I am tired of this. I want to be honest and open. I am over it. BUT I am also very lucky to know that there is an end to this journey for me. I feel conflicted because there is a living end of this journey for me and my ostomy is not forever. What do I have to complain about? ….maybe tired of being poisoned for six months…. my inner self says “buck up buttercup, it could be worse”. That is real. Most days recently I have at least once a day where my eyes well up thinking about having to do another round of chemo. BUT, it is my last round of chemo. I know I am just tired. I know Jenn is tired. I know the kids are tired of it. I have fared this journey and all of its quirks well. BUT, I am over it. We can wrap this up now. Can I tap out? The funny thing is – Yes I can tap out. I have that choice and authority to do that. BUT, if I had a reoccurrence of cancer I would always wonder “If I only finished chemo could it have prevented cancers return?” I do not think it is that simple but the weight of that decision would sit with me. If I go through with it, it is a dark week and a couple of weeks of ‘meh’ – Then. I. Am. Done. With. Chemo. No wondering, no quitters guilt just done.
I have had the assistance of some amazing people on this journey that I have not mentioned yet. My lovely friend Diana is a neuropath that helped me create the supplemental support regime that has really helped keep me in tip-top order to receive the chemo drugs. She also facilitated a wonderful healing circle just before my chemo started. Another amazing friend is Abby who has been giving me acupuncture through my entire treatment. It has been a game changer especially with managing side effects – hand and foot rawness, neuropathy, nausea and overall mood. I swear by Abby’s work. She is magical and such a lovely human that I get to visit when I get treatments. Last was someone whom I did not know before this journey started but we stumbled upon his yoga studio at just the right time, Chuck at Sattva yoga. Years ago I hated yoga. &-8 years ago my friend Mandy made it so I liked yoga. Chuck got me to drink the Kool-Aid. Jenn and I have been trying to go as many times a week as we can. I have been able to do three times a week except for chemo week. I missed an additional week of yoga after my last round due to being busy with work and I could totally tell the difference in not only my body but also in my mood and anxiety management. These beautiful humans and so many more have made this a wonderful experience in a weird way. I am so very thankful for all of them and I hope to repay them ten-fold someway someday.
There is nothing magical that is going to get me through this last round. I need to keep my path, stand up tall and know I am strong and healthy. It is a strange phenomenon that when you are doing something difficult, the closer you get to the end, the harder it is to keep up the effort/resilience/the positive fight. I see the end of the tunnel. I imagine wearing jeans (!), I think about having my entire brain functioning as my brain, I imagine standing out in the cold tapping our maple trees, I imagine walking my dogs in the chilly evening air, I imagine working in the prison and doulaing, I think about camping and hiking, I imagine not having to think about his shit everyday, I imagine getting my life back. I can see it, I can taste it, I can feel it in every inch of my body, just not yet.
I am looking forward to experiencing the me after all of this shit. I actually was living with cancer for a long time, so I have been told. Will I be different without a tumor in my gut? Maybe. Will I be different for having gone though all of this? Absolutely. I don’t know if chemically the tumor had any effect on anything but emotionally and psychologically I will be different. It can’t not change me or anyone who goes through this. For that I am ENORMOUSLY thankful. I have received so many gift that I have and have not written about here. This year (it will be about a year once I recover from surgery) is the biggest Re-Start button ever, one to remember, laugh about and be thankful for. Chemo brain, randomly losing function of my right leg, my super mittens with heat packs in them, my hat that became my wooby, yoga pants and more yoga pants, odd muscle cramping, my new love of amazing pill boxes (yes I have opinions and favorites), believe it or not all of thee things and more have brough laughter into our lives. Luckily for the most part our household has a similar dark sence of humor but if you can’t laugh you might cry and as much as I like a good cry (except when my ocular muscles cramp up) we have to laugh at it all. The human condition is such an odd thing without throwing toxic chemicals in, it just gets amplified in this situation.
I hope to never have to go through this again but if I do at least I know what the path looks like and who will be walking with me. I hope that if anyone I know of has to go through this they will also find those to walk with them to ease the journey and that they look for the gifts see past the struggles. It is easier said than done and it helps. I started this journey finding out I had cancer AFTER they removed it AND I was on serious pain medication when I was told the news that I would need surgery, ostomy and oh! you have cancer. I didn’t have to sit with cancer in my body knowing I had cancer. I didn’t have to worry about surgery and the ostomy because the drugs made it so I did not care AT ALL. These are all HUGE gifts that I am very aware of how that started my journey very blessed.
I have one more round of chemo next Wednesday. The last day I take my chemo pills is February 7th. I start feeling for real better around Valentines Day. I don’t want to do this but I can and will do this. I am strong, I am positive. I have amazing support and love.
BUT I am so ready to be done.
I have stuff to do