Dog Days Of Summer

Summertime has officially hit Los Angeles!! With 75% humidity and temperatures in the 90's it definitely feels like an east coast summer out here.

 While this week I planned to have chemo and beat the heat by planting myself in front of my a/c unit and having a Netflix binge session alone, my body had other plans. After arriving at City of Hope and testing my blood it was determined some of my levels were too low to receive chemotherapy. As disappointed as I was, I've had to learn to roll with the punches. This one annoyed me only because all summer long I have had August 8th marked in my calendar as my LAST DAY OF CHEMO, and now that day will be the 15th. What's a week in the grand scheme of things? Absolutely nothing. But it can feel differently to the person who has been receiving the chemotherapy.

There have been MANY times during this process that I have wanted to quit, many times that I almost have. Thank God a good night's sleep can change your perspective. I am EXTREMELY grateful to have found a combination of therapies that have worked for me thus far. My brain scan has come back with great results, my previous petscan had great results, and as of this past Tuesday one of the two tumor markers we check my blood for, are FINALLY IN THE NORMAL RANGE. NORMAL RANGE! That's insane for a girl who was told she would most likely be dead in 6 months. More recently I've begun to wrap my brain around the fact that I don't have to be living in "fight of flight" so much right now. Most of my spring was spent battling doctors and health care providers and traveling from appointment to appointment retelling every new health care provider my entire medical history. It was exhausting; mentally, emotionally, and physically. I am thankful every day for my stubbornness; a quality I (and those around me) have cursed in the past, turned out to be the one I needed most to get me through.

If you were told you may be dead in 6 months if nothing changed what would you do?

These past 6 months have been a whirlwind of travel, performances, vomiting, illness, bucket-list adventures, friends and family from all around traveling to visit and help me. It's been madness and at one point I honestly thought I was losing my mind. But I've surpassed that 6 month mark and again I'm asking what now? Well 2 more chemotherapy infusions and a PetScan to start. I keep repeating the works 'No Evidence of Disease' or 'NED' in my head. I keep believing that's exactly what that scan will tell me, but you can't ever be totally sure. And even if I am at NED it doesn't mean it'll stay that way. It doesn't mean it won't either. This is just a reality of life with MBC (Metastatic Breast Cancer). People always ask when I will be done with treatment? Never, is my best answer. When will I be done with this round of chemo? Hopefully August 15th and after that hopefully I can be on a much less aggressive treatment that will work for a VERY LONG time.

 I'm really trying hard not to look into the future too much in regards to my health. Yes, I will always have to factor it in but I need a break from making it the BIGGEST factor in my life. Infusion chemotherapy can take over every aspect of your life. The side effects are horrendous to deal with and you get fed up with feeling sick and not being able to do exactly what it is you want to do. I can't help but keep thinking about the 6 months after this chemotherapy ends, will the cancer become a wildfire again and start raging through my body the minute I'm done with this? I certainly hope not! I'm planning on trying to pull my life back together; continue performing, writing , and teaching yoga more often. Becoming financially independent is a HUGE concern of mine, and I believe a lot of women dealing with MBC feel the same way. How can we commit to a job or work when we aren't sure if we will be incredibly sick again a mere months from now? Not to mention dealing with getting and disabling your SSA so you can work is a NIGHTMARE. Social Security offices aren't fun or easy to deal with!

 I know I will find my footing. I'm hoping in the mean time I don't let the stress of trying to find my footing make me lose it all together.

12 days until my last (fingers crossed) infusion, couldn't come soon enough!




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