Written @ 7:30 am December 24, 2013
I lie here quietly trying not to disrupt my husband as he sleeps beside me. It is Christmas Eve day and the house remains quiet. The day will be filled with anticipation, excitement and preparation for Christmas tomorrow.
It doesn’t feel truly like Christmas to me yet however. Hoping the day will bring that magical feeling of contentment and joy that I equate with holiday spirit.
My energy is coming back as is my hair. I have fuzz growing all over my bald head. I am starting to feel a little like the old me. In fact I slip back into my old ways of wanting to conquer the world in a day and then fatigue snaps me back into place. I then succumb to being still and slowing down.
My brain is still quite foggy, I have to really concentrate and focus. The kids are all too familiar with my forgetfulness and my youngest says, ‘oh mommy it’s that chemo brain again isn’t it?’ Amazing how we have all just got used to my bald presence, my ever-changing moods, from weepy to impatience to very raw and messy moments.
I thank my family for loving me and supporting me. My 13 year old tells me I am cute when I look my worst. I love her for that.
I met with my oncologist this week and I have started Tamoxafin, which I will be on until I am 48. I will see her in 3 months and then 6 months after that. I am to assume I am cancer free. I am to carry on living healing, eating, and exercising and to reach out to her if anything is out of the ordinary or persists beyond the norm. No more needles.
It would be great to slap a big red bow around everything for Christmas and forget the last 6 months but that would be impossible. I think cancer will always be with me it has changed me. I never ever want it back in my body. I want to enjoy decades of Christmas mornings with my family and all of them cancer free. I hope Santa brings me peace of mind, as that is the last part of healing process, and I suspect it may take some time.
Written @ 5:30 am December 5, 2013
I am on day 15 of 21, this being my last chemo cycle and it feels like time has slowed to a crawl. Life is in slow motion. I yearn for the day that presents itself with no side effects. I feel as if my body is preparing for hibernation.
My fingers and toe nails feel as if they could peel off at any given moment. You can see the discolouration and pooling of what I imagine is or was chemo in my nail beds. My lips still feel swollen and my mouth is driving me crazy. As a foodie, I live to eat and it is disheartening when everything I eat tastes off. I find myself eating things just to try and get a different taste in my mouth. I yearn for even a short reprieve from the mucous metallic taste that overrides my taste buds.
My eyes have begun to weep non stop and the result is swollen red and dry eyes that hurt to the touch. I secretly believe this side effect is almost cathartic as I am overwhelmed by emotions daily and can cry at the drop of a hat. On a few occasions this week I have been crying but blamed it on my weeping eyes.
Since June 6 I have felt like I put on protective armour that allowed focus on one thing and that was becoming cancer free. I believe I have now met this goal yet I now have nothing left in me. I am raw. I am depleted. I am exhausted. I sit here going over what has happened and what still remains ahead and it is incredibly hard to wrap my head around the whole thing. The auto pilot mode I have been living in is still in full throttle.
Replacing the armour now is the fatigue that blankets over my body, lulling me and keeping me sedentary. This blanket sometimes calms my brain into a state of hibernation. Thoughts get muddled, short term memory is often skewed and simple and straight forward tasks feel daunting. I want to shut down and just sleep.
Then as sleep envelops my body, the hot flashes begin. I wake up with the covers kicked off, I am damp and beads of sweat form on my head. My body feels like an inferno. It is restless and is fighting the chemo induced hibernation. My body is at war with itself and I am a prisoner that can not escape the battle.