Well, if you’re all keeping up with my shenanigans you know that last Thursday was treatment #5! To say that I was excited going into this round could be the understatement of the century. 3 weeks until I was to be done with chemo! 21 days until I can travel! And start growing my hair back, and have a friggin’ life again! But in most things i’ve found with having cancer there are always set backs. Most come because of the side effects the harsh treatment has on patients. Dehydration, exhaustion, infection, etc etc. But not me. As I blogged before my parents birthed a X-men. A mutant if you will! Someone who looks cancer and chemo in the face and says fuck off. (knock on wood) There has been no dehydration, no infection, and i’ve powered thru the most severe exhaustion. But set backs happen nonetheless. And mine happened because I have tolerated the treatment so well. Are you on the edge of your seat yet? Do you wanna know what happened? Well, let me set the stage for you. The normal treatment protocol for NHL patients is 6 rounds (8 being the very max) of some of the nastiest chemo around coupled maybe with a few rounds of radiation if necessary. But because of where my tumors are i’m not a candidate for radiation- go figure. So after I had my mid-chemo scan and The Kahuna tells me i’m progressing like a champion! His PA sets the expectation that i’ll have to have 6 rounds and then i’ll BE DONE! She (his PA) gives me the all clear to actually take a weekend trip with the Hubs! I set my sights on June 1st and we’re rolling! Until all that momentum came to a screeching hault last Thursday. I’m all whacked out on my pre-meds which seem to be hitting me harder and harder every time. So i’m crying because they make me feel like shit and impaired. I HATE the feeling of being impaired or not in control of my own person. And the Kahuna comes in at literally the most inopportune time and tells me that because i’m doing SO WELL he’d like to just power through all 8 treatments. Skreeech. Um….say what? Correct me if i’m wrong but I thought I just heard you say you want me to do all 8 rounds of chemo? And more tears start flowing. This can’t be happening. He proceeds to tell me (and this is still a bit hazy for me) that since I am tolerating the chemo and haven’t had any set backs that powering through all 8 will decrease my chances of a relapse. How much of a decrease I don’t really know. It’s on my list of things to ask him next time. But everything is contingent on my echo cardiogram and CT scan which will be done after my 6th round. This chemo is particularly nasty and causes thickening of the heart walls and jacks with your lung function so these tests are all precautionary to make sure the chemo isn’t doing serious damage. YET! But, my pre-chemo echo showed I had a perfectly healthy heart so i’m doubting there will be any big issues. He said not to freak out or get anxious until I see the results, but i’m basically looking at 2 more rounds….6 more weeks, 42 more days until i’m done. Yes, I do realize that in the grand scheme of things 42 days isn’t a long time…..and if it means that I can be cured from this bullshit then i’ll gladly do it! But this is annoying! The hair loss! The prednisone pudge! The exhaustion i’m experiencing is CAH-RAZY! I literally took 4 naps yesterday and went to bed at 9 and slept until 6:30am. I can’t just go hop on the fun bus for some Sunday shenanigans. I have to second guess every. single. thing. I do. Every. single. move. I. make. I can’t be outside for too long because I run the risk of getting a super nasty sunburn…..y’all think I was pale before! You should see my gams now! Eat this! No, don’t eat that. Look at how much sugar it has in it! How much water have you drank today? I have to juggle deciding whether or not to workout some nights or make dinner because I don’t have the energy to do both. If I do too much of something today how is it going to make me feel tomorrow? I’ve blown through more hand sanitizer than most people use in a year. If i’m at the grocery store picking up piddily things and I hear a person coughing I immediately turn around and sprint in the opposite direction. I can’t be around most of my friends because they have kiddos. And we all know kiddos are petri dishes of germs and I can’t run the risk of getting sick! Being isolated is exhausting! And it’s exhausting for my husband, too! WE had a life before all this happened. He had hobbies. I had hobbies. We did our own thing. And we had our things we did together. Now I need him all the time. Even if it’s just sitting on the couch while I pass out with the dog. I need him there. I don’t want to be by myself. It’s difficult to see my transition from a super independent person to someone who relies on her partner for EVERYTHING. And I know that’s what you’re supposed to do as a spouse. I get all that. In sickness and in health, right? He brings me Chipotle, and Dairy Queen (occasionally), and still pinches my saggy ass and tells me i’m pretty even though I have no more eye lashes and my head looks like a kiwi. He’s checking all the boxes. But my pride is still sometimes getting in the way. I’m the fixer. I’m not supposed to NEED anything! It sucks!
I know what you must be thinking…..this isn’t a huge deal. 6 more weeks of treatment for a bit more peace of mind that I won’t have a relapse. Lindsay, you’d be an idiot to refuse that. Yes, I know. And i’m not going to refuse it. But what you don’t understand is it’s difficult to mentally get your shit together when you FINALLY allowed yourself to get on cruise control. The finish line was in sight and I was SO close! I was still in fight mode, but it was wearing off day by day. I was FINALLY starting to visualize my life without cancer. I was even starting to plan my outfit for my last chemo treatment! But…..like most things in life there are always set backs. And it’s all about how you react to the setbacks I suppose. I had my meltdowns and now i’m putting my big girl pants back on to finish the job.
So, I didn’t see my shadow. I still have 6 more weeks of winter. So what. Shadows, like cameras, always seem to add a few lbs. I don’t need that shit anyway!