As I go through chemo, I keep realizing how lucky I am. Really! I have had some yucky days in the weeks following my three chemo treatments, but only two days that were bad enough to stay home from work. Even then, there is no nausea or horrible pain...just headache, aching eyes, some numb-ish fingers and toes, and the feeling of tiny buzzing bees in my mouth. (Not stinging, just buzzing!) And, yes, fatigue...but not exhaustion. A nap or two is helping a lot! Oh, yeah...today my daughter told me I've been a little bit spacey lately. My husband will agree! Chemo-brain seems to make me search for words more than normal, and forget things like who I told what.
Chemo is such a strange poison. It terrorizes some people with nausea, some with pain, some with exhaustion, some with everything. Every person is different, and each cancer is different, so it makes sense that each chemo cocktail will have different effects on all of us. I feel lucky to have such minor side effects. My third treatment, on March 2nd, followed a very similar track to the first and second treatments, but with symptoms just a little worse on everything...which still wasn't that bad!
I'm lucky to have so much support from my husband and kids, from my big family in Seattle, from my work family, and from my school/church community of friends. I'm even getting prayers, homemade gifts, strength and support from people I've never met. My biggest prayer right now is that God shares all of the strength I'm getting with others who need it more. I can't imagine having to help a child battle cancer and chemo, or having to face this battle without a great support system.
I have insurance! That makes me feel really lucky after seeing the bill for my first chemo treatment- $24,000! Yes- 24-thousand dollars for three IV bags of poison! I guess working for the same station for 21 years isn't just luck, but I know many others are stuck without jobs or insurance right now, and I'm lucky and blessed to be where I am.
I'm lucky my job had me get a mammogram for a story and caught my tumor early. I'm lucky to have my husband home again, after his high-stress job that had him working and away from many kid's events for a couple of years. I'm thrilled my son made the high school baseball team, so I can plan my afternoons around sitting in the sun watching America's game! I'm so proud of my daughter, working hard year-around on her favorite sport- volleyball, which will take us on a few fun weekend trips in the coming months!
I'm lucky to have a sister who's been through a lot of what I'm going through (and worse.) She checks on me and is there for support, warnings, and advice. I'm lucky to have bosses who let me take a nap at work when I need one, and who sincerely want me to take care of me before taking care of them. I'm lucky to have been raised in a big, happy, resourceful, optimistic, hard-working family that set the stage for how to react when challenged, and how to make the best of any situation.
So here's signing off, lucky, and gearing up for chemo number four!