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.