A small light at the end of the tunnel....

I have now had 6 1/2 rounds of this current chemotherapy. Total I have had 7 infusions, with 5 more infusions to go.

Just this year.

If you count it all up now I've had 14 rounds of chemotherapy. 35 rounds of radiation (breast), 1 round of radiation (brain), and 3 surgeries. Fairly aggressive for a girl who would barely go to the doctor for a sinus infection.

Recently it's been hard for me to see that light at the end of the tunnel. When you have an "incurable" disease it's hard to remember that some treatments ARE temporary. Because let me assure you they do not feel temporary, at least to me they don't. Going to the doctor for infusion after infusion and not being certain for how long this treatment will work for, or how much longer you have to endure it is exhausting. Not just on the body but on the soul. Don't get me wrong I am incredibly thankful for the results I have seen so far from this chemo. This treatment is and has been working. My last scan had 90% of my cancer gone! Melted, like butter! So why after those results did I get even more scared than before?

Fear crept it's way back into my mind and took a VERY strong hold. That feeling that the rug could be pulled out from underneath my feet at any moment hasn't left me. You'd think I'd have felt some sort of freedom after those results, I gained time I wasn't sure I'd have! So why did I start feeling so scared and trapped? I'm still not 100% sure but from what my brain has made of it (or has been trying to make of it) is that I am feeling a tremendous disconnect from those results. I'm feeling that disconnect because the treatments make you feel as if those results don't matter that much! And that's a hard thing for people to understand. Yes, the results are amazing and I want to say every time I've been sick or thrown up or cried my eyes out it's been worth it. I KNOW that it's worth it, but sometimes it's hard to truly FEEL that. They are two different things for me.

I KNOW my treatments are working and I am INCREDIBLY thankful for that. But the way I FEEL is different. My treatments come in rounds, 2 infusions equals 1 round, I get my first infusion on day 1 (2 chemotherapy drugs; carboplatin and gemzar) and on day 8 I go and get another infusion (just the gemzar this time) then on day 22 it becomes day 1 again. So in a 3 week cycle I feel terrible for 2 weeks and ok for 1 week. So basically in a month I have 1 week I can kind of count on. That starts to do something to you! For so long I have been independent and working and taking care of myself, so having one week a month that that even seems possible, is a hard pill to swallow. And on top of it I had no idea how many rounds we were going. My oncologist had been at a conference and he's also extremely busy and hard to nail down for an appointment. GREAT oncologists should be, and he is that, a great oncologist.

After my appointment last week I began to feel some relief, yes I still have 2 1/2 rounds of chemo to go right now, and for the third summer in a row I'll be dealing with some sort of cancer disaster. But it is what it is. Acceptance is all I can do in this situation. I have worked for so long to take care of myself and change anything that could be contributing to this disease that I need to give myself a break and just accept where I am right now. For me that ACCEPTANCE has been the most difficult. You would think being a yoga teacher and constantly telling people to breathe, calm their minds and stay present would help me in this scenario. Maybe it's true, those that can't do, teach!

August 8th (or somewhere right around there) should be my last day of infusions for this round of chemotherapy. I'll get another Petscan to see what's going on in there and then decide on the next line of treatment. Because there WILL be another line of treatment, with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer there is ALWAYS another line of treatment. I will be in some sort of treatment for as long as I'm alive. It's remembering these treatments can keep me alive even though they are making me feel terrible that is the real challenge. Knowing this treatment won't always be like this and another one could be much easier to endure, is something I try to repeat to myself daily. I truly believe I can get this disease to the maintenance phase. And once I do those treatments could be MUCH easier on my body and and hopefully my mental state.

Tomorrow is day 8 in this 22 day cycle, and that'll complete round 6. Two more rounds to go and I think I can see that little light at the end of the tunnel.....

Thank you to all the people who continuously come help me, this isn't easy but I think it's worth it!




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