Strong?

Wednesday, July 15, 2020. I’ve been told I’m strong. My mom just said it again the other day. Throughout this entire journey that’s the one word that comes up over and over again. “You’re so strong.” “I can’t believe how strong you are.” When I hear that word, the voice in my head always wonders, “What does that mean? Strong. I just don’t see myself that way.” That being said, I’m not the type of person who melts into a puddle on the floor, rolling around crying, “why me? why me? what have I done to deserve this?” Feeling sorry for myself just seems like one more burden I don’t have the energy to deal with.

The truth is, I don’t feel strong. I feel tired. I feel numb. More than that, I simply feel like this is the hand I’ve been dealt. I didn’t put myself in harm’s way and now I have cancer. I didn’t have someone cough on me and caught cancer. Yes, I have cancer, but it’s not my fault. It’s no one’s fault. It just is. That leaves me navigating through the muck of it all. I am forced to forge ahead for as long as it takes. Do I like it? No. Do I feel strong? No. I’m just putting one foot in front of the other and trying not to fall flat on my face.

I don’t see any of it as being strong. I see it as a constant fight to survive a disease that ultimately wants me to stay alive, too. Let’s be honest, as long as I live, it can live. If I die, well…no more cancer. It’s not like it can jump out of me and into someone else. Right? Cancer isn’t trying to kill me. It just happens to like living off the parts of me that are also necessary for me to live…but as we all know, that’s not sustainable.

So where does that leave me at this point in time? I had a video visit with Dr. Rugo and she wants me to continue with the oral chemo until the end of November. Ugh. I was hoping I’d be done mid-October. So I can look forward to being abnormally fatigued for several more months. Yippee. There is some good news. Because I seem to be tolerating the twice-a-day-for-7-days poisoning with manageable side effects and my bloodwork has been consistently good, the chemo dosage was not increased as I had anticipated. Yippee, and I mean it. Also rather than getting labs done every other week, she increased the time in-between pokes to every other month! Super yippee!

A small price to pay for eventually getting my life back.

I’ll get through this. We all will. Thanks for having my back and thinking of me once in awhile and sending all that loving, healing energy my way. I truly feel it and appreciate it every day. If there is any part of me that is strong, it’s because you feed me and make me that way.

The best way out is always through. —Robert Frost