And here I am, standing at the corner, wondering which way I will go. This time, I choose living.
I had chemo #3 on Monday, June 27. The actual treatment again went well. As with #2, we found that it is several days later that the effects get more interesting. Still, not nearly as bad as I expected. As is my m.o., I prepared for what I thought was the worst so that I could have the luxury of feeling pleasantly surprised and appropriately grateful that I remain very lucky in my experience. Frankly, not much surprises me anymore as far as side effects. Not sure it could get more weird. Condition du jour: my scalp as a chia pet. Don’t ask.
The fourth round of the dose intensive “AC” chemo drugs will be Monday, July 11, followed again by the two-week recovery period. The last week of July, I will start the weekly infusions of the “T” portion of the chemo schedule, the “AC-T” standard procedure for my cultivar of cancer, called a “triple negative” breast tumor due to its lack of hormone receptivity. I think they could come up with a better name, something a little more peppy and optimistic perhaps, but maybe that’s just me. I will receive 12 weekly “T” treatments, which puts us into October. Don remains a rock through the whole thing.
I will say that I am not able to think straight, not my strong suit anyway. This has been getting progressively more frustrating over the last five weeks. I wish I had written more posts weeks ago when many people gently reminded me that it would be a good idea. Maybe someday I can circle back.
In the meantime, I will try to convey this thought: the daunting shock and awe I initially felt when facing this little detour has evolved into a grateful, overwhelming awe at the continual flow of care, generosity, patience and unconditional love that has poured in from all directions. When I think about all that people have given me, I become a puddle. Not a bad reason to sniffle, in the scope of things. I am very lucky.
And with that, I’ll share one more absurdity of life: as I shed a few grateful tears writing this, I felt sand coming out of my eyes and realized that, for the first time, the skin on half of my face just started rubbing off. I had to say that nothing surprises me anymore…? No worries — kind souls saw my future and have already gifted plenty of lotion.
Love to all.
Oh, I had chemo (for estrogen-positive breast cancer) about the same time as you, from July until the day after the American election. Had the stuff that’s chemically related to mustard gas, turns your pee popsicle-orange and banishes your hair. Then the Paclitaxel (which made me so sleepy I didn’t hear my son practicing his clarinet right over my conked-out head). Two operations later (got to keep my breast, yay!) I’m doing radiation (no probs!) and my hair is returning. . .but I look like Little Orphant Annie stuck her finger in the electric socket. Hope you’re doing better.
Great stuff, Mrs. Bretl. No Chemo brain for you. Hang in there. You are doing great! Soon this will all be in your rear view mirror.
Linda Chatterjee said:
Chemo with free exfoliation treatment. Only in the best spas 😉 Sending hug and best wishes. Linda