Ya’ll, it is official, I am CANCER FREE! The results of my mammogram last week showed no signs of malignancy, calcifications, or abnormalities. That was such a great feeling. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but I didn’t. I did stop what I was doing and gave all the glory to God. He is so good!
What am I doing now, you ask? Radiation…I finished my second one today and have 18 to go, but who is counting? Lying on that hard table, exposed for the world, and not able to move a muscle is a little surreal. The thought of what that beam is doing on the inside of my breast is amazing and terrifying at the same time. It doesn’t hurt, but it is intimidating. I am settling in to the process. I was very scared and anxious for my first treatment, and I am trying to not take my anxiety meds (trying to avoid any reliance upon them), so I just prayed the whole way there. I asked for peace, protection and courage. The first one took about an hour. They had to do X-rays, draw all over me to resemble a cyborg, and line everything up. Guys, my arms are in stirrups over my head like the gynecologist office. I swear. But the whole time, I couldn’t move a millimeter. My arms were falling asleep. I started getting a little antsy, and feeling a little dizzy as the machine was circling over me and they were moving the table. I started talking to God again, and y’all He has a sense of humor, I believe. In that moment, the radio started playing Brickhouse. For those who were by me during my college days, you know that is MY JAM!!! I started to chuckle and thought well, this is one way to let it all hang out for sure. It made me forget my worry and remember simpler times. Who can believe I remember anything about that time? Hahahahaha! I will keep you posted on how those treatments go as I progress through.
With all that said, post chemo, I have just been battling what my new normal will be. I have been dealing with this for seven months now. Feeling like crap for seven months. Riding an emotional roller coaster for seven months. In and out of hospitals, doctor offices, and cancer clinics for seven months. It stopped me in my tracks and now I have to start building back what normal is for me. It is overwhelming, but I am taking it day by day and with a positive attitude. I will say this week, I feel so clear headed and have not wanted to crawl back in bed once the kids are at school. The chemo fog has lifted, dare I say. I have a little pep in my step. Say whhhhhaaaattttt?!? You heard it here.
My hair is coming in, but at a much slower pace on my right side where the chemo went in. Weird, huh! Eyelashes and eyebrows still holding out, but I am cheering them on to grow. Funny how you miss those suckers. They do serve a purpose…trust me here. I may be trying to lose some of my fingernails, which apparently happens post chemo. Seriously? They are curling to the tips of my fingers and lifting from the nail bed ever so slightly. I have filed them down short and being really careful with them. Did I mention I got my port removed? Well, I sure did! Best day of my life. Hated that thing. It is still haunting me though because that trigged swelling in my right arm. I am now seeing a physical therapist and have to wear a compression sleeve for at least four weeks. Absolutely no fun…not one bit. Not to mention, it looks like I have a fake arm. So, picture this…a girl with baldish/peach fuzz (that is white) with no eyebrows or eyelashes, scar/ bruising on upper chest, blue, green and black markings on sides and chest, and thick nude pantyhose looking arm. Sit me on the front porch and declare Halloween! Fix it, Jesus!!!
I am a hot mess for sure. One thing I am certain of is this part of my journey is almost over and I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I am never alone. I Know God is always with me through the good and the bad. I know I have amazing friends and family that will always cheer me on and lift me up. I have learned so much about myself through this process. It’s been completely insane, but worth the trip. Do I ever want to do it again…Hell NO! My devotional today said it best…
”An interruption or inconvenience are opportunities in disguise. Everything comes down to how we view things. Perspective matters, not only towards our attitude but also our response to the circumstances we face. Being willing to lie down by still waters prepares our hearts for the times we encounter the raging sea.”
PSA: Since it is October and pink is everywhere for breast cancer awareness, do your self exam for me and you.
All my love…Live each day to the fullest for you never know what tomorrow will bring.
4 thoughts on “Cancer Free vs. Halloween”
Congratulations, you cancer-free hot mama! That is AWESOME! I love your positive attitude, Rachel. Keep on “Brick Housing” it through radiation. You are a superstar! Love and continued prayers to you.
What a glorious relief! Congrats. Radiation is the easy part. Note they don’t always tell patients that post radiation it’s not uncommon to have short bout of depression. Be forewarned. Sounds as if things are going great. I’m sure you delighted to be done with that port. They always seemed to me to turn people into lab experiments. They’re just not natural.
I think you’ll find the new normal another type of cancer treadmill. Regular scans and the associated scanxiety become the new normal. And every new pain has you wondering if it’s back. Still it’s much better. Enjoy!
Thank you for the advice. Much appreciated.
A brick house just letting it all hang out! haha Such amazing news that I can hear you say over and over again – Cancer Free!!!!! We all send you our love from New Orleans and are so happy!!!!!