Back on the chemotherapy schedule. Which, in a way, isn't all that bad. At least I'm not in a waiting period. And there's something vaguely comforting about being 'active' in this fight. I know we are beating down the last cancer cells that may be floating around. And I'm very expectant and hopeful that my next PET scan following this three months will be clean. Then I can finally consider myself done with this first part. I can start making plans on my own time, rather than working around cancer's schedule.
I know how to work around this every other week chemo thing. Done it once before, so I know I can make it through it all again. Already noticing a tiny drop in energy, but that will ebb and flow with the on/off weeks. The biggest key is just allowing myself to sleep as much as my body needs. Which is a lot more than usual. I have to remind myself that it isn't 'wasted time,' but is important and part of my work. Time to really listen to my body again and let it take the lead.
Other than the tiredness, which truly is the part I dislike the most, the other really annoying thing about the chemo is the pump I carry around for two days each treatment. I have recognized a change in my relationship with the chemo pump however. Last March I had to carry it around for five days at a time, and I tended to hang it around my waist and try to hide it and pretend it wasn't there. It was a constant weight and annoyance. In the summer when it was a two day carry around, I just slung it across one shoulder like a purse. Not only is it hard to hide with sundresses, but I didn't care as much. And in quiet times when I would hear it go off, I would say "thank you chemotherapy." It seemed to help me accept the process that much better. This first week I've already found myself whispering that often to my pump. Only this time around I found myself saying, "thank you chemotherapy for killing all the cancer." I've added to the mantra.
This is how the fight works. It isn't always easy and sometimes it sucks a little (sometimes more). But I have made it through everything so far in pretty good flying colors I'd say. I'll make it through this last part and then I win. I'm alive and actually pretty well all things considered. So I can learn to appreciate the pump and the process. A doctor friend of mine was just telling me last night that attitude can make a huge, clear difference in health and recovery. Maybe that has helped make all of this year plus go as well as it has. Whatever the reasons, I'm keeping my positive attitude in full gear through this last stretch. And I'd like to extend a big "thank you" to everyone for smiling along with me throughout this time.