It's funny how far away "next week" can feel when you're feeling like poo ... or when "next week" is your vacation. Then suddenly, next week is here - and I feel better. And I look back and think to myself, where did last week go?
This infusion period is very different than the first round. No aches or pains this time through, just the fatigue. No anxiety attack or fever, just a lazy weekend spent waiting for a fever that never came. GI side effects were more noticeable this time around, but nothing a Fiber One bar couldn't cure. The breakout I had this time - I think came from wearing my hats. It was just on my forehead and scalp -- irritation from the various types of yarn my crochet hats are made from. And - thankfully - like round 1, no irritation in my mouth except the burnt taste buds. Dairy and sweet flavors - all wonderful things for my waistline - taste good. Salads tasted bitter last time and I haven't yet tried them this time through. I'm waiting until things start to taste good again and then I'll swap out some of those dairy laden foods for a salad. I'll keep the ice cream though. It's a must.
I was poking around the breastcancer.org forums and it always astonishes me at what I find. Perhaps it's because the experiences are so "bad" that the contributors are compelled to air them out somewhere - but I'm always caught off guard at how bad it is for some women. Am I just that lucky? Or did I just ask enough questions that I'm not surprised when something happens? Or is it as simple as I paid attention to what the doctor's were telling me? I read along in a forum that discussed my type of chemo regiment - the cytoxan and taxotere, 4 times over 12 weeks - and found a recent post by a woman who was in her early 40s who was getting ready to start her treatment. I instantly felt compelled to respond to her post. I wanted her to know - that amidst all of these "scary" stories, there is one that wasn't scary. There is one woman who isn't having it so bad. That I'm here, going through it - living with it - just fine.
I try to remember that the women who post their gripes and scary stories all over forums are so affected by their treatment, that they almost have no choice but to post. That they must feel so helpless and frustrated and alone ... that by posting into cyberspace, they're actually asking for a sympathetic response. They're looking for someone - anyone - a sister and stranger - to reply and validate them. To tell them that they aren't alone.
I can't express how lucky I am, to have the support system I have. My family and friends are more than amazing and more than supportive and are holding me up through this. They're making this whole process, not so bad.
I was telling Mike the other night that I was feeling a little insecure about going out with my girlfriends this coming Friday night. I'm going to be the girl in the scarf in a group of young women out for a night on the town. It will be the first time since I've shaved my head that I'm going out "out" - with the girls - out for a fun night. But after reading those forums today - I'm okay with it. I'm thankful I'm feeling well enough to be able to go out with my friends. So I'll be covering my head - oh well. There are worse things.