Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gaining Perspective & Giving Thanks

It's been so long since I came here to write anything, I can't believe it. So, long that I had forgotten what I last wrote. I have to admit that as I just looked over the last couple of entries, I contemplated taking one of them down. "Angry" was entirely too angry! I was a little shocked and quite embarrassed at how self-centered it sounded. I guess that's because it was. It's amazing how wide the swings can be in emotions. I ended up leaving it because regardless how it sounds, it was true at that moment in time. I began this blog to capture the truth about this journey and it isn't always pretty. What's weird about it all is that you just can't tell which events are going to trigger the worst reactions. Lost the breasts, no problem. Lost the hair, much more of a problem. Eyelashes and Nails, complete meltdown. Really?? Like chemo, the effects of the experience are cumulative, I guess.

Anyway, things have changed dramatically over the last 2 months. I am doing SO much better, physically and mentally. I now have eyebrows again! I also have very short (but none the less present) eyelashes, and 9 healthy nails! Today I went to get them done for the third time since the day everything hit the fan and was so pleased that my entire right hand looks normal again. One of my nails on the left hand broke last night down to about 1/4 of an inch. It's the only bad one I have left. Lynn managed to make a short temporary nail. So, it looks OK and will only get better. I am so thankful that she has walked me through this time. I even got my eyebrows waxed today to clean up the edges. If you had told me a year ago that I would celebrate an eyebrow waxing and nail appointment, I would have thought that you were nuts.

I am also so thankful that I have kicked the fatigue that was so debilitating. I have been getting better for some time, but realized last week that I no longer even think about the walk from the car to the door at work. Even when I began to do it again, it was a little difficult. But, not any more. For that I am so thankful.

I am having some new side effects from the Herceptin, but it is nothing compared to the ones that are behind me. It's causing very stiff joints and deep aches when I wake up in the mornings and after any time in one spot. I kind of look like a little old lady when I get up from my desk at work, but have walked it out by the time I get 1/2 way down the hall. In the mornings, my shower fixes the problem in under 10 minutes. So as I said, it really is nothing compared to what I have already experienced. Besides, Herceptin's biggest side effect is heart damage, and I have none of that. Instead, I have had 3 clear echos. Again, very very thankful...

I also now have most of a very short "boy" haircut looking fuzz that covers my head. I don't know how this is going to go, but it's just a matter of time before I decide that I can't stand the heat and the long beautiful wig. Vanity doesn't matter at all when it's 110 degrees and your hormones are still absent or completely out of whack, whatever the case may be. I have already removed it at work in meetings with my closest teammates. Thankfully, they are very understanding. I am also thankful for them and how well my company has treated me during this whole illness. So many people have a different experience.

I think it's just a matter of perspective. I have mine back and for that, I am grateful. I've also forgiven myself for losing it temporarily. No more looking back. It's time to see what's ahead.

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