I struggled staying positive last week and I can already feel myself slipping into a “blahhh” feeling Monday. We can go into everyday with the best of intentions and tell ourselves to have positive thoughts but sometimes your emotions take control more than your conscious thoughts.
After water filling up in our kitchen light last night (and then all over the floor), I was convinced this may not be the best start of the week. Cleaning instead of blogging about my weekend (which I’ll get to later this week) was disappointing and frustrating. BUT HEY, That’s home ownership, huh?
Anyways, last week, when I was feeling particularly low, I saw this amazing post on Instagram by @yogagirl! It’s not only physically impressive and something I want to work for but her words were so true and empowering at that moment. And I find them very helpful to read and remind myself as we start this week.
So ROAR when you need to.
Stand tall and keep your head high.
Let’s kick this Monday’s ass.
Disclaimer: This is not a sunny post. I need to get out how I’m feeling right now and right now, I’m a little cloudy… cloudy with no chance of North End meatballs.
Yesterday I received extremely positive news— I’m officially in remission! REMISSION!!! Meaning that when they pulled my bone marrow on Wednesday, it came back clear of any cancer cells. Hallelujah! However, factually, they know that if we do not continue to fight the cancer cells they will absolutely come back. So continue to fight we will.
But I found myself unable to truly feel the excitement that should have accompanied this amazing news. News that my body is kicking some serious ass. News that I am going to live. L-I-V-E. This is huge news, obviously, but I felt so little relief. I had become overwhelmed with emotional and physical pain yesterday. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were, to say it simply…a lot. I had prepared myself for Wednesday but not Thursday and Friday. I hadn’t understood that I would be back in the hospital so quickly and was feeling so frustrated about it. I also hadn’t been able to prep myself for how I would physically feel… which was terrible. My whole body ached. Every joint hurt when I moved, or laughed. My head felt like a tractor trailer was sitting on top of it— and the only thing that brought any relief was to sit in the dark (and lets face it, I’m all about that light!) And then the nausea started and I couldn’t keep anything down. And throwing up sucks. No better way to put it.
So after blood being drawn, an ultra sound of my stomach and back, a check-in with my doctor and six hours of being in one out-patient room to get a few rounds of chemo, I finally was being transported by wheel chair to the overnight room I’ll be in for the next few days. With a splitting headache and my mom holding my hand, I began to get extremely nauseous and became “that person” getting wheeled by a stranger while puking their brains out into a plastic bucket. Crying. It was one of those moments. A moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget because I’m not sure I’ve ever felt lower or more beaten in my life. Not because of the pain but because of the way it made me feel about myself. It was embarrassing and down right demoralizing. I wanted nothing more than to grab Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak and hide. Better yet, I wanted to wake up from what I feel like is a horrible nightmare. But I can’t. Because it’s not a nightmare, it’s my life right now. And as much as that sucks, it’s life. It’s my life and it’s still a good one. In fact, it’s a great one. And I’m lucky to be here. Even in low moments like that one.
Around midnight I was able to get on medication for what was causing all my symptoms and it’s helped a lot. At 3am I got hooked up to a type of chemo that runs into my veins for 24 hours straight… so I’ll be here at the Brigham for a while but feeling much better today am going to try to do some things I enjoy. Like blog. and paint. and sleep— hopefully!
So all-in-all, not my favorite few day but those days are now in the past and that means I’m one step closer to winning this game. I thought I’d leave you with a fab quote that my dad said yesterday as he sat by my side all day, 9am to 10pm. As the true sports announcer he is, he compared my remission news into a perfect Boston sports analogy… “When the C’s were murdering the Lakers in Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals, they didn’t stop playing hard at the half when they were ahead by over 20. They kept fighting and kept playing their asses off until the buzzer hit 00:00 because they knew that’s what they had to do to win the game.” And win they did… by a NBA Finals’ record of 39 points. And that’s what I’m going to do too— keep on kicking ass and keep on playing as hard as I can. Because I’m a competitor and I’m gonna win this game.
Thanks for listening. I’m jumping back on my positive party in just a few minutes.
A day after my absolutely fabulous Friday and two scoops of chemo crappiness later, I’ve had an all-in-all rough 72 hours. Both physically and mentally. I woke up Saturday morning with an extreme amount of jaw, mouth and throat pain which we quickly learned is an infection in my GI tract that comes quite often as a result of chemo. As with any infection, it onset a fever and some nausea. It continued to get worse and by Sunday my fever was up to 102.5. Pretty much sucking the life out of me, even my doctor noticed I wasn’t “as perky” as normal. Luckily I had some friends and family stop by both days which helps to put my attention on something other than the uncomfortableness; even if just for a few minutes. I certainly didn’t expect that I would be Miss Pollyanna, sunshine and rainbows the whole time but this was the first really rough patch I’ve had so far– the kind that punched me in the face with the reality of just how hard and long this road is going to be.
Then we added some insult to injury: Sunday morning my hair started to bid me goodbye. Some people may call this deep denial but I like to say I was being an enteral optimist when thinking just maybe I’d beat the odds and not lose my hair. I was quite honestly clinging onto this glimpse of hope and up until Sunday morning I was yanking on my hair everyday to see it it felt “loose” and lucky for me, it had been sticking in there quite well. Unfortunately, and unknowingly to me, the hair loss comes on extremely quickly and from Sunday morning to when I first noticed hair on my pillow, I was pulling out large chunks by Monday morning (pukeeeee). This quite literally made me feel nauseous. So, since my mom was here for the day, I had one of my favorite nurses and lets face it, didn’t have much of a schedule, I decided to rip the band-aid off as quick as possible and take control of the situation. With a Beyonce playlist of “If I were a boy” and “Diva” blaring in the background, we began the buzz-a-thon: and to my utter shock, it felt great. The first row of hair took my breath a way a bit but I didn’t cry because I felt a sense of control. It felt like I was choosing this, not my sickness making me do it. Which was empowering and important for me to feel.
And, it’s gone! G.I. Jane, anyone?
(refresh the page to see a little slideshow of the whole “buzz-a-thon”)
One life lesson learned yesterday: anxiety leading up to a challenge is more than half the battle. The thought of buzzing off my hair ended up being far worse than the actual agony of doing it. And, if you decide to make something shitty, something fun, it’s guaranteed to be a better experience than if you didn’t.