Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Focus on the positive, focus, focus on the good

Tuesday morning, 8am.  I am going back in to the factory this afternoon for another round of chemo. On the one hand, I feel amazingly relaxed about what I know is coming. I have made all my follow-up appointments: acupuncture, nuelasta, reiki, massage therapy.  The pantry is filled with the foods I know will physically satisfy my hunger.  Rides have been arranged and I have had my pre-chemo conversations with the nurse. 
On the other hand, I am almost shaking with the anxiety that these ‘sessions’ bring.  M, C and Rich have all jumped on the anxiety train and we all feel a sense of desperation that none of us will ever get comfortable with.  There are always the niggling worries about how we will weather the chemo this time around.  Will this be the time that my body has a major reaction? Will another physical side effect intensify? Will the chemo finally make me sicker than the cancer? 
Rather than have a time and date when this will all be over, I’ve preferred to just know what will be happening the ‘next’ time.  I don’t want to be disappointed if we have to go into extra innings with the treatment and so I don’t want to know if seven or eight or nine treatments will be the limit.  And I realized last night that I don’t want to know because I don’t know what will happen next.  I have already run through most of the drugs that are likely to have helped me - and they haven’t. So what next? Well, next might be a drug that could help me but that has some really nasty potential side effects.  Those side effects make losing my hair seem like easy street.  I cannot even list them for fear of making them real and I am not even on the drug yet!!!
But more importantly, I head into this next round with a storehouse of lovely holiday memories. We spent Thanksgiving in St. Louis with my family and it was a wonderful holiday. I really do think family and friends are the best medicine I have right now. We had a delicious dinner on Thursday at Mom’s house. The whole gang was there (minus my nephew and his girlfriend - you were missed!!) so it was a lively and loud full house.  Friday started with brunch and then everyone went different directions. I found time for a much needed nap and that evening we had a great dinner at a local pizza place (a niece's current job.) Saturday, Rich and I took the kids around town to see some sights.  I had a late lunch with some friends and they did some more exploring.
As always, the best part of the trip was the ride home, it’s always great to have the kids all to ourselves for those four hours and is my favorite part of the trip. So rather than focus on the bad, I will keep pulling on my memories of Thanksgiving 2010. Thanks to my family for all the laughs, the good food and wine, and the chance to all be together again, even if just for a few days.
Love, lots of love,