Wednesday, June 21, 2017

One and DONE!

19 weeks.
19 weeks ago I couldn't have imagined making it - let alone have any idea how it would feel to get to this point. With this Thursday behind me, I will have finished  my chemotherapy for breast cancer. I hope that it has killed the unwelcomed bastard and leaves no trace of it anywhere. That's my hope. and until surgery, that's all I have to go on -  hope.
With my upcoming surgery (scheduled for July 24), we will learn more about what -if anything - is left over from the chemo attack. We will know if the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes - and within that system, traveled to other places within my body - to lay dormant for possibly years before unveiling itself again. Ugh. Now, my worse nightmare - it coming back.

Few know that I've feared breast cancer for some time. Having what's termed as "dense breasts", since as long as I can remember, I've been focused on how they feel, new lumps, and any new soreness that can fluctuate with your monthly cycle and your diet. I gave up soda decades ago after my first scare with a lump that turned out to be nothing. My doctor had mentioned that carbonated beverages (or a lot of it as I was once known to start, fill and complete my day with plenty of diet coke) may increase the risk of breast soreness and or density. That's all I needed to hear - quit cold turkey. I haven't have soda since.
I have always been mindful of my daily "check ins" with my boobs. Making sure there wasn't any weird or different about them. Always mindful of my monthly self-exams. Always faithful to my annual mammograms. Focused like a laser on any odd or strange lump, pain, etc. Sigh…. All to say, check your boobs often and often. If you are going to get cancer (and for reasons unbeknownst to us, some of us get cancer for no reason) you want to be on the early end of this fight. Catch it early!
But here we are. Completing my 19 weeks of chemo for breast cancer. Shortly to be followed by a double mastectomy.

As my chemo day – tomorrow - nears, I get increasingly emotional about all of it. As an athlete often practices visualization as a part of their training to help them prepare for the race ahead - feeling yourself getting thru the tough spots in the course, seeing yourself finish - I have been visualizing the chemo IV being pulled from my medi-port for what I hope is the last time in my life.  I begin to cry. For all the reasons I tried to explain in last week's entry. Both good reasons and sad reasons. This is as much an emotional and physiological fight as it is a physical fight.

I need to see this particular finish line. I need to get there and to see past it. #OneAndDONE

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