I received a lot of really kind and encouraging messages after my last post. I know a lot of people out there are concerned about me and I didn’t really have the energy to respond at the time. So I wanted to check in with my faithful followers and let you all know:
In fact, I am doing quite well, both emotionally and physically. As quickly as the sickness and misery from the chemo seems to hit me each time, there is also this wonderful break where I bounce back and wake up from the nightmare. Each time, it gets a bit worse, and each time, I am in such agony and my emotions become completely warped (especially this last time, which I attribute to the high dose of steroids I was on) and I don’t believe it will ever end. This past round, I was convinced that I was dying and would never see a good day again, despite what anyone told me. The combination of feeling awful and being on strong drugs really does crazy things to an otherwise (mostly) sound mind.
But sure enough, it passed, and I didn’t even notice it happen. The puffiness in my face and bloating in my stomach seemed to go down, which I was thrilled about, as I had convinced myself I was becoming obese from laying in bed too much. But I now believe it was steroid-induced, so that’s certainly a nice treat. The idea of being fat and bald had me feeling a bit down.
I also have been gaining my energy back, which feels great. In fact, on Friday, I went on a mission with the help of my mother and decided to redecorate my bedroom. I spent four hours shopping, which I really believe was some sort of miracle. I only had to lie down on a floor model bed very briefly. And I didn’t pass out at Walmart, which is also amazing, as I typically want to pass out in Walmarts even when I am in perfect health. I also helped carry my new nightstands up the stairs, which was quite a feat, considering I couldn’t even get myself up the stairs at this time last week. I set everything up on my own and felt like the most productive chemo patient in the universe.
The next day, I spent another several hours on my feet, throwing out loads of crap that had piled up in my home over the years. Old makeup, expired cold medicine, receipts. The types of things you just ignore for too long, making it progressively more difficult to tackle as time goes on. I went on a complete rampage, tossing things out and reorganizing. I don’t know where the motivation came from. I suppose having less clutter makes my brain feel less cluttered. And as you all know, I have a lot going on in my brain, so any mental space I can free up is a big help right now.
When I feel better like I do now, with only a few side effects present as opposed to several, it is hard to accept that I have to endure another round. I was hanging on by a thread a mere few days ago. Why would any rational person continually subject themselves to that kind of torture, when they know precisely what will happen?
I suppose, the answer, is that the alternative is worse. So, there’s that.
Friday is my last chemo. You’d think I would be excited, knowing it’s the end of this chapter, but I’m not. It’s not like I finish up the day and suddenly feel super. I still have to go through the suffering that comes after. I still have to drop all the way to the bottom once again and wonder how long I will stay there. I also am afraid to let myself get excited. To feel complacent. I am scared to let my guard down and believe that things really might start to look up. To get easier. What if it’s not really the end? What if I have an early recurrence? What if they throw me right back into chemo? What if, what if?
But for now, I’m not going to bother with that. For now, I’m not going to think about Friday and the week following it. For now, I’m feeling good. Almost like a normal human being. And in my peculiar case, that is certainly something to celebrate.
33 thoughts on “I feel better”
Hi Steph, I’m not sure if you get responses from old blog posts but i just wanted you to know how much I am enjoying reading through your blog. I discovered you in January right after I was diagnosed. I have only been reading up to the posts where my treatment is the same as yours. I am 45 (44 when diagnosed) so i am several years older than you but i am amazed at how much you write exactly what i am feeling. I just finished my last chemo 3 weeks ago. Still waiting for metal mouth and nausea to go away. I am really enjoying your blog. You make me laugh. Thank you.
Thanks so much for writing Tiffany! I’m so glad I can help in some small way. Congrats on getting through chemo. It’s a big accomplishment! You’ll be feeling better before you know it. All the best.
Steph, thank you so much . You just made me feel so good to hear how great you are feelin.g You look just beautiful,your room is beautiful and you have just one more time for your chemo. You are a joy to see and I love hearing about you. We are in your corner. Love Sher an Rho from RI
The new bedroom is super!!! Congrats on getting rid of the clutter – we all need to do that. You are in my thoughts. xxxxxxooooo
You are so funny about wanting to pass out in Walmart even on a good day!! Keep your sense of humor, it has definitely saved my sanity! I also went through the cleaning/purging stage. I think when you get cancer, there are so few things you can control so we take charge of the things we can! I finally got around to organizing pictures I’ve had in boxes and envelopes for years, cleaned out all the kitchen cabinets, threw away all the spices and bought new ones and that was in the first month!! Good Luck on Friday I will be praying and sending you positive energy! K
uncle jack[john] aunt Fran want you to know how much we love and think about you. As you know Aunt Fran from Soo Ste Marie was brought up in the Catholic faiith but since we have been married almost 50 years why the hell should i ask her to be a Jew as i am. Somehow it all worked out 3 beautiful children,6 grandchildren was 7 but we lost Olivia at birth 17 tears ago,reason for all this is simply to tell you we have prayers for you all over the map and all the love that goes with that. Love to you as always stay strong and fight like hell ,you are going to be okay,to our beautiful neice Unc Jack aunt fran.
I am so happy that you are feeling better and spent a great day with your Mom redecorating your bedroom. Your Dad is right You are a Beauty!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you get through the next round of chemo with the least amount of side effects. Happy Passover to you and your Family!!!!!
Steph, Soooooooo Glad to read this update!!! The bedroom is awesome and cozy! thinking of you! Love, Helene xoxo
you are such a strong person. I have been following your blog and am in awe of you. I wish you nothing but good health and a calm road to travel on
Stephania! So now you are an incredible talented writer and interior designer!!! The bedroom looks amazing. I love the POC (pop of color as we say in my trade). So proud of your for going for a project and completing it with perfection. Glad you are feeling better and staying strong. Miss you and will be sending you a treat very soon so keep your eyes open. Much love.
Oh Steph you look great. My mom felt the same way when she got the chemo. In fact she refused the last treatment it was so awful. But you are young and beautiful and you have so much to live for. Maybe you won’t feel so badly, maybe this time will be easier. And only put into the universe that your health is the utmost importance to you and you won’t accept the cancer back. Period. I want to know where you got the headboard. Very nice
It’s from West Elm! I got it during their boxing week sale. I was feeling pretty crappy but I will do almost anything for a good sale. Luckily, furniture stores are ideal for me right now because there are lots of places to sit or lie down 🙂
Wow – YOU ARE DOING PESACH CLEANING!!! (I believe that these energies come around every time we celebrate holidays, so this is why you got the strength and desire to purge yourself of accumulative stuff and it feels so good.) Either way I am so glad you are feeling better and it’s amazing how therapeutic getting rid of stuff you don’t need can be ❤ LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
The bedroom is beautiful and so are you….hang in there….it’s almost over 🙂 Lots of love and support from your cousins in Laguna Beach…XOXOXOXOXOX
Yahoooooo!!! So happy you are feeling better. Love it!
I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better and that you had a bit of normal in you life this past week. I love the pilllows on your bed!
I would love to send you a little something from Vancouver, so please email me with your address.
Sending you lots of happy thoughts,
Thanks for the update Steph. I’m happy to hear that you are feeling better! You look amazing despite what you’ve been through. Stay strong for your last chemo! Thinking of you this Friday. Big hugs!
It was wonderful to read about your improved health, both mental and physical. I worked as an administrator at Brandeis University for 17 years, and three years ago my department head was diagnosed with a very rare form of lymphoma, so rare that there wasn’t a protocol for treating it. She also underwent rounds of treatment that left her feeling very sick and was in isolation for a month; only her husband could visit her in the hospital and he had to be gowned from head to toe each time. The good (great) news is that she has been in remission for nearly two years. She looks and feels really good and just returned from a week-long conference in Mexico, her first such trip since her cancer was diagnosed. So I hope for you the same results as she had–returned good health and the expectation of many, many more healthy years to come.
Hugs, Marilyn (your cousin from Massachusetts)
Stay strong the worst is behind you. Saying a little prayer for you this morning.
What nice news to wake up to this morning. Glad to hear you are on the upswing (and so sorry you had such a rotten time before it)…. one more to go – you can do this!! Especially now that you have a beautiful, uncluttered bedroom and the accompanying uncluttered mind. Hold on to the good positive optimistic feeling you have today, store it in a corner of your brain (there is lots of room now) so you can believe in it if/when you need it next week. And I agree with everyone else – you are totally gorgeous. Maybe hair is underrated – at least when there is true beauty underneath.
Thank you Marcia for that nice comment! Throughout all of this, I am blown away by the kindness of strangers, more than anything…
Ohhh…very model home”ish”! The room looks amazing, and so are you!!
I am very happy to read you are feeling better. I get sick in Walmart every time I am there and I don’t have Cancer. I don’t know how you were in there. lol
I just got a new bed and cleaned my room and it is an amazing feeling. I actually put all my clothes away after doing laundry (something new that I haven’t done since I lived at Rhoda & Sherwin’s house!)
Enjoy this week, I hope the sun comes out and you have sometime outside. It sure has been a nasty and cold winter.
Send my love to all my favorite cousins! XOXOXOXO
Steph, that photo of you is beautiful. You are rocking the bald look like a diva. I’m very glad you are feeling awesome right now and we’ll be thinking of you after Friday and the week after.
We have the same comforter/pillow cases. Stop stealing my swag.
Oh yah, forgot to tell you, with my sudden burst of energy, I ran over to your place and stole your bed linens. Hope that’s okay.
Love you Hertzy. Keep rocking out. Wicked new bedroom!!
So so glad to see you are feeling better! Your room looks fantastic.
a) You’re f*cking beautiful it almost hurts my eyes (but in the way the sun hurts your eyes because it’s THAT glorious).
b) VERY VERY happy to hear you’re being so productive and feeling good…can’t wait to hear about lots and lots more days like this.
c) Sending you KISSES xoxxx and can’t wait to see you again hopefully soon…you still owe me a movie date;)
I spent the day purging today as well. I spent 3 hours going through the obscene amount of clothes that I have stored in my closet. I have determined since being diagnosed with cancer, materials things are just that….things. Why keep all of the extra crap that you always told yourself one day you would wear. Well guess what? That one day is here and those days are now cancer filled. There’s really nothing you need in that closet that you can’t live without. That’s one of the lessons of cancer. Stuff doesn’t matter. Life matters. Thankfully I’m able to donate my 3 hour purge to a sale that is raising money for cancer research. Makes it all come full circle. I’m so glad you are feeling better. Chemo can mess with your psyche. One day you’re good and the next the bottom has fallen out. Good luck this week with your last infusion. Your bedroom makeover is yummy! Xoxo Michele
Thanks Michele! I was in the midst of doing a clothing donation pile as well but got sidetracked, so hopefully I’ll get to that this week. I love donating my clothes because I get to do a good deed and also clear up space in my dresser for new clothes. Win-win. Thanks for commenting, I know we don’t know each other but I appreciate hearing from you and hope you’re doing well, wherever you’re at in your cancer recovery.
So glad to hear you’re feeling better. You are so strong and I am truly in awe of the strength you have displayed through all of this. You’re an inspiration. I love reading your updates and am thinking of you.
Glad to hear you are feeling better, at least for a bit of time before your next Chemo. Your new bed looks gorgeous and classy!! Enjoy! We love your updates, both up and down, and we are cheering you on!