No Mo' Chemo, No Mo' Problems (I hope)
Heyyy everybody. Sorry, I am mildly obsessed with Jason Biggs and his IG stories. So if you are watching them, you get it. If not, then put it on your to do list.
I digress. My last chemo. Wow. Who the fuck thought I would be here? Then again, who the fuck thought I would even have breast cancer at 36 years old? Not me. I started chemo on June 12, and here we are at October 12. 4 months of my life dedicated to not dying. And I don’t mean from cancer. I mean from the emotional stress, the fatigue, the bone pain, constipation, (sorry, but yeah) the acid reflux, the turned down invitations to fun events, the incessant waiting room games of “I spy” that Steve and I would play to pass the time. You get the idea.
While I am very fortunate that my chemo regimen was very tolerable, (It is called CMF ) it was also no walk in the park. (See all reasons above). That said, I recognize there are so many women out there undergoing hellish chemo regimens that have them in the chair for 3 hours plus, losing their hair, having terrible nausea. I will raise my tea mug to you, today.
Yesterday was honestly a bittersweet day for me. If you saw my social media, you would think otherwise. I had my posse there supporting me with chemo chameleons, and caramel apple lollipops, and hip hop dancing with my oncologist. The truth is, that is the highlight reel. What social media didn’t show is me breaking down to my oncologist moments before telling her how scared I was. The fact remains that while yes, essentially chemo is toxic chemicals killing every cell in its path whether it is the brave Handmaids; (good cells) to the Commanders, (asshole potentially bad cells) it is still your toxic security blanket. For 4 months, I was Linus carrying around my blue chemo security blanket, feeling like something was taking care of me. Albeit, a very abusive relationship, (cue Eminem’s “Love the Way you Lie.”) it was still something.
What my Oncologist reminded me of, and reminds me of all the time, is that we are doing so much preventively so that a recurrence does not occur. While that is never a guarantee, we are over here beating this shit. Let’s not forget I still have 5 long weeks of radiation therapy that will take place from Monday- Friday. After that, I will be on hormone therapy, which is a treatment option that is very successful, yet not all patients are susceptible. I am “grateful” that I am someone who will benefit.
These are all good things, right? Yet why am I still anxious? Because that is the name of the game. Cancer has brought me a lot of good things. From making new friends, to confidence, to better self care, to self awareness. Yet, Cancer is a motherfucker, deep down. It wants to break you, it wants to be the shitty ex boyfriend sliding into your DM’s telling you that you were nothing without him. It doesn’t want you to forget him. Truthfully, I will always think about recurrence. That is just apart of my new life now. I am working on accepting that, and remaining hopeful for the future. I am going to focus on the positive things that cancer gave me. Great new business opportunities working with companies like Survivornet, who are changing the game on the way we receive info about cancer. I also continue to build an amazing community of warriors and survivors who understand me. My sanity would not be the same without these people. I am learning more about myself everyday, and that has been the most incredible part of this journey. I am capable of more than I thought. When I was diagnosed, I was a broken mess thinking to myself I can’t possibly handle this. And here I am handling it. I continue to impress myself every single day.
To my fellow warriors and survivors who are all on such a different journey: I love you and we are in this fucked up fam for life now. Let’s hold hands and get after our lives.
To my friends and family: Thank you for the calls, emails, texts, gifts and overall mad support throughout this. I will continue to lean on you as my journey continues into my next phase.
To Steve Dyba: There aren’t even words. You are incredible. My sidekick for life.
I want to leave you with this, cancer: To the left, to the left. Everything you own in a box to the left.