I didn’t think the stroke was going to kill me; I was just pissed. Pissed because I could feel the symptoms wax and wane as the clot moved. Really pissed that the clot didn’t move on out and leave me like I normally was. It took lots of physical therapy and 2 years before the fog lifted and I felt pretty normal again. But I did get to the point where I felt pretty normal again.
When I got the diagnosis of cancer, I was left in a dark mood. I was convinced that this was what was going to kill me. I didn’t want to leave my daughter without a mom. I had dark dreams of trying to find a new wife for my husband, one that would love my daughter. But I was determined to do everything I could to make that day as far away as possible.
My Surgical Oncologist and Plastic surgeon kept telling me that I was going to get through this, and that I would be around to see grandkids. I was sceptical. But they at least convinced me I’d see her graduate highschool.
The original plan was mastectomy and radiation. But then one of the two sentinel nodes they removed came back positive. So chemo was in my future. Yay.
After surgery and recovery, I met my medical oncologist. He convinced me that I could get to a No Evidence of Disease state, although he used “Cured” which I don’t think is the appropriate term. I’m looking forward to that, although I realize what my chances of recurrence are.
My nadir was when I lost my hair. Not all of it fell out easily. I ended up feeling like a plucked chicken, with little pinfeathers still left. I shaved it at that point, just so I wouldn’t have to look at it in the mirror. I wore hats, mostly because my head was cold, but also it looked kind of like hair when I passed a mirror.
Right now, I have only one more chemo session, and plenty of radiation treatments ahead. Through all of the chemo, I felt like I was in limbo. The fatigue was awful. I didn’t want to plan anything because I didn’t know what I’d be capable of. I don’t think I left the house except to go to the chemo sessions, or talked to anyone except the cancer ward staff and patients.
Now I’m getting restless. I want my life back. I want to plan and be able to go to things again. I’m past the fatigue and I have a lot more energy. But I’ve developed neuropathy. I can’t feel the fingertips on one hand, and they feel like they’re about to go on the other hand. But it’s the feet that kill me. The bottoms of my feet feel like I’ve run a marathon in bad shoes, or that they’ve been beaten. Makes it hard to even hobble around sometimes.
Today, I get to go into my medical oncologist and find out what he’s recommending for radiation, how often, how long, what to expect. I just want to be done. I’m tired of how the expanders feel. I’m tired of feeling trapped in the house. I’m really tired of the neuropathy, especially when I know that it’s going to get worse before it gets better…if it gets better. It might not.
People kept telling me how brave I was, and that they could never do it. That’s bullshit. I’m not that brave, And you do it because you have to. I’m not going to close my eyes and pretend that everything is fine. That’s the surest path to looking for that new wife/mommy.
I wish I had better news of where my cancer path is at. I wish I felt better. But it is what it is.