Seven months ago, this week, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and today I will undergo the LAST treatment to make sure it is out of my body! The 30th of 30 radiation treatments follows the four months of chemo-hell and the lumpectomy that got the tumor out! I saw a quote from Winston Churchill on Facebook last week that I think sums up any battle against cancer: "When you're going through Hell...Keep going!"
As the chemo fog clears, and I begin to feel more like myself, the hellish part is more real. In a way, while you're in the middle of that fog, and under the emotions of battle, you don't realize how dense and thick it is. I can now admit that I was tired and sick almost every day, but ignored it. The tough mom can't let anyone see a chink in her armor, and subconsciously, didn't want the opponent to see it either.
I felt odd yesterday, when South Salt Lake City honored me as the Grand Marshall of their parade, because the theme was "Courage." They said I displayed courage in going public with this personal battle... in how I've used this evil disease to encourage others to get screened... and in how staying public with it inspires others to push through life's battles. I think real courage is what our troops, firefighters, police, and other heroes have when they choose to do the amazing things they do. I didn't choose cancer. No one does. And to me, it wasn't a choice of whether to battle or not... it was a choice to just be stubborn and get through it! I'd love to see a parade theme of "Stubbornness!"
Keep going! That's what we did when we were in Orlando last month. We paid for a full day in Universal Studios theme park, and we were going to get our money's worth of fun, even though tropical storm Debby dumped sheets of rain on us...non-stop. No exaggeration! It poured all day! A couple trips on the Harry Potter Dragon coaster melted my eyelash glue 'til it was dripping down my face. (Eventually forming a transparent crust down the sides of my face!) I sat on a bench and pulled out my little tube of glue to do repairs...not caring that other sopping wet revelers could see. And for the record- we got our money's worth and had a total soaking wet blast!
|Wet day at Universal Orlando!|
The hair, eyelash, and eyebrow dilemmas are the lingering daily pains-in-the-butt from chemo, and even with them, there are signs of recovery! I noticed twisty little eyebrow hairs just this morning, and felt microscopic stubbles of eyelash too. Most of my hair is a little over a half inch long, and it's an odd texture. Some is strong and straight, and other hairs are thin and whispy, like baby hair. It came in about 95% white, and I plan to color it tonight, so I can go wig-less when we celebrate with a family getaway weekend!
It does keep getting better if you keep going. I still come back to that quote and love the dual meaning of the words. If you are going through Hell...don't stop in the middle of it, or you'll be there forever! KEEP GOING, and you'll get through it. I'm sure it's one of many battles in my life, and we'll keep going...