Well, that's a surprise...
Oh my goodness, chemo is almost done.
I thought when I reached this point in treatment I’d be ecstatic and relieved. But I’ve noticed something strange. Instead of experiencing those elated emotions, I’m having some of the same feelings I experienced when I was first diagnosed. And what a surprise.
I’ve been working towards completing treatment for so long. This whole thing started back in March. MARCH! That was so long ago. I know, in the big picture, it’s a blip in time. But right now, deep in it, it feels like a really long time. Surgery, horrible chemo treatments, the side effects, all the drugs to combat the side effects, then the manageable chemo treatments. I’m almost there- the finish line is in sight. And what am I feeling? I’m scared.
What if, after ALL of this, the cancer isn’t gone? My thoughts go to those microscopic cells that they found in my lymph nodes after the surgery. The doctors decided they didn’t need to remove my lymph nodes because the chemo should kill them off. But what if that didn’t work and the cells got to other parts of my body?
And I begin to wonder about that spot on my back. My PET scan before the surgery showed breast cancer and a ’suspicious’ area on my spine. In the end, the doctors determined it was inflammation, but they were unsure. What if that is something?
All this time, I’d imagined that when I got to the end of my treatments I’d be feeling confident, ready for my new lease on life. But fear- man, she just swooped right in and is beating me down!
Is this my fate for the next several years? My surgical oncologist said that the hormone blockers I’ll take after chemo are, in her mind, more important than the chemo because my cancer was fed by estrogen and progesterone. So will the next several years be a waiting game to see if they’re working?
And dang! Why are these the thoughts intruding my head space?
All my bitching and moaning through this process and I really just want to be able to live. And figure out what my next chapters are. And witness my boys get older and grow and learn and love and laugh.
You know those really tender moments that, on a rare occasion, we get to experience with our kids? The ones that may appear minute to anyone else, but are etched in our memories for a lifetime? I had one of those recently with my older son. It happened in the middle of one of those regular days- the crazy busy, boring, monotonous, exciting, routine, extraordinary days we have. He was in the shower singing his one solo line from an upcoming performance. Up until that moment, this particular performance wasn’t a big deal to him. But something clicked for him and he must’ve gotten nervous because he kept singing the solo line over and over again.
He didn’t know it, but I sat out in the living room and cried. Picturing him feeling insecure about his voice and dealing with the nerves that were coming up for him, working through it on his own…it was too much for me. It offered a small glimpse of his sweet, tender side. Those moments, seeing the soft, true essence of my beautiful son, that’s what I live for. I get to witness my boys experiencing their lives and grappling with their stuff. I get to be there for them, to support them and love on them. So when he came out of the shower, I matter of factly mentioned how great he sounded, hoping I could provide some comfort and confidence. I just LOVE those moments.
And I want to be here for as many as I can possibly experience. Even though I bitch and moan. Even though I feel lost and I’m unsure how I’m contributing and serving. Even though I may not feel good. I want to be here.
I’m just saying… I sure hope this chemo thing worked.