Nope

Well the treatment I was on didn’t have the desired impact. The cancer has kept growing. I’m now onto a new chemo treatment and in 2 months it will be time for another CT scan. After that I don’t know. The problem, I reckon, is that the cancer isn’t just one thing – it is different types, even if they are all breast.

I feel helpless at the moment. Only got the news yesterday. It’s like… this stuff just doesn’t want to slow down. In a sense, I’m at the top of the CN Tower, and standing on that glass floor –suddenly realizing the ground beneath me is very, very far below….

Dr Canada says it is not time to give up. He says there’s still a fight to go. So, onto the next treatment and see what happens. See what drugs are coming out. Right now I can’t really digest all this – except the disappointment. We’re chewing on plenty of that. Truly, I thought it was going to work.

I know the empowered and active patient lives longer. But there are moments where I think we need (or at least I need) to lick the wounds. This is one of those moments. And then we’ll need to just keep going. Try new things. Push. But damn it, I could use good news!

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Anticipation

All I really want to do is look at beautiful things (like spring) and talk with wonderful people. I’d also love to go to Lake Balaton and have a wine spritzer by the water, while the sun sets across the water. And I’d like if there was a ‘forget this all’ pill that I could take for a few days.

Truth is, it would be easier if I could leave my emotions and thoughts behind, and just do what I really want to do. With all that is going on, the emotions don’t make this easy, so instead as I feel frustrated and sad, I daydream of things I’d like to do.

So let’s see…

I’d like to smile more for my husband, so he feels like everything is alright. 🙂

I’d like to sleep really, really well. Sleep like someone who is on vacation and feeling so safe.

I’d like to look in the mirror and see myself clearly.

I’d like to dance all night, outside, with friends and some great candle light. No mosquitoes!

I’d like to listen to Cat Stevens and Eric Clapton, which I’m actually doing – so there’s one realized!

I’d like to go shopping for summer dresses.

I’d like to have energy! That will come. Not for a while, yet.

I’d like to eat something deeply delicious.

I’d like a gluten-free grilled cheese sandwich from The Red Door (in Ottawa). To be done.

I’d like a non-dramatic, yet highly fun kids book to read.

I’d like to make something cool.

I’d like to pet a dog to which I’m not allergic. And give it a big hug. And then it can take a nap with me 🙂

I’d like to go to the Farmer’s Market and pick out beautiful food – and I’d like to bike there and back, too!

I’d like to do very little, and yet still accomplish something wonderful.

I’d like to learn how to paint with oil. (And I guess, l learn how to paint at all!)

I’d like to play the piano. Christmas music, specifically.

I’d like to sail on the Queen Mary.

I’d like to go for a picnic in the common.

I’d like to sing. (Which I do, but you know, it should be done more)

I’d like to sit in a kayak and marvel at the water.

I’d like to realize that I feel 100% myself again. I love those vivid moments of self that sneak up on you; when suddenly you are at your shining best, doing what you love, feeling in that ‘impossible to perfectly arrange but wonderful to realize’ way.

Ever feel that way – when you’re just living life and suddenly everything is so very right? Maybe it’s in the garden . . . or walking to the shop . . . or the touch of a warm breeze on a gorgeous day . . . or the way a dress brushes against your legs . . . or the first taste of a cool drink . . . or the sight of someone special walking towards you . . . and you know you are 100% yourself, 100% your most, in that moment.

I’d like that.

While life shouldn’t depend upon anticipation, sometimes it is a very important sustaining factor.

P.S. Things I get to do everyday:

See my amazing husband. Enjoy the company of my family. Think about friends and those far away. Be taken care of – and right now that is a BIG deal. Nap. So you know, it’s not all horrible stuff – it’s just . . . I can’t help daydreaming of the better days, which include these things, and so much more.

 

 

Chemo Eve Eve

My friends do this thing each year called Christmas Eve Eve – when everyone gathers at a bar/pub to have some drinks and just pause for a good time. It’s nice and I’ve loved going.

Well, tonight is my ‘chemo eve eve’. It’s far less jolly and eventful than Christmas celebrations – however, I did paint my nails this evening, which was an adventure. With my eyes being so messed up, trying to focus upon the thickness of the polish upon my nails was rather different. Things a few feet away aren’t so hard, but those very close up details do challenge me. The entire time I was working that paint brush with my cutiicles, I was narrating to Zsolt: “Can’t clearly see what I’m doing, but it’s going on. Oh! All over the finger. Okay, now for the other hand!”

It may have helped if it the room hadn’t been so dim. My Dad always says “don’t curse the darkness, turn on a light.” But as I was only cursing the nail polish, I forgot all about the lights.

But hey, this was the best part of my evening, and I was revelling in the ridiculousness. My nails are now a very dark blue/green, and they look like someone painted them with a translucent blindfold on. Which is somewhat true, at least in the case of my left eye.

ImNotGrumpy

new hair cut, pre-nail-painting

So chemo starts very soon. Chemo and the magic key to remission: HER2+ targeted drugs. I am both dreading the chemo side effects, and looking forward to getting the cancer under control. It has truly had its way with me these past few months. Unfortunately I now have spots alongside both eyes, and – ugh – in that layer between the skull and the brain. So pretty much skirting the brain, though perhaps technically in the brain. But at least it’s not in the essential tissue … and I would like to avoid any ‘yet’ with that statement, and just say we’ll radiate the heck out of them and blast them away. Or so I pray. Brain is bad bad bad news.

But eye on the prize – we’ll do chemo, and then at the same time, radiation. I don’t know if it will be a targeted radiation treatment or full brain. The lovely doctor I spoke with today said he needs to consult with a few other doctors first. Either way, it will make painting my nails in dim lighting with one wonky eye look like a total cakewalk. (Karen, next time I’ll give you a call!)

Here is a nice story, and it’s also why I think I will do much better this time around than 5 years ago when first diagnosis. Everyone I love is here. My husband is beside me, and my family are here for me, and my friends are never too far away either, even when I’m too tired to do anything but think of them. 🙂 Just this past weekend, my mom broke out the flip chart board, and my entire family brainstormed ways to help support me in beating back the cancer – getting to that golden word ‘remission’ (officially my new favourite word. I like it even more than ‘butter’ and ‘delicious’). This family gathering was the most touching thing you could see. And then, after all that brainstorming, we made a picture board together. 🙂

Mission remission. Get this damn cancer under control! I’m going big, because there’s no choice for going home – except if you are speaking literally, but let’s not muddy that up. I want the cancer gone. gone, gone, gone. May this Chemo eve eve mark the moment when everything starts going right. It needn’t be a shitty day – but instead a day that tips the scales, and gives my body the chance needed to regain control. Let’s pray on that, if you dig prayer. Otherwise maybe you can just nod your head and think: go for it.

Cheers to getting better. And to family. And to dark nail polish. And – oh! To a cute new pixie cut. It may only last a week, but at least that’s one week when I can rock this new look. (I may look a bit grumpy in this picture, but really I’m just exhausted. Cancer is exhausting.)

And now, it’s time for bed.

😛