Monday, May 26, 2014

The Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 2

The past few days have been incredibly hard. There have been some dark moments where I am waiting for the sun to rise and a new day to begin. A new day promising to be one step closer to regaining strength and feeling better. Each day, each treatment brings me further towards being cancer-free. Is it easy? Absolutely not. Do I try to remain positive, every single day. But there are seconds and there are minutes where I hate cancer, I hate how it's changed my life and how it makes me feel. Just when I think that I can predict the pattern that my chemotherapy treatments will take, something changes and what was manageable becomes harder and I lose just a little bit of control. And I hate that. I hope that as a new day dawns tomorrow that the worst of this round is behind me. I have been struggling with great fatigue, achy joints and bone/jaw pain. I have been sapped of energy and even simple tasks drain me. I am sleeping a great deal with the aid of pain medication and anti-nausea pills, which leave me groggy and drowsy. But, with the bad and the ugly, I can always find the good, the positives that I can take away with this treatment.

The Good: I am one quarter of the way finished. 3 out of 12 treatments completed. Each one is getting me closer to the finish line. My arm where the Picc line is, is no longer painful. The aspirin a day seems to be helping with the blood clots. I have another ultrasound scheduled at the hospital tomorrow for Dr. Stevens to check on how it appears. I have hope that it will be good news. I am fortunate that I have not been plagued with a great deal of nausea or vomiting. It has been much more tolerable than I expected it to be. There are other things to look forward to this week. Visting my best friend J, who is expecting a sweet baby, with my dear girlfriends is something I can't wait for. To be surrounded by those women who know me and where I came from, that laughter will be the best medicine for me. I will also have the opportunity to watch Jordan at the Divisional Track Meet, something that doesn't often happen due to my work and scheduling of provincial testing. I continue to embrace these wonderful opportunities and blessings that arise from being at home during treatment. Thank you to the wonderful friends who visited last week, a coffee, a lunch of soup and salad, a smoothie, stories from school, a note from a student, all ways that my friends are rallying to care for me. I thank you.

The Bad: My hair is coming out much more this past round of treatment. While I am ready with an awesome wig and scarves, I am not sure how much preparation can really help one adjust to this. I hope to embrace it with humour and grace but will need to rely on my friends and loved ones to help me smile and face this change.

The Ugly: The pattern of my treatment is becoming predictable, I am able to prepare for the fatigue, tiredness, insomnia that comes first. Followed by sore mouth and teeth. Followed by body aches and exhaustion and constipation. I am well-equipped and the doctors are taking wonderful care of me, I appreciate all the suggestions from everyone and am beginning to figure out what works and how to best care for the side effects. It hasn't been easy but I know that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

And so I move forward...there is sunshine, there are new flowers emerging in my garden. I look forward to the sun rising with each new day, reminding me that there are better days ahead. I love each and everyone of you who make my days and nights comforting and filled with hope.

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