Time has been flying lately. As I ride through my 6th treatment (of 8… this is my second round of Taxol) I realize how long ago it seems I got my initial diagnosis and had my surgery. In reality, it’s only been 5 months, but it feels like a lifetime. There is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel that I can see – the end of chemo – and I am so anxious to get there. I’m anxious for my hair to start growing back and for it to reach a length that doesn’t suggest I was once a cancer patient. I’m anxious to see what’s beyond chemo; what will the next 5 years of my life look like in terms of follow up. I’m anxious to call myself a survivor and not a patient. I’m anxious about whether I will even make it the next couple of years without a recurrence. I’m anxious to plan a vacation and usher out this terrible year and start 2012 with a clean slate. I’m anxious to have my exchange surgery and recover and have a normal-looking chest at some point in the near future.
We’ll just have to wait and see if all these things transpire, I guess.
This second Taxol is going just as well as the last one and I hope the final two are equally uncomplicated. Today I’m feeling tired but in the scheme of things, fatigue hasn’t been a huge problem for me. The baldness is still a source of discomfort and now my eyebrows and lashes are thinning – I hope I don’t lose them all. Lymphedema has also been on my mind lately. Though I only had 8 lymph nodes removed, I’m terrified of getting lymphedema in my right arm. I saw a physical therapist who taught me some massage techniques to keep the lymph fluids circulating, and I’m very cautious about not getting burnt or bitten by bugs. Any cuts or scrapes on my right arm are promptly treated with neosporin and a band-aid. I figure this vigilance will fade with time but for now I’m all about lymphedema prevention.