Hold on for one more day

This past Friday, I was once again a patron of the chemo ward. As you may or may not recall from previous posts, although I am technically done the chemotherapy part of my treatment, I still need to receive infusions every three weeks for one year. This is because I have an aggressive form of breast cancer, and there is an antibody that was created specifically to target this type of cancer. It has been referred to as “the most important advance in breast cancer therapy in 30 years.” Although it’s a bummer to have over a year of infusions, it’s a small price to pay to help increase the odds that I will be alive and kicking a few years from now. I am very grateful to be receiving this therapy, and to be part of a clinical trial involving another targeted drug. In conclusion, science is awesome.

My treatment this round went fairly smoothly. The only time I started to cry was when I was watching another young woman cry who was having trouble getting her IV started. I hate watching other people in pain. And despite the amazing nurses and staff at the hospital, the chemo ward can still be a fairly unsettling place to spend your time. Sometimes I see people who look as though they are about two steps from death’s door. I often feel like I don’t belong. Did someone make a mistake? Do I really have cancer? It still hits me like a punch in the gut sometimes. I don’t know if I will ever get used to being part of this world. I don’t think I want to get used to it.

I have been having some pretty severe muscle pains and stomach issues. But compared to how I usually feel right now during my chemo cycles, my energy is definitely about a million times better, as is my state of mind, so I’m very hopeful that the next year will not be as rough as the past several months have been. I am really praying that the worst is behind me.

Last week, my blog and I were featured on the website She Does The City. I am always very flattered every time someone contacts me asking if they can publish one of my posts or have me write something for them. When I first started this blog, I had no idea that it would spread the way it has or that it would actually create any type of impact. I have had many people write to me, telling me that I have helped them feel less alone while they are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, and these types of messages help give some sort of meaning to this absurd journey I have been on. Considering how isolated I have been, I have made so many connections with all sorts of people. Writing and having people urging me to write has truly been one of the only upshots of this experience. Something providing me with a purpose. So I suppose I should thank the internet, and modern day communication. And thank everyone who reads and reaches out to me and tells me I am doing something helpful during a very scary and very challenging time in my life.

Today I declared that I felt strong enough for some “cancer dancing” and danced around to  various cheesy songs until I felt that my limbs were about to fall off. I was bouncing around for about fifteen minutes, which is fifteen minutes longer than I could stand a few weeks ago. And I didn’t fall down, despite the pain in my legs. An insignificant event for most. A major accomplishment for little ol’ me.


That’s my sister with me in the video. What’s the point in embarrassing yourself if you can’t take someone else down with you? Also, the scarf on my head was forgotten by a friend at my house one night, accidentally. Moral of the story: if you leave something in my home, it will most likely end up on my head.

throwback thursday

When you wake up one day
and big chunks of your hair are falling out
because you’ve had your first dose of chemotherapy
and your chest aches
and it is hard to move freely
because you’ve had your breasts removed
and you have ugly scars all over the place
and you know everything is about to get a lot worse
you can crawl into the corner and put a bag over your head and scream

or you can put on a really cheesy pop song
and dance really poorly
even though your plastic surgeon would probably not be too pleased

Sometimes, you just make a choice.

Huffington, hairs, and hearts, oh my

Thanks for all the love from my last post. Sometimes before I click the “publish” button, I start to doubt myself and worry that I might come off sounding a bit too angry or a bit too sarcastic that day. And then, ultimately, a voice that says who gives a s— gets in my head, and I click the button and hope for the best. Turns out people tend to react quite positively when I am at my most blunt and honest. So I thank you for that, and consequently, I will try to not doubt myself in those moments where I am feeling particularly truthful.

Here is a summary of my past week, for those who are interested in that kind of thing.

  • Hung out with some nice lady friends where we talked non-cancer things and ate delicious pizza, the remainder of which I ate the next morning for breakfast (Judge me at your own risk.)
  • Blasted songs from The Lion King with my sister and then danced around to some P!nk song. Both bizarre choices, yet very therapeutic nonetheless
  • Had a nice visit with a friend from out of town and discovered we both have the same belief that cats are evil and trying to kill us
  • Watched Silver Linings Playbook. Two thumbs up
  • Got completely sucked into the American Idol auditions and all of the I’m an orphan with three children and I have cancer and lost my leg and my dog is blind and I’m deaf but I’m still singing anyway type of stories. I love it. I can’t help it
  • Started losing my eyebrow hairs and some lashes, although most are being stubborn and hanging in there for now, so I give them an A for effort
  • Realized showering when you’re bald is much easier than showering when you’re not bald. So that’s something
  • Got some back/spinal bone pain which is an unfortunate side effect of an injection I receive to give my white blood cells a boost. Nothing ventured, nothing gained
  • Had another heart echo test where I got to hear my heart beat very loudly, which I think had a pretty solid horror movie beat to it, if anyone needs me for any sound effects in the future
  • Was invited to publish my blogs on the Huffington Post, the first of which appeared a couple days ago, enabling thousands more people to suggest magical cures for my cancer
  • Had two doctor’s appointments which I had hoped would be helpful, but left me feeling more frustrated and stressed than I had been in a while
  • Got home after appointment #2 and sobbed and had a pity party of one and maybe punched a thing or two (No humans were harmed.)
  • Received this handmade card from a very kind person who doesn’t even know me. Turns out it was just the reminder I needed: