First of all, now that the side effects from chemo #4 have all gone (I'm not in pain! My mouth and throat are back to normal! The Dementors have pissed off!) I feel like I really have finished chemo #4 and so have now officially completed two thirds of chemo. YEAHHHHHH! Four down and only two to go. Woop woop! (If all is on schedule, then in just 27 days I will be having my LAST CHEMO!)
Secondly, having now had the first of three of the Tax chemos, I'm no longer anxious about Tax. It wasn't nice, but then neither was FEC. And given the choice, I think I'd choose to be having another Tax next week rather than another FEC. My veins are doing ok. There's no sickness and nausea. And I only need to keep the awful head freezer on for 2 hours and 15 minutes. I can do this! I might come home from the hospital accompanied by some Dementors, convinced that you all hate me, and that I'm an idiot and an embarrassment just for being me. I might have a mouth that tastes like dirty underpants. I might feel like I've been beaten up and it might feel like someone poured acid down my throat. But: What-everrrrrrr. If it's shit, it's shit, but at least now I know from experience that I can do it, I can get through it. And once the next one is done, there's only ONE LEFT! And after that, the rest of my cancer treatment seems easy peasy lemon squeezy.
(Make no mistake - as it gets nearer, I will start shitting myself about surgery. But for now I can think rationally about it, and the reality is this: after chemo I will have some weeks of normality while my body is left in peace to get back to full strength. I can carry on with work and life like the rest of you. This includes drinking lots of snowballs and eating lots of roast dinners over Christmas! Then I guess some time in January I have surgery, and some weeks of recovery and healing after that. And then it's radiotherapy - which from what I gather is more of an inconvenience than anything else. For a few weeks I'll need to go to the hospital every day for around half an hour - but I'm lucky because the hospital is only a 15 minute walk from home and work. And it won't make me ill. So it will just be a daily chore. And then... I think that's about it. My window of opportunity for milking going through cancer treatment for all it's worth will be over.)
Thirdly, because the first scary Tax chemo was the day after I got the results, and then I was immediately ill, I'm only just now getting to really appreciate that my CT scan was clear. This morning I was talking with a friend and she said something about how it's awful that I have cancer, and chemo is complete bullshit, but at least I know I'm going to be ok. I realised it was the first time in a conversation like this that I really felt like that was true. I didn't start thinking about how I might be riddled with cancer, and might be about to die. There will always be a risk of recurrence, there will always be a bit of anxiety about it. But seeing as everything is in my favour (small tumour, only one lymph node affected, slow growing, not aggressive etc) it seems like it would be a waste of my time to worry about it any more.
Fourth reason I am loving this Week 3... It's a busy one - both having fun, and getting stuff done. It feels like ages now, what with chemo side effects and the cough and cold I thought would never end, since I have felt completely well. I do now! I'm being productive at work, at home, and about things I care about (more on that another time). I can exercise again! I'm catching up with friends. On Saturday I'm off to London to meet up with lots of the YBCN women to eat, drink and be
I really feel like celebrating! As it happens, I'm meeting a friend for a drink tonight, so maybe I'll make mine something bubbly... why not?!