I had chemo today. It amazes me how much energy I have after chemo. I assume it is the steroids that they give me via IV before prior to the Taxol, a boost to carry me through. Based on this assumption, I am careful to rest. However, the fact that I am upright and an energetic participant in conversation is deceiving to those around me. I have been known to blurt out awkwardly, "You know, I had chemo today. Slow down."
Overall, I feel fine.This is one of the hardest parts of chemo. Nothing is dramatically wrong. I have an ache or pain here and there. Fatigue that randomly injects itself into my daily life. A picc line. But other than that, no outward symptoms. I do not walk down the street feeling like I have a sign over my head that says, "I have cancer. Help me. Feel sorry for me." Though sometimes that it is exactly what I want to do.
I know better than to let the "pity party" dictate my daily life. It is not good for my psyche, and I have too many who depend on me to be positive. And I say that because, I can see how my sadness affects them. When sullen moments become overwhelming, I tend to process my feelings internally, vent them in my support group and let myself get distracted in the basked attention that is being lavished on me and my family right now.
Hand in hand with these feelings, the immense feeling of guilt is another hard reality of my cancer recurrence. Through the years, I know I have not always made the best health choices for myself. Often, I contemplate what part neglecting my health has caused my cancer. Diet coke? Sugar? My epilepsy meds? I know that I will never know. I also know that it could have been any combination of things that have yet to be discovered. It could be even be a gene that they have not discovered yet. (I am BRACA 1 and 2 negative.) To let myself off of the hook, I rely on the messaging I learned in Weight Watchers and I do/have done the best I can for myself everyday. And if the best that I can is eating chocolate cake for breakfast, then that is OK (not that this is a regular practice). I know I have done the best that I can. Mostly, I hate watching my family and friends hurt and the thought that I could have done something to prevent their suffering, bothers me. And the emotional roller coaster moves along.
As far my treatment progress, I am waiting for second opinions. I have good leads and things are in motion. It looks like I will be seeing Dr. Sarah Boles at UCSD in the next two weeks. We are very excited as she is in process of designing a clinical trial for metascized, triple-negative breast cancer....which is exactly what I have.
On another note, next week, I have a break from chemo. This essentially means that I have two chemo-free weeks ahead. (Next treatment is 8/15.) Yay! We are celebrating my 40th birthday next weekend (my birthday is August 8). With no chemo, I intend to celebrate all week long. Because I like attention like that. The pity party is not welcome.