Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chemotherapy So Far

Well, this weekend didn't turnout so well. The side-effects I experienced from the chemotherapy this week were a little more unpleasant than what I had experienced last Spring. I do have the flu symptoms like I did last Spring. However, I was able to make it to our 10-year olds soccer game on Saturday which was quite a treat.

What really has me stumped right now is simply that I am doing chemotherapy. Period. Not that I don't believe it's the proper path to take. It's just that when I had cancer in my body, chemo made sense. When I had serious pain due to the tumor, chemo made sense. However, it's a tough step to take emotionally, when I feel so damn good and I know there is no cancer in my body. And to lose my energy, my strength, my appetite...to feel nauseous all as a result of the treatment? It's tough.

Once the tumor was gone and the cancer non-existent, a friend asked if I was still going to continue the blog. For me, I'm still heavy in treatment and sharing with you how it's going for me is as much my intention now as it was in the beginning. And honestly, at this moment, my response is even more clear to me now than it was two months ago when Dr. Cagir told me I was cancer-free. At this moment, I honestly can not imagine what it's going to be like for me to endure 6-months of this. Today is only the fifth day after my first chemo treatment and about six hours of this afternoon included a debilitating migraine headache, again preceded and
followed by nausea, flu symptoms and just about no appetite.

I have to keep reminding myself that I am cancer-free as a result of the treatments I have endured. And that staying strong and being open to the treatment and being tolerant of the experience will by all means put me in a better position to receive it. Yet, I would be lying to you if I were to say I was feeling anything other than dread, at this moment, at the thought of doing eleven more of these treatments, thus perpetuating this miserable feeling.

Yeah, "letting go" has been a way of being that has kept me looking cancer, death, pain, misery - whatever - everything it has been for the last 18 months - right in the eye with no intention of backing down. And right now, I look at the idea of letting go and all I want to do is hold on. At this moment, all I want to do is hold on to what has been so beautiful - felling strong and full of energy - feeling alive and not a second more of pain to endure. And instead I feel too sick and unable to do even the simple things.

So right now life does not occur like I am anywhere close to out of the dark. Right now I feel like I am neck deep with a difficult road ahead of me. I will find my strength. I don't question that. However, I am clear that I do not know what the journey ahead will look like, nor do I know what it will take for me to get through it and keep myself on top. At this point, I've got nothing but faith.

Chemotherapy can be quite taxing - especially on the immune system - and as a result I am extremely vulnerable to cold & flu. So, naturally we will insist that anyone who is not feeling 100% healthy or has been near anyone not feeling 100% healthy or has even thought about being near someone who is not feeling 100% healthy, to refrain from a visit to our home. You cards, calls and emails mean a great deal to us. As always, thank you for your incredible support. We love you.


  1. I saw an item on yesterday's news about acupuncture being a great help with the symptoms you are experiencing.
    Perhaps you might consider it.
    love you

  2. Bert,

    Pam is right, in that acupuncture is supposed to help manage the side effects of cancer treatment. I have not tried it myself, although my oncologist's office offers it as a complimentary therapy to chemo.

    It might be worth looking into it.

    Maria Brown

  3. Bert,

    Cancer is one of the only diseases for which the treatment is worse than the disease, especially when the disease is diagnosed early.

    I hear your frustration about how chemo is making you feel, and I can't imagine going through chemo as long as you have to. I could barely tolerate it when I went through it, and my treatment was not nearly as intense as yours has been or continues to be.

    But it is saving your life, I really believe that. It saved my life, I believe that also.

    I'm sorry the side effects are so rough this time. Please consider talking to your oncologist about additional hydration; it might help.

    Maria Brown