A real look at living with Stage 4 Breast Cancer
I just woke up from sleeping 14 hours straight.
I went to bed last night after Eric came home early from work because he could tell in my voice I was cracking from exhaustion.
He got home and made me go to bed, told me not to feel guilty, closed the bedroom door, turned out the lights and I was out.
Out for 14 straight hours.
I read all the stuff about BC month, and buy pink to support it but here is a real look at it.
My real look at.
I take 4 chemo pills a day. 2 in the morning and 2 at night for 2 weeks on and 1 week off.
Xeloda are my chemo pills.
These pills make me feel very queasy if I don’t eat 20-40 minutes before taking.
If you wonder how I know that exact amount of time – well from experience.
Once the queasiness hits, there is no going back until I sleep it off.
But I can’t sleep it off at 730 in the morning, so I deal with it.
These chemo pills also dry my hands and feet out so badly, I have cracks in my skin on my thumb, index and middle fingers. These cracks are on the palm side at the joints – where my fingers move.
Once the crack starts to peel away is when it is more painful, BUT once it peels, I have about 4 weeks of normal hands again.
My hands – yes the very hands I depend on daily.
Not only to love with, but to paint.
Painting that heals my soul.
Painting that I hear from others heals their souls too.
This chemo also does the same to my feet. When it gets so bad, I sometimes whence in pain every time I walk.
I isn’t like this all the time. I have no hard evidence why it is like this some times and not others, so I can’t do anything to prevent it.
I also get an IV infusion of Avastin every 3 weeks.
This one makes me tired for a day or 2 after.
Sometimes it gives me headaches.
Again, there is no planning on how I will feel.
So I go into these treatments praying it won’t wipe me out.
This time it did.
I knew it was coming…it hadn’t happened in a long time.
It doesn’t make it easier knowing it is coming.
It still sucks to come home Tuesday afternoon – after treatment – take a nap, barely able to get up to go get Ian, come home and not able to do homework with him.
I was “ok” Wednesday.
Thursday I couldn’t hold out anymore. I napped from 11-1; had to ask a friend to get Ian from school; had to have Eric come home early then slept for 14 hours straight.
Once every 3 months I get an IV infusion of Zometa. This one is to make my bones strong so mets cant come back.
This one is ok. Sometimes, it gives me bone pain for a day or two after.
I get brain MRIs every 2 months.
I have once next week.
The anxiety of the results starts up as soon as I make the appointment for the scan.
I start to think I feel something different happening.
I wonder if that headache is something happening.
I think, I sure have been tired lately – is that something??
This happens every 2 months – like clockwork
I get full body PET scans every 4 months.
I get the same anxiety before these too.
I am strong.
I am brave.
I am all that sh*t people want you to believe that it takes to “beat” breast cancer.
Don’t tell me I beat it once, I can beat it again.
I AM beating it every day of my life.
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hit me below the belt and double me over every now and then.
So I respectively tell you all who think breast cancer is “beaten,” to walk a day in my shoes.
AND my shoes aren’t even bad right now.
Walk the year of 2012-2013 in my shoes.
That was the time I had 3 brain surgeries within 10 months, had to relearn to walk, drive and trust in God that I was going to live.
This is my “pink” life.