Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Sometimes I think that I'm breaking down...."

"and other times I think that I'm fine
But something got into my engine
It slowed me down
Now I gotta turn this whole thing around."
~Poe "Dolphin"

The worst of my chemo is finally over.  I'm done.  I feel like I should be relieved, but the truth is that I still have 10 more months of IV therapy with Herceptin, which will hopefully keep the aggressive, invasive, recurring thing that I have in my body in check.  In a few more weeks I'll add Tamoxifen, and expect to go into full menopause for the next 5 years, something I have already experienced through the first round of chemo drugs that I received.

On Feb 22, I'll be getting the roboboob out and replaced with the 'permanent' one.  I use "" because, the implants only last 10-15 years, so I can expect to need tune-ups from time to time, or if I gain a lot of weight I'll need to redo it to even out.  So even though I can hype it up that I'm done with chemo, which is of course a big deal, it by no means means I'm done with dealing with this cancer. My hair is starting to grow back on the sides and in the back, on top though, so I still can't get away with not wearing a hat when I go out in public.  I can't really tell what it will end up looking like, I don't really care, I'd just like to start looking a little more normal again.  I'm down to about 4 eyebrows on each side, and still just little tiny eyelashes that do nothing to protect my eyes-they are constantly watering.

I have a date with my oncologist on Valentines day- that is my first treatment of Herceptin alone. I should be relatively quick...only about 30 minutes to infuse, plus the doctor visit, compared to 4-5 hours for the chemo before.

I've been working with my Long Term Disability company, I've been on it since January 1st and they provided me an attorney group to help me apply for Social Security Disability.  I'm not sure if I qualify or not, so we'll see what happens.  I had lunch with my supervisor and told her I thought end of April is a good point to think about my return to work.  Hopefully I will have enough hair by then to go to work without a hat.

I am in a strange place at the moment.  I've been feeling very tired and unmotivated these last few weeks, after a flurry of activity which I thought would carry on.  But the motivation wound down some, and now I'm back to feeling that little edgy panic in the back of my brain whenever I think about returning to the world of the living.  Just like I couldn't imagine what chemo would be like, I can't seem to imagine me back into my old life, doing the same things I did before I was diagnosed.   A lot of it just seems pointless.

I really thought that I would have had an epiphany before now, something that would change my life for the better, but all that's happened is that I've had 2 dear friends having to deal with horrible health challenges, and now it's MY turn to feel helpless and sad that I can't do anything to make things better for them..

I haven't really felt the motivation to write lately, I've been listening to a lot of music and knitting.  I also went through the whole Harry Potter series, AGAIN.  But they are safe for me to read, and now my son and hubs are also reading the series for the very first time.  This is fun for me as they tell me where they are and how different from the movies they are.

I've been slacking on my practice as well, limited to a few forward bends and leg stretches to undo the hours of sitting and knitting, plus back and chest stretches to keep my roboboob from turning me into the hunchback of Notre Dame.

I realize now is the time for me to start living again, use my limited remaining time off for personal improvement- gym, yoga whatever, but I haven't had the impetus to start it.

I know I'll get through this, I'm hoping the reconstruction surgery will trigger something in me to get my life back together, because right now it seems to be unraveling a bit.  However, endeavor on I must, what other choice to I have?


  1. Hey. Remember to find beauty in the mundane...even parent/teacher conferences! *hug*

  2. hey pixie - it's taken me years to recover from the fog of chemotherapy. your edginess around returning to "the world of the living" is totally understandable - but don't forget you're still amidst it! since you have a child, i will pass on this helpful advice: treat yourself like you would your own son. be kind, and gentle, and understanding, and compassionate. it takes time, and all the strength you'll be able to muster, just to come around to some semblance of normalcy. hang in there!


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