I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the weekend. And now that the count down to Friday began, the reality that this is the count down to my last chemo! I can’t say I have mixed emotions or that it’s bitter sweet, which is what you usually think about when it’s the last of something. This is the last of something that I hope I never have to ever endure again, ever. Did I mention NEVER EVER!
When I was first diagnosed, had surgery, waiting for results, met with Dr. McCready, met with my Oncologist, that all seems like a lifetime ago. In someways, it really was a lifetime ago. as my life before cancer, is very different than my life after cancer. It will take a long time to find that balance again. I’ve tried really hard over these past 6 months not to have cancer overtake my life. But the reality is, that it has. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about it, how can I not. My wig and scarf or bald head is a constant reminder that there are some things I have no control over. My scars, my “badges” of cancer will always be there.
I remember going for my first chemo in April, scared, really not knowing what to expect. I was prepared with animal crackers, ginger ale, advil, tylenol, Poweraide, and every other thing that people told me I should have. They are all still sitting on my night table!
I’ve been lucky, I didn’t get many of the side affects from the chemo that I was sure I would get, Don’t get me wrong, what I did get wasn’t fun, but I know it could have been worse, I’m grateful that other than the feeling of being hit by a mack truck and having the life sucked out of me, I was otherwise ok!
I’ve learned a lot about myself, and realized that I am a lot stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. I learned a lot about the people around me, and felt more love from others than I could ever have imagined I would. I really am so grateful to so many friends and family. I have met the most incredible people during the past few months, people I never would have had it not been in for cancer. I’ve been blessed by such generosity by so many. So there has been some good through all this.
I got to throw the baseball out at the Blue Jays game, I was asked to speak at the PMCF news conference at the announcement for Dr. Tak Mak & Dr. Dennis Slamon’s new drug going to clinical trial. I met Dr. Slamon, the inventor on Herceptin. I like to think I was able to get other woman to go get their Mammograms by sharing my story. All these opportunities brought to me because of cancer.
I’ve learned even when I’m having a really crappy day, that the sun always rises the next day.
Today, my credentials for Weekend to End Woman’s Cancers arrived today, along with my daughters. My lanyard this year for the first time in the 11 years I’ve been walking, is pink. Taking it out of the envelope was bitter sweet. I earned this pink one, yet, it’s not a “stripe” I had wanted to earn. But I will wear it proudly, as I AM A SURVIVOR, and I will join a unique and incredible group of woman that exemplify such beauty and courage. Something that I truly didn’t completely understand how special these woman were until I became part of this incredible group. I only hope that I can inspire and give support to someone in the same situation, and pay it forward, and be there for someone just as so many were there for me.
I know I still have a long road ahead of me. After Friday, I will have 2 really crappy weeks, but those will be the last of the really crappy weeks, and slowly I will start to feel better. I still have radiation to go through, and I still have a year of Herceptin, In October, I’m going to be tested for the BRAC gene, And of course I will have more CT scans, and monitoring for many years.
But for right now, it’s all about Friday. One last chemo. Yay!! Hard to believe it, It seemed like it was so long ago that I started, I remember thinking, would this ever end. And here we are.
I couldn’t have done it without all the amazing support and love that surrounded me and continues to surround me everyday.
Bring it on Friday…let’s get this done, and move on…..