An Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Walks Into a Bar…

Sigh, I forget the rest…

So I haven’t written in nearly a month…not for lack of thought and feelings to express, but for lack of time and energy.  I’ve got one more session (!) and I can’t tell you how ready I am to be done with this nasty chemo business!

Let me start by saying that being diagnosed with cancer was shocking, but embarking on the journey of Chemotherapy was even more disturbing. It’s uncharted waters and I had no idea what to expect or what I would go through, apart from what I heard, which, believe me, does NOT prepare you for diddly. Chemo (Taxol is my personal poison) strips you naked, knocks you down, and kicks you in the teeth.

Oh, Taxol seemed all friendly at first – It was like “nice to meet you. See? I’m all gentle. I won’t kick your ass. I’m just here to kill cancer.” (hug)

And I’m like – “Hey Taxol, it sure is nice to meet you. Thanks for being a cancer serial killer.” (another hug)

But then…Taxol, being the two-faced bastard that it is, starts doing things like drilling screws into my knee joints, and putting my toes in tiny vices. It hides in my bone marrow, pushing little pins out instead of in, like a voodoo doll on opposite day. It hides in my mouth, blocking my salivary glands so my tongue constantly feels like I’ve just eaten a too-green, chalky banana, and when I’m not looking, it stabs me with tiny, unseen weapons that cause multiple mouth sores and bleeding.

In my head, I know Taxol is busy killing potentially deadly cancer cells in my body, for which I’m thankful, but in my heart, I hate the jerk and can’t wait to be rid of it.  (I’m whispering this, though, because Taxol is tricky. While I have my back turned, typing, it could sneak out of that seedy alley and beat the crap out of me again.)

Okay, enough about Taxol…some brighter thoughts:

I’ve named my IV stand Bertha – she can dance but refuses to twerk.  I’ll miss her, but not terribly (sorry Bertha).

I’ve been asked, and therefore pondered the question, “How has this changed your life?” Well, aside from the obvious – I only have one boob (my boobs have told the story of my life – across a lifetime, they’ve held so many meanings: hope and fear, pride and embarrassment, life and death – and now one is gone), I think it has honestly made me appreciate life more.

That sounds kind of corny, I know, but I think I’m definitely less worried about how I look and more concerned about how I feel and interact with others.  Has it made me seek out new and exciting adventures that I might not have pursued otherwise? You know, “Skydiving, Rocky Mountain climbing, going 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu?” Well…

Skydiving has always been on my bucket list, exploring Europe is something I’ve always wanted to do, and changing the world is a pursuit I take on daily. So I will still do those things, maybe sooner rather than later. But mostly, having cancer has fostered and strengthened the “I will not be defeated” mindset that has always been there, but not always manifested. Cancer, you picked the wrong girl – you’re going down. Taxol, you’ve had your fun; finish up and hit the road.

What else?  I guess time will tell. In the meantime, 11 down, 1 to go.