Days since start of “Journey”: 103
Days since “official” diagnosis: 59
Weight at start of “Journey”: 464 lbs
Current weight: 402 lbs
Total weight loss: 62 lbs
Treatments completed: 4 (dual chemotherapy drugs including Cyclophosphamide IV, Doxorubicin IV or “Red Devil”, and Neulasta)
Treatments remaining: 12 of Paclitaxel IV (Taxol) once a week for 12 weeks
Wednesday I finished my first four rounds of chemotherapy with the ending of the dual drug therapy. I can finally say goodbye to the “Red Devil” and the Neulasta (my White Blood Cell Booster) those two have always given me the worst of the side effects. At least this time, it’s only the pain and weakness that comes with it. Although I’ve heard mixed reviews of the side effects of the Taxol. I’ve heard that they can be worse than the “Red Devil” and then I’ve heard that they are easier than what I have experienced already.
But with this brings in a whole new phase of my journey. Now we start to do more scans to see if and how things have changed and start to prepare for surgery. I still have a lot of underlying fears deep within my heart; ones I try to keep within because I know if I start to give them a voice, then I think I will begin a spiral I do not wish to start. I do not want the fear to rule me any longer.
Wednesday when I went to see my doctor, he reminded me of how seriously sick I actually am. He told me that we have to be aggressive in our treatment. I looked at him and told him, “I’m here. I have not missed any treatments, nor will I. I’m not giving up. I’m fighting this one.”
He then looked at me and told me that I was looking really good and that all of my blood work was coming back good. He said I had a very good chance of beating this. That was the vote of confidence I needed. Although I still have those inner fears, I can now cling to those words of my doctor for hope. He of all people should know. He has seen the weight loss and isn’t worried about it. He said with my size, my weight loss isn’t a bad thing, as long as I am not trying to lose the weight. But I have to be honest…I really want to get to that 1oo lbs. mark. To finally get below 400 lbs. would be so wonderful…and to get to the 100 lbs. loss mark would be amazing. My only prayer is that when this is over, I do not go back to the way I was. I do not want this weight loss to be in vain.
Although I have been trying to be more creative in my time. I’m trying to find small ways to keep my mind busy, whether it’s with puzzles, painting, writing letters, or even just sketching some ideas down; with my brain constantly going through all of the facts and statistics of people like me, I need something to keep my mind off of everything. Besides it helps me to be just me. When I’m drawing or painting, I become just “Cyndy”…I’m not “Cyndy the Cancer Patient”. I feel normal for a while. And that is something I have been longing for is just one day to just be myself.
That is one thing I have come to realize. Once you are diagnosed with cancer, it seems to take control of your life. You become so engrossed in all of the tests, scans, needle pokes, doctor appointments, surgery (either before or after chemotherapy), chemotherapy and radiation appointments…soon you start to actually notice how many commercials are on that pertain to cancer. You start to notice all of the little things that you would have written off before, but now wonder if it is because of the cancer or just because of regular aches and pains. Every time you try to just behave normally; make plans, go out shopping, go out to dinner, one of those dreaded side effects hits you while you are in the middle. For me it is usually the weakness. I’m usually okay, and then it just seems as though all of my energy is sucked out.
I’ve noticed I’ve become colder too. Usually I am one who is always warm or hot, but now I am usually the first to become cold. I’m sure this is because of my body adjusting to things and also fighting for its own life.
As I’ve been going through this new turn in my life brought to me by the cancer, I have learned so much about myself. I have made the decision to love more and to forgive more. I have decided that there is no point in holding onto grudges or anger, life is too precious for that. No longer do I want to be angry or argue, to me those are wasted emotions; love is the most important emotion.