fact that I started creating videos for Lil B. I have done 6 so far. They have been fun topics like the importance of girlfriends, foreign language and taking care of your hair. But then I watched Parenthood, where the main character does a “goodbye” video to her kids. She captured everything I wanted, everything I needed to say in 5 minutes. It was then that my bubble burst. It was then that I realized I needed to do the same. But frankly, I haven’t had the emotional stability to do that. So I cried. I talked to Michele. I cried some more. I thought of Lil B watching those videos and cried.
Sunday, I went to my monthly Coalition of Blacks against Breast Cancer meeting and was fine until I was asked what was my 2013 cancer goal.
“To live through 2013.”
That was all I could muster.
Since then, I have gathered myself once more. Lil B is looking forward to a “normal” Christmas, and we plan to give it to her. Hopefully, these transfusions will give me energy. I think it is time for some even BIGGER Big Girl Panties.
Whatever 2013 brings our family, I am going to follow my advice from 2011 and…Savor the Journey.