As happens to me often, I really don’t even know where to start.
Physically, I’m doing well. I have some neuropathy in my feet, but it doesn’t HURT, just makes my toes and the balls of my feet feel a little numb. My eyelids itch like crazy, since my eyelashes are desperately trying to come back in. Likely TMI, but my girl parts feel like the Sahara. And I just found out this week that a medication I’ve been on for years for headaches might be fighting the Tamoxifen, so I get to make some changes there. Who knows what that will do to the side effects in the future.
I’ve started feeling like I should just wear a sign, “It was breast cancer, but I’m doing great now, thanks for not asking,” since I can see it in people’s eyes when I meet them that they WANT to ask, but aren’t sure how to do it. I’m fine talking about whatever (in case you haven’t noticed) but I hate that uncomfortable silence where people are obviously confused about what they should or should not ask.
The funniest (I think that’s the word I want?) experience was this week. I took my mom in to a doctor’s appointment for her, and the very nice young resident started talking to me like I was the patient. After the first couple of things she said, I just interrupted, “I’m sorry, but just to clarify, I’m the daughter. Breast Cancer (pointing to myself), Colon Cancer (pointing to my mom).”
It was understandable- my eyebrows are pretty thin right now- and I’m the one in a head scarf so I look more like a cancer patient, but my mom IS 23 years older than I am, so it was a little bit of a blow to the ego.
Then again, she might have had a hard time processing that the person who was there to meet with a surgical oncologist to talk about new cancer tumors in her liver was the lady who looks healthy. It’s a lot to process to think that just as I am starting to be able to walk around without a scarf because I look like I might have made the fashion statement to shave my head, my mother, who beat her colon cancer two years ago, will be going back in and having half of her liver removed.
We will find out next week what the chemo plan for her will be, but considering she still has not completely recovered feeling in her hands and feet from the chemo that she finished two years ago last month, it’s a little bit scary.
My mom is who taught me how to fight this cancer business. She gets all mad that they make her take time off of work for surgery. She worked all the way through her chemo, except for the days when she had to wear a pump for 48 hours to continue to receive treatment at home. She didn’t even gather the world around her to cheer as I have. She suffered through most of it as much by herself as we would let her.
So to the friends who have checked in this week to ask how I’m feeling, physically, I’m fine.
Mentally and emotionally, I’m preparing for another fight. And I’m planning for yet another win.