Friday, December 2, 2011

Grey Street

"...And she thinks...hey
How did I come to this?
I dreamed myself a thousand times around the world
But I can't get out of this place.
There's an emptiness inside her
And she'd do anything to fill it in
But all the colors mix together
To grey, 
and it breaks her heart....

She feels like kicking out all the windows
And setting fire to this life
She could change everything about her
Using colors bold and bright
But all the colors mix together
To grey.

And it breaks her heart."

~Dave Matthews Band "Grey Street"

Complete Estrogen withdrawal is like PMS times 1000. Or the worst post-partum depression you could imagine. Or both, mixed together with super anxiety bits and a bit of chemical warfare to top it all off.  I feel like I'm losing my mind.

I've reached a point where I just want to be done with THIS.  I don't think I can knit any more hats.  I'm tired of trying to make the long hours of every day bearable, tired of driving myself crazy with the "what happens when I'm done?" refrain that goes around and around in my head.  I'm closer to the end of the cell killing chemo than the beginning, but what I've realized is that it doesn't end there. There is more and more and more and each new thing brings a host of worries and fears and change.

I'm getting through it...just barely.   I checked out the local psychiatric hospital this week (it MORE than fulfilled it's duty of looking EXACTLY like a psychiatric hospital I would never want to stay at).  One week of group therapy is not going to help me.  A padded room and a month's worth of sedation sounds nice right now, though, but I haven't found any place around here offering that! 

I had my robo-boob expanded with 60cc's of saline on Monday.  The result is now I REALLY look like I'm in the process of a breast reconstruction.  I'm still unsure what I want this thing to look like in the end.  I've had my 10 day labs done, seen my therapist, forced myself to the gym for a verrrrry slow walk on the treadmill, and adjusted my anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds with my PA. After a mini reality check I realized that if I can't get it together myself, no one can. I know I need help sometimes. I know I need to get out more, brood less. Exercise more, worry less.  Plan some healthy meals, visit new babies, and keep up with my friends.  

This weekend I have a soccer game to watch, and my husband's family annual cookie party to attend.  

Monday, I have another "Muggle scan" MUGA scan that is.  I had my first before I started on the Adriamycin/Cytoxan round, and need another one now that I've started the Taxotere/Herceptin round.  The Adriamycin and the Herceptin can both damage the heart valves, so I have to get these periodically to make sure mine is not being damaged.  I'm still not totally clear on if they do find damage, if there is anything they can do to reverse it.  Another unknown for my big bag of things that SUCK and must therefore worry about at some point.

The following Monday, I have my 2nd treatment with Taxotere/Herceptin.  The side effects of this have been physically very mild.  The rash on my face came back and I'm missing a few more eyebrows, but it's nowhere near as powerful and uncomfortable physically as the first round of meds were.  I think that is probably part of the problem...feeling better than death leads to thinking about the future, but right now, every time I do that, I nearly's too too soon. I'm not ready to step back into my real life just yet.  I'm still trying to figure out what my real life is supposed to be.  I have the paper and the paints and the brushes, but I'm still too afraid to look at the picture that will be there when I turn the page.


  1. I can't wait to see you this weekend! HUGS!

  2. Lori, hang in there! You are stronger than you know.

  3. Loridarling,
    Your sheer will to survive is literally the definition of awesome. I can't help but think of gardening metaphors, seed cycles... and like a flower bloom that has gone to head you will again show new growth and tenacious rejuvenation come spring. Rest now. Grow again. Namaste.
    Love you,

  4. I can totally relate to how you feel about worrying what the future brings. I used to do it all the time. Mets and recurrence are my worst fear. What will I do? I CANNOT go through chemo again. I just can't. I read way too much on the internet for my own good and visit breast cancer calculators that tell me what my survival rate is. Not good. Do not do these things!

    I try to put it out of my mind. By planning my workouts and my meals, going to acupuncture, and checking out some alternative doctors, I feel more in control. Like I am doing something.

    You are stronger than you know! Love ya!!!! <3

  5. Lori,

    I would be more concerned if you were not thinking about the future and when will I feel normal again.

    You will get thru it all the same way you are now one day at a time. Don't worry about the things you have no control over yet, just those that you do today.

    You have a great husband and a beautiful son how love you very much and many friends who are supporting you in ways that you do not know. You are a stronger person than you think!

    You are half way thru this and now started your second half of treatment, everything is up hill now.

    Hang in there!

  6. It is hard not to worry about the future. But then I stop and think that no one has any guarantees. No one. Cancer or no cancer.

    Did you know there is a Lifetime movie (available on Netflix) about Dr. Denis Salmon and how he came about developing Herceptin and how he had to fight for funding for it? Very interesting movie and inspiring.


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