This is all so strange. How do I find myself here? I’m not quite sure what is worse, not knowing what is wrong with me or finding out I have stage 4 cancer. So much seems like a blur. You feel like you have to rush, but you don’t, you can take a little time to breathe. I want to share my diagnosis with my very close friends, but I don’t want anyone else to know. I want to feel “normal” I want to be treated normal and I don’t want to have to explain to everyone. I don’t want everyone feeling sorry for me and asking how I am. I don’t want anyone looking at me with pity. Like I said, “I’m not dead yet” and people don’t understand, heck I don’t understand!
Some of the things I am beginning to understand is this stage 4 thing is just what they call it when you have cancer in more than one place such as breast and bone. It does not mean you are on your way out. My doctor says it is very manageable. She says the chemotherapy should take care of most everything and I will be treated with hormone therapy and close monitoring after. Whew!
Chemotherapy is very scary! I prepared for the worst. I brought barf buckets with me wherever I went, I purchased Immodium, I was preparing to be very sick for 3 months. The chemo infusion centers can be very cold so bring a blanket, some water, a snack,( because it takes forever!) and a good book or in my case a sketch pad and pencils. Now everyone reacts differently and has different treatments, but as awful as it was, it wasn’t that bad. I could deal with this since it is going to save my life.
I was horrified at the thought of getting a port, this is a little device they implant in your upper chest near your collar bone, to take blood and give you your treatments through. After being poked and prodded for a month with the bruises to show it, I decided it was worth getting one put in. What a life saver! This thing was so worth it! Even though the minor surgery caused me extensive bruising, again due to my almost none existent platelets. I’m so happy to have it.
My treatment was Taxol and I was to get it once a week for twelve weeks. The first few weeks were a breeze, I actually felt much better! Surprise! No nausea, no vomiting, my back pain subsided. I was tired and achy but I had been for a while now. By January my hair started to fall out so I shaved my head. I have lots of hats I was looking forward to wearing. The way chemo works is, it attacks any rapidly growing cells which include hair and nails as well as cancer. I thought I could rock a bald head, Tank Girl can do it! Not so much. Every time I would catch myself in the mirror it reminded me that I was sick. And with the weight gain from the steroids well, let me just say, it’s hard to feel awesome and sexy when your bloated and bald!