Two months have passed and, unfortunately, writing had been the last thing on my mind. I have had to put myself into a sort of “survival mode.” Waking up; going to the hospital; fighting fatigue in the afternoon; finally drifting off to sleep…this is what my days have looked like for the past two months. I’ll catch you up…
Two months ago I was told I needed five more weeks of radiation therapy and I prepared myself for the monotony of going to the hospital every day. Not long thereafter, my doctors recommended that, along with the radiation, I add some chemotherapy to accelerate the effectiveness of the radiation. Chemo had been on and off the table since I was diagnosed.
For most people, chemotherapy is a no-brainer, but for me, it is a bit of a risk. In 2012, when I had a relapse of Hodgkins Lymphoma, I had an stem cell transplant which left me with a compromised bone marrow. Chemotherapy impacts the proper functioning of the bone marrow of a healthy person, but for a person like me, it can have an even greater impact. In addition, radiation treatment hits 20-30% of my bone marrow. The dynamic duo of chemo and radiation caused my blood counts to tank. To paraphrase Ron Burgundy (of Anchorman fame), chemo “was a bad choice.” I landed in the hospital for a few days, transfusions followed, and treatment was put on hold. Eventually, my “team” decided to discontinue the chemo and I couldn’t move ahead with radiation until my blood counts came up. Fast forward…after seeing more doctors – as of today I’m up to six – and countless blood tests, my counts have started to rise on their own and radiation has resumed.
While I am relieved to be back on track, even having bursts of energy and glimpses of myself from time to time, I am exhausted. My motivation is sapped. My spirit and resilience are perpetually challenged. I even lost my taste for the grande white chocolate mocha with whipped cream. I know I’m still here somewhere, but I was brought to the bring of hopelessness and I am just starting to return. I’m not done yet, but I am cautiously optimistic that the worst has passed.
October 21, 2015 at 9:25 pm
So great to see you on the blog. Love your honesty and the vulnerability to share your challenge. You may have moments of losing your motivation but you continue to motivate me daily! Love you!
October 22, 2015 at 7:00 am
I am so glad you found it in you to write. I have been wondering how you are, and sorry that “how you are” is just about fresh-out-of-hell. Wishing you healing and restful rest, not just weary rest. And wishing you (having just read all the other blog posts) a great new line of fall shoes, too.
October 22, 2015 at 10:06 am
So happy to read your blog again. I am here rooting for you everyday. I, too
admire your candor and your efforts not to ‘prettify’ cancer’. While I admire
a lot about ‘Breast Cancer Month’, there is also stuff that sets my teeth on edge. Strangely enough, I recently read Patrick Kennedy’s new book which
is nothing about cancer. Despite some of his family’s strong disapproval, he writes candidly about his mental illness and addiction. He is my new hero. Maybe being truthful and honest about our own personal struggles
is a new trend – replacing platitudes, bromides, avoidance and other ‘solutions’ which have no real substance for the suffering person’s pain.
” The truth shall set you free” is more then a cliche. I know my daily
attempt to be a better listener is enhanced when someone speaks their
May you see more of ‘yourself daily’.