Killing with Chemo

How are things going? They’re going well.

This past chemo was the easiest session thus far. Why? Well, Zsolt and I have a few theories.

treatment seven

Theory one: Could they have reduced my dose? The doctor had mentioned something two weeks ago about a possible reduction in my dosage. I have mixed feelings on this, but better reduced dosage for one week than to get behind another treatment. Maybe this will give my blood the chance it needs to recover – even if it’s only a slight recovery. Anyhow, that is one theory. Next time we see the doctor we’ll ask if they changed something in the chemo plan.

Theory two: AC is wearing off. My God, AC chemotherapy is difficult. Not impossible – I’d like to stress this, it is not impossible to weather, but yes, it is difficult. A lot of rest is required.

This past treatment I was able to sit up on Friday and watch a little Channel 4od. Yesterday I went for a walk that lasted a good twenty minutes. Today we tidied the flat and did some groceries. I still get those waves of exhaustion and need to take breaks – after Saturday’s walk I crashed onto the bed. BUT just being able to do those things is such a drastic change. Could it be that the previous treatment is finally leaving my body?

Theory Three: Have I finally accepted my situation? Well, actually – will I ever accept my situation is a better question, though last Friday was a good switch in my mind. Thursday I’d gone in for my blood and felt that nervous tension, that same resentment for my situation. Then Friday morning Zsolt talked to me about how much he worries. Poor guy,  he started researching my chemo treatments, which led to him reading about stage 3 breast cancer, which got him onto reoccurrence topics and so on. This is why I avoid combining Google and key words searches for ‘breast cancer’. It’s just fucking depressing. Anyhow, he came to me with these worries and for a change it was my turn to comfort him.

“We’re going to be fine. We are fighting this cancer. We are doing everything we can. We will get through this.”

We are fighting. Chemotherapy is fighting. The idea clicked into my head, and that afternoon before leaving for treatment I didn’t punch out my fear of chemo; instead I punched to kill the fucking-fucking-fucking cancer that may still be in my body. It has no right to be here, and going to chemo is part of killing that cancer. And all throughout my treatment (walking into the ward, sitting in the chair, getting the dopy drug, waiting for the drips) I thought: I am killing this cancer. We are killing every last bit of this cancer.

Best treatment yet.

So whatever the reason. Reduced dosage, recovery from AC, acceptance of this method – whatever the reason, it was easier this time. No nausea and less exhaustion. Let’s hope it stays easier.

I can’t promise to always be friends with chemotherapy; it’s a process that is draining and difficult. But for Zsolt and for myself – I will use it as my weapon.

I have to get better. There’s no choice in this matter. I have to get better. 100% must.

So we fight, fight, and keep on fighting. Chemo is my weapon.

The good list

Here are some good things that have happened today.

One: I got out of bed. This sounds like a small event, but believe me – I was very, very tempted to stay between the sheets. It wasn’t about exhaustion, instead more about anxiety . . . so getting up was a big thing.

Two: Zsolt and I sent his permanent residence application off through DHL. Yay! After about two months carefully compiling evidence and documents and reference and everything, it’s finally on its way. Now comes the waiting game. Go Canada!

Three: I did the groceries – sort of. I did some groceries before booting it out of Waitrose due to some strange emotional freak out. Chemo drugs make me a little bit emotional. The fish counter lady handed me some wrapped salmon and I nearly broke down crying. My god, is pregnancy like this too?

Four: I rested. Man, I needed to rest. Plus, I drank several cups of nerve calming dark tea. Oh, thank goodness for strong tea.

Five: I went to work! Boosted up from relaxation and caffeine – I again got out of bed. Forget my mid-day freak outs and emotional overloads. Work was waiting, and I really wanted to be there. It was good to get out of the house and change my mind.

Six: I’m typing this post. Earlier today I thought about the things accomplished but couldn’t really be happy for them. Now, my mood is turning. Okay, sure, lately my mood is always turning – like a wave with its constant up and down, but at least it’s swelling toward an up right now.

So there is my list of things accomplished. It’s not always easy to celebrate, but at least there are times when my head clears. Today was a good day. They all are most often, even when my mood is low. The trick is in the list. Making the list; it helps.