For years I have tried defining what “normal” is. Is there even a such thing? Not sure when but, I came to the conclusion that we all have our own “norm”. And what each person considers to be normal can obviously be at two total different ends of the spectrum. We are all soldiers in our own battles.
I can say this battle I am facing , breast cancer, is one of the hardest I have yet to face! Definitely one of the most emotional and straining things I have ever faced. Not only physically, mentally even financially. Cancer loves to kick you when you are already down. When it rains, oh does it pour!! All you can do is bounce back!
First I had surgery, a double mastectomy (both of my breasts removed). And expanders placed to expand my skin to the size of breasts that I want. Seeing such a sight I knew would be so overwhelming. I chose not to look at them until I was 3 weeks post operation. For many reasons. And now after going back and looking at the pictures it all makes sense. When I look at the 2 week picture only a week earlier I can not believe the difference. I still have more surgeries to come and lots to face but, I am marking each step a check off the calendar and that helps! As I say cancer has changed me. My breasts have never been something I would ever photo and share with a soul. This was once out of my zone until now. But, if it helps even one person, my negative is now positive. So for those judging, get your head right!
That is how this thing works. Basically how many things in life should be viewed. Today I am not where I want to be, but each day I get closer and I fight even harder. I fight to stay strong and to stay positive. To know that this too, it shall pass. I have faith that I will beat this. I have hope in the fight.
Today, 6 weeks post operation, 21 days sense first chemo and also marking off my second a/c treatment, I can say I have came so far in this journey. Half of my first round of chemo – the red devil treatments are over! (AC is the name of a chemotherapy combination. It includes the drugs: A – adriamycin (doxorubicin) C – cyclophosphamide.) Adriamycin is my first treatment on chemo day, also known as the “red devil” and if you refer to picture, you will see why. A nurse gets on protective clothing, gloves and mask when injecting this manually into port. Very intimidating. As well as the red pee that is passed until this passes through. Next I have the cyclophosphamide. It is clear goes through an IV in my port and takes about an hour.
The chemo was not as bad as the unknown and the leading up to. My fear of needles and blood will most likely never go away. I have learned to close my eyes and turn away. The pain is momentarily. It’s the thought of the port connected to my vein and the needles going in that are constant and bother some and I am learning to control those thoughts as well.
I have decided not to allow chemo or cancer to control me. I control me. Mind over matter. It can have my boobs which tried to kill me. It can even have my hair! I just want it gone and my life back!! I try to wake up with a good attitude and do a little something with myself. Mind over matter. After chemo I have set a goal to drink 2 gallons of water. That poison has done it’s work. I want it out of me and flushed as quick as I can!
Don’t get me wrong this is no walk in the park and there are days I cry. And I just cry some more. Sometimes I cry until I can’t cry. But, that let’s things out. I don’t let the sadness consume me or take over. I let it out and make room for happiness. It isn’t easy, but nothing that is worth fighting for is ever easy!
My life is definitely worth fighting for!! As is everyone else’s who is fightig a battle of their own. Attitude and perspective are everything.
Each battle is different yet we share many of the same feelings. My hair loss began on day 15 after my first treatment. I let it come out in handfuls for several days before I couldn’t handle seeing the thin hair and bald spots. Day 19 I allowed my daughter to use scissors and cut it as short as possible. Day 20 I woke up and shaved it. What a relief!
No I am not pleased or feel like me when I look in the mirror. But, I am not the old me. Cancer has changed me. Changed so much on not only the outside but, the inside as well. Learning to be grateful for the simple things and for every moment I have here is a huge step to helping learn that this too shall pass.
So when you feel alone or as if you can’t go on or maybe you feel as though you have no purpose, remember why you began this battle. Know just because chemo or hair loss made someone else feel one way, that doesn’t mean it will be your destiny. Don’t set yourself up for a negative outcome. Mind over matter!!!