Sometimes I feel lost, trapped between worlds. One world is my old world – where I thought that I was happy and healthy. I was a bit wrong about that. One world is my “sick” world where I don’t feel well and I don’t feel like doing anything. The heat and humidity is not helping with that. And the last world is, hopefully, my new world. My new world is a place where I am as healthy as I can be and happy. I want to be in that world. I struggle on exactly how I will get to that world. I can’t really go back to doing things they way I used to do them – I was clearly too stressed and unnecessarily so. Balancing work and family still seems hard to me. Although, I have decided to make some specific changes. For example, I plan to meditate at work. This is something that I would have never done before but I don’t see why I can’t take 15 minutes in my day, perhaps right after I teach, to chill and re-group. I’m actually really excited about this new plan. I have my own quiet office, so why not. I hope to get more yoga sessions in at work and I hope to just be more relaxed. Some things are not worth that amount of attention that I have them, negative attention that is. I will spend more time focused on my children and less on work. Work will always be there. My children will grow and I want to be there to watch them. Well, I started my post feeling quite tired. I think that I’ll head off for a walk now.
I received a call yesterday regarding the Tumor Board meeting. They have decided to order a new PET scan and an ultrasound of the lymph nodes on the left side following my final chemo infusion. This is all interesting to me but it again makes me anxious. I want to do everything that I can to remain cancer free. However, I’m tired and I’m not really interested in 6 1/2 weeks of radiation to my lymph nodes. The radiation will be hard on me, my family, and work. I like the idea of having more information so that I can be more involved in the decision. If the PET scan is not clean – that would be quite bad since it was clean before chemo. The ultrasound will be useful to clarify why the lymph nodes on the left side were hypermetabolic the first time (cancer or a reaction to the mastectomy that I had just had). Regardless, I will have to wait a few weeks for the new information.
I did manage to run 3 actual miles yesterday although it was incredibly hard. But it felt good. I have a little bit of Taxal flush face today but no bone pain yet. That might show up later today.
So, I have been thinking about items that the doctors’ keep mentioning. That is, my 5-10 years of potentially being cancer free. That is all good, of course, however this all implies that it will be back and I will have to do this again. It may also not be as successful the next time (assuming that it is successful now). This is a hard thing to swallow. I’m still not sure how to go about this. Bury my head in the sand and pretend all is good and that I will be around for 50 more years? Or be more realistic. Make plans for that not being the case. It seems that the “enjoy today” motto is a happier place to be and a positive mental state. But, I am a planner. I make plans. These two things just collide and I feel a bit stuck. The only thing I feel like I can do right now is to try to change everything I can for the better. Do everything I can to lengthen the 5-10 year plan. De-stress my 5-10 years. Enjoy my 5-10 years. Try not to worry about those years that extend far out in the future. I’ll have to deal with them when I get there.
My daughter’s birthday has come and gone. I am so happy to have had another birthday with her and I’m hoping for many more. She had a lot of fun and is now overtired. I am also for all of the family who were able to help her celebrate in one way or another. She also started soccer camp yesterday, along with my son, but she falsely believed I would be at lunch. Sadly, I could not join her at lunch because I had TH infusion #3. So far so good. My Mom was here to drive and entertain me during the infusion. It is wonderful having her around. I miss her when she is away. I’m doing what I can to avoid the joint and muscle pain by taking claratin and magnesium. I am also scheduled for a neulasta shot this morning to avoid the big drop in white cell counts that I experienced during the first TH infusion. Although I am blabbing on and on now, I’ll mention that the T is really hard on the nails. My nails are so gross. They are discolored and I feel as though they might fall off. The skin around my toes – not cool either. Believe it or not, I was told to put Vic’s Vapo Rub on them. So, I am trying that. I’ve also got a new foot cream thanks to my mother-in-law. Ahh…. it never gets old. Well, yes it does actually. Hopefully, just 1 more T infusion to go.
Back to the oncologist today. My blood work all looks very good. I even earned an A+ for my protein levels. I handled the second TH treatment much better than the first one and, thus, we are going to go forward with the additional two doses. I can’t say that I am overly excited by this. But, I do feel pretty good (although, tired of course) and I am already bald. So, I figure let’s just get this over with. We also discussed when I would begin radiation and I mentioned that my surgeon was not convinced that I needed radiation at all. My oncologist indicated that she would bring this up in Tumor Board and that the radiation oncologist would have the best advice there. My oncologist also indicated that I’m welcome to seek different opinions and that I should gather as much information as I can so that I can make my decision. Hmm…. I’ll probably do radiation. I generally do what I’m told to do anyway. I’ll have to consider the risks again but I do actually want to live cancer free for as long as possible. Although, I did notice that doctors do tend to put years on how long they think that I will be cancer free and it generally seems a lot lower than I would like (5-10 years). I’m rambling but I guess this is now considered chronic. I have cancer but they think it will come back. Great. I suppose I will have to prove them wrong then.
It has been a pretty good week. My bone pain is gone although my mouth pain lingers. I’m more tired than I want to be but what can you do? I’ve been to yoga twice this week and managed to run 2 miles today. My little girl won numerous awards at school today including reading over 500 books this school year and being a Character Kid in May. Although I’m pretty darn afraid of germs (due to lower white cell counts) I’ve very pleased that I went to her award ceremony today. Her smile still warms my heart! My son asked me to meet him at the bus stop today and I did that too. I love how excited he was to see me there. I love them more than they will ever know and I will beat cancer for them.
So, I actually made my own food today. I have been relying very heavily on others to make me food and I do appreciate it but it does make me feel pretty lazy. Today I made a family favorite – breakfast cookies (and stuck in extra chia and flax seeds 🙂 ) and I am also currently making my own granola for tomorrow morning. This may not seem like much of an accomplishment but to me it is. It is hard to explain to others how incredibly tired I get. I look at tasks all around me. Tasks that should be done. Tasks that a mom should do but I just don’t do them. I don’t have the energy. Well, little by little I hope to add them back. This round of chemo was a little easier on my body than last time so hopefully the energy levels will respond similarly. Now, if I can get the littlest one in the shower and to bed on time I will be pleased.