I have been plugged in to politics, 30 Rock, HGTV and other assorted things on television. I spent almost two weeks in bed with side effects from this oral chemo and used television as a pacifier, entertainer and pal. What I have learned through this is I need to give my brain and my soul time to breathe. To decompress. To think about God, faith and healing. A good lesson and reminder to slow down and to tune in.
Changed it up a bit since eating has let me down. I am scared today because waiting on results from scans. Hoping not to get call from doctor because that is always bad news. Just hoping to get results tomorrow at regular doctor visit. It has been difficult…every ache and pain or new side effect is scary. I have many more things I want to do. Not ready yet. I am reaching out to God and trying to establish a closer relationship. Every day I hope it’s getting stronger.
It occurred to me that I have received one thing that I have asked for and struggled with my whole life. I wanted to lose weight, break my obsession with food, dieting and change my negative body image. Now taking the oral chemo drugs and the brain radiation has changed the taste and smell of food. My old favorites have no appeal. I have to force myself to eat now. Now that I have what I always wanted I don’t want it anymore. Another lesson in being OK in the present. Wasted years of not being happy or OK with the present.
I am finally coming out of the radiation and chemo fog. It was the worst I have felt since I was first diagnosed in October 2013. Being that physically sick definitely puts things in perspective. I am grateful that I feel like getting out of bed. That I can walk unassisted into the kitchen. That I can enjoy a cup of coffee. That I have allowed myself to have a mocha frappuccino from Starbucks when I feel like it. Back to paying attention and being grateful for the little things. Every day is a new day with another lesson. I just need to pay attention.
I got the news yesterday that another fellow metastatic breast cancer friend has died. There has been so much death lately among friends that I met at in Boston, Philadelphia, Chapel Hill, Wind River Retreats and Little Pink Houses of Hope Lake Tahoe. So many children, husbands, parents, brothers and sisters left behind. Strikes fear in my heart. It is a devastating disease. No getting around that. I will hold them close in my heart.
The side effects from the Whole Brain Radiation and the new oral chemo drugs have been brutal. I have been house bound and actually bed bound for about 3 weeks. I would never have gotten through all of this without my friends and you know who you are! I am finally feeling better. Low potassium levels were making me weak, confused and unsteady on my feet. I have learned to graciously accept help and look towards the the future to happier days.
I believe that the silver lining or the blessing that I have received since my cancer diagnosis in October 2013 is all the new friends I have made. The other blessing has been how much deeper the friendships I already have have become. I feel very comforted and supported through this difficult time. It makes my heart full to accept the help and support I have received over this time. The take away is reach out to others. Be kind. Show love.
I truly don’t know what my future is going to look like. Up until a few days ago I was existing – one foot in the grave. Serious and solemn all the time. Everything run through the filter of now I have cancer in my brain. I have slowly pulled myself away from the brink and I am doing my best to stay in the moment. To keep my spirits up and to be as light as possible. It is a true reminder that all anyone has is today. And we are to live as fully and as earnestly as we can.
I report to the Radiation Oncology department today at 3:25 for the first in a series of 15 brain radiations. I have been afraid of the cancer going to my brain and now here it is a reality. I don’t know what to expect but I feel up to it. Up until this news I was worried about lymphedema and neuropathy, I sure would take those problems back. It is all a matter of perspective. It has been humbling to have so many friends who are behind me on this new adventure. It is all about the love and connectedness. I am truly grateful.
The dreaded test results – the cancer has spread to the brain. That is the scariest thing I can think of. It’s so different from being in the liver or the bones. So now the new regime is 15 whole brain radiation treatments and hope it shrinks or completely kills the tumors. After that possibly gamma knife treatments for mop up of any small things left. One of the possible side effects is loss of cognitive function. The best oncologist ever said that since I wasn’t a moron I would possibly notice this. I got a real laugh out of that. Laughing in spite of crying. I am also on two drugs that pass through the blood brain barrier. Hopefully they will get after the cancer also.
I know this is a long post. Everything is flux right now. Things can change in an instant. Fear can swallow you up. But I have looked at this as a new hurdle that I will deal with one day at a time with help of faith, family, friends and of course the love of a little dog.