Eight weeks out

thumbnail_zForestBaFantacySaturday, September 1, 2019. Tomorrow marks 8 weeks since my last chemo treatment and 4 weeks since my last post. This has been a time of healing and recovery for me. As a matter of fact, it occurred to me as I was drifting off to sleep the other night that I’ve been unconsciously trying to distance myself from cancer. To not have it fill every moment of every day. To just be me in the moment enjoying my retirement and my improving health. In reality, not an hour goes by that the cancer isn’t fully present. All I have to do is glance in a mirror and it is jarringly apparent.

I don’t know when the day will come that cancer won’t be a part of my ongoing inner conversation. I’m guessing that until I reach that magical five-year milestone, it will be the enemy I am continually on the lookout for. Even after that, there will always be the war wounds of this experience to remind me of my vulnerability to this disease—the 5-inch long scar under my arm and the one-inch scar on my chest marking where my port was located. This journey has permanently changed me, as I knew it would.

My hair is just now starting to grow back after the Adriamycin…much slower than it did when I finished the carboplatin/taxol. My concentration is improving. I actually read a book from beginning to end, my first since treatments began last January. My strength and stamina are improving, but I still poop out pretty quickly. Food tastes good again, and the last I checked I was only 2 pounds away from my 95-pound goal.

I’m self-conscious when I go out in public, because I still look like a cancer patient. It is even harder for me to face groups of acquaintances and friends at art show openings or other events, mainly because it’s exhausting to even think about answering everyone’s questions and concerns about my health knowing the first topic of conversation will be about my cancer. How can it not be? If the shoe were on the other foot, I’d do the same.

In the big picture, I’m better than I’ve been in nearly a year. I’m hopeful. I’m optimistic. I’ve had and continue to enjoy incredible support and love—a gift I’m more grateful for than anyone can ever know. So thank you.

I did see Dr. Rugo on August 21 for my 6-week follow-up. She was very happy with my progress but disappointed I had opted out of radiation. However, she understood how hard the chemo was on me and that I desperately need recovery time. She asked me to not dismiss the idea completely, but to keep the topic open for discussion at our next meeting in late November.

I’m not sure when I’ll post again. Like I said, I’m trying to keep some distance from cancer, so it’s harder for me to write about it. And, right now, life is pretty uneventful. I like it that way.

Go outside and try to recapture the happiness within yourself; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy. —Anne Frank

 

12 Replies to “Eight weeks out”

  1. I understand and empathize with all that you’re saying. Recently, I’ve been going through our photo albums and came across several from our time at Living Skills Press. We certainly had some fun times back then. I know you are beginning to have those again and perhaps the daily reminders of your cancer will be less and less apparent. I know you are very grateful and optimistic. You might not have gotten this far without these feelings. That’s tremendous that you are close to your weight goal. I have complete faith that you will go forward with the same tenacity you’ve had battling this disease and redirect it to being fully immersed in your healing and doing all the things that feel good. Love you with all my heart.💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While I know it was hard for you to write another post, I was very happy to see it! You have been on my mind, but I totally understand the need for distancing. I like to picture you sitting and reading and just enjoying peace and nature around you. Continue healing my friend and know that hugs and loving thoughts are always being sent your way❣ 😘💌🤗🌻🍀

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  3. So great to hear from you. It takes time to heal from any traumatic experience. As time goes by you’ll put more and more away for good. You are so strong and courageous, you can do it. We all love you and are praying for your return to being The “Lana” we love.
    Love ❤️ Connie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not sure what happened to my post as I don’t see it from last week. In any event I love this post as it tells me a lot from my visit in August. I loved our time together and had fun at Fort Bragg; we met some great people. I love you Lan; you’re always in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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