“Ladies and Gentlemen, our flight is now descending. We should be arriving back to Reality on time. Please set your watches accordingly, and thank you for flying Jet Chemo-sucks!”

Yes! I am finally feeling like I am off the chemo-wagon! Wow, what hell I have been through these last few days. I know I updated last week saying that I felt better, but then the physical side affects set in: bone and joint pain. I normally get this after chemo, but this time the pain and fatigue was off the charts!On  Saturday I felt like death. I couldn’t get out of bed and I was on pain killers. When my meds wore off in the middle of the night, I literally felt like some one was stabbing my arms and legs. It was such a horrible feeling! This was by far the worst cycle of chemotherapy I have EVER had. My body has been through nine months of hell, and it has finally taken it’s toll. I think I really know what it feels like to be dying, because before the body starts to “bounce” back from the treatment, the chemotherapy medicine is literally killing my body. This episode pushed me to my limit, and I am absolutely amazed that my body has bounced back yet AGAIN. I am so much stronger than I ever could have imagined, especially in my current condition and considering what my body has been through.

In the middle of battling the pain, I contemplated the possibility of having to do more treatment if my scan still shows positive signs of cancer. My first reaction, while lying on my “death bed”, was: “There’s no way. No more. NO MORE!!!” I can really empathize now why some cancer patients choose Hospice over more treatment … living in that kind of pain is no way to live at all. And it’s probably much worse than what I experienced.

I don’t know what I would do if I had to do more treatment after this one. I guess I would do whatever my doctor told me to since the bottom line is I want to live, but I lost my fight there for a few moments back there. Like, really lost it.

But like my body, my fight has bounced back. I am determined to get through this no matter what!! It’s funny how motivating quotes have been popping into my head from when I was working out with my trainer before I was diagnosed. A lot of the quotes consisted of reaching out of my comfort zone …

I think about that and laugh now. Comfort zone! What comfort zone? Do I even HAVE one anymore?? I have been been pushed over the edge physically, mentally and emotionally numerous times throughout out my journey: I lost my hair – TWICE; I experienced the most invasive radiation treatments in oncology to date; when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they got worse; when I thought the treatments would get better, they got worse. Well, you guys get the idea.

I remember last September running on a treadmill and thinking, “Oh my God this is the hardest thing ever! I’ve never felt this kind of pain before! I think I’m going to pass out – no, I’m going to die!! This is so stupid! Whaaaa!!” And I would totally lose focus as to why I was even on that treadmill in the first place, and I would just want to quit. I couldn’t handle the workload, the pain. Not just the physical pain of my muscles trying to keep pace, but the mental pain of not thinking I could do it.

The pain I experienced then now pales in comparison to what I have been through this past year.

Now I can’t wait until I get back on that effing treadmill!! As long as I never have to endure treatments like this again, then my “bad days” are OVER. I completely understand the importance of good health and why exercise is so important. I am ready to start a new chapter in my life.

My PET scan is this Tuesday at 1:30pm. My oncologist will examine my entire body for any left over cancer cells, as well as the “problem areas”. I should know his findings by the end of next week. A few days ago I was terrified of getting scanned for fear of the unknown. Now I say, “bring it on”. I’m going to live my life like normal and start going back to work next week as planned. Once I have fully recovered from this cycle of chemo I’m going to start hitting the gym – gently, of course! Well, maybe. ;) I can’t let fear rule my life or keep me from doing what I want to do.

I want to end this post with a bunch of Lance Armstrong quotes. Here ‘goes!

“Now I only have good days, and great days.”

“I wanted to live, but whether I would or not was mystery, and in the midst of confronting that fact, even at that moment, I was beginning to sense that to stare into the heart of such a fearful mystery wasn’t a bad thing. To be afraid is a priceless education.”

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?”

“If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.”

“Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, ‘Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody’s going down.’”

“This is my body, and I can do whatever I want to it. I can push it, study it, tweak it; listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I am on. What am I on? I am on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are YOU on?”

“What ever your 100% looks like, give it.”

“Anything is possible. You can be told you have a 90-percent chance or a 50-percent chance or a 1-percent chance, but you have to believe, and you have to fight. By fight I mean arm yourself with all the available information, get second opinions, third opinions, and fourth opinions. Understand what has invaded your body, and what the possible cures are. It’s another fact of cancer that the more informed and empowered patient has a better chance of long-term survival. What if I had lost? What if I relapsed and the cancer came back? I still believe I would have gained something in the struggle, because in what time I had left I would have been a more complete, compassionate, and intelligent man, and therefore more alive.”

“Quit? You know, once I was thinking of quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I’m sure you have a good reason to quit.”
Which one is your favorite?? Take care and many blessings everyone!

xoxo,

Kathy

 

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