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Archive for September 18th, 2012

I think you probably know by now that I am an optimist, right? The glass is always half full, there is a reason behind everything, you can choose to be happy and make it happen, it will all work out in the end (somehow). Yes, like everyone else I hit road blocks, get frustrated, procrastinate and even whine (although I hate it) sometimes – and often this blog is where I let it out. It’s the optimist in me, though, that keeps me pushing and determined to just plow through anything (like, uh, cancer) that gets in my way. Why am I saying this? Because I know sometimes I am so determined and driven, that I can be blind to other things that I should take into consideration…

Today was week 3 of 12 weeks of Taxol, the second round of chemo. 25% there as Tara reminded me via text this morning. It went well. I remembered to take all my pre-meds (don’t ever intend to forget those again), they cut the benedryl in half, skipped some of the other onsite premeds, and I didn’t have any reaction during the Taxol. Tina and mom kept me laughing and we visited with someone from Dana-Farber working on a possible news pitch, so it went by really fast.

Then it was off to my final expansion. I’m as big as I will get – in fact, I will be a bit smaller when all is said and done because they make you go a bit bigger with the tissue expanders so that the skin will then relax naturally around the implants, which will be a bit smaller. So that surgery will be on January 2 – figure I will start the new year right: no more chemo, get on with the reconstruction and putting the horrors of this year behind me.

While I did crash for a few hours this afternoon, I am feeling much better. Yes, I am starting to feel some aches and pains and the fatigue, both of which they say will continue to increase each week, but for now all is really good. This drug is so much easier to recover from than the other two – and thank God no real nausea! Even my hair appears to be starting to grow – it’s a centimeter now! 🙂 Hopefully that will keep going and not start falling out again – we will see for sure in about two more weeks. But I have to keep in mind some other things, that aren’t so visible. Like the fact that because I am being treated every week, my blood counts will be down until December, so I need to be very careful. And I’ve been lucky so far with my nails, in that I still have them all but they are getting a bit discolored and hurting a bit, so have to go easy with them so they don’t fall off. Above all, I have to make myself go a bit easier and not push myself as much and as hard as when I was fine…

And that just isn’t easy. I want to stay late at work. I want to go out after work, whether it is for a run, meeting friends or on a date or dinner with Nick. I want to stay up late reading or writing or whatever. I want to run or at least walk the Newport half marathon that I signed up for in February before my diagnosis in March. I just have to remind myself sometimes I shouldn’t do ALL of those things ALL the time. I’ve always been one to burn the candle at both ends. Mom even wrote on the cover of my science book freshman year “all animals need some form of rest or they will die” or something like that – and because I ignored her, shortly after I got mono from sheer exhaustion and spent the next month sick in bed. (Listen to your mother, folks.)

So while I want to do so many things and act normal and not miss a thing, I need to constantly remind myself it’s a balancing act, and I am so sick of being sick, that I don’t want to do anything to elongate it. If I get a fever, I will land in the hospital. If I am sick, they will postpone chemo. And that means I will not be celebrating on Nov. 20. And depending how long I am sick, will be how long this damn thing drags out. And I DO NOT want chemo in 2013. 2013 is going to be MY YEAR and I don;’t want to share it with cancer. I want to be done.

So I will proceed with cautious optimism. I will do what I feel I can, I may push the limits some, but I will try to be smart about it. And I will try to listen to what my body (and my mother) tell me, unlike when I was 14…

I saw this on Facebook and just loved it – all good things to learn and remember…

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