Hello Chemo, My Old Friend

IMG_2010I last did IV chemo in January.  I was getting tired.  Tired in a way only someone on chemo gets. Worse even than those first few months of living with a new baby or soft puppy.  My body needed a break and so did my mind.  So, my onc and I talked and agreed I’d take a short hiatus.  I had places to go and people to see.  And it has been wonderful, truly wonderful and sad all at the same time.  Wonderful because I soaked up the sun and buried my toes in the sand with people I loved.  Wonderful because after a month I realized I could do two or three errands in a row instead of hoping I could get through 1 short errand.  Fantastic, because I started enjoying my independence again, driving myself places, staying up late enough to see the stars and the moon. But sad too, sad because it highlighted how fatigued and worn out I really was feeling.  Sad because even after two months I still wasn’t feeling “normal” whatever that is.  I went to pull all the greens out of the pots and found myself sitting down and crying after 3o minutes.  Nope, still can’t do that all at once.  I need to plan for short runs of physical activity.  Even with going to the gym and trying to keep up my endurance and strength.  It’s one of the hard parts about stage IV cancer. There is no end.  There is no real “getting better” and going back to “normal”.  It’s a constant cycle of scan, treat, repeat and sometimes grief sneaks in.  Sadness at the things you were once able to do and can’t. Sadness at the loss of a job, sadness at the loss of strength and stamina.

The wonderful vacay is about to end. It’s been sweet while I had it.  Long enough to grow back some eyebrows and eyelashes and a bit of hair. Do not underestimate the importance of eyebrows and eyelashes!  Love those two things! Monday will be a day of scans, bone scan, and CT scan of my abdomen and chest. Once again hunting down those cancer cells.   Lobular cancer is a sneaky thing.  Instead of growing in clumps it’s sends long branches out searching for organs and other essential body parts. It’s hard to find on scans sometimes.  I have had  more pain and that lets me know things are happening somewhere. My tumor markers are going up, but not horribly, considering I’ve been on a break. I’m glad I did it.  For me, this is about balancing quality of life with treatment.  Tuesday I’ll check in with The Wizard and knowing him, I’ll be back in my blue chair that very day.  Still not sure which chemo we’ll try this time.  We’ll wait to see if I’ve had significant progression and what that looks like.  I’ll let you know. I’ve also got more to say on my weekend at the LBBC conference and all the other things I signed up for during my respite.


17 thoughts on “Hello Chemo, My Old Friend

  1. Judy, I am so moved by your posts. Written so well, written so we understand or try to understand the ups and downs of this journey you are on. You teach and educate through your writings. You make me stop to appreciate the little things, and the big things. Like so many I appreciate you and think of you often sending my sincere energy, hopes and prayers and love to you. I look forward to your post on LBBC. As soon as I read this I googled it to learn more. I will think of you this Monday as you go through your tests. I will envision a light of peace and love surrounding you. And that the results of the scans will be better than anticipated. A friend from a far, Kim Mikulich

  2. Judy, thank you for your openness! You remind me to appreciate the things I take for granted… eyebrows and eyelashes… the sun, sand and stars… Independence and time spent with those I love. You are in my prayers and I ask that you may have yet another helping of all of those good things… for your sake, as well as those who are blessed to be on this journey with you! Judy, your continued willingness to GIVE inspires me! Thank you for showing others how to take something you never asked for, never wanted, you wish didn’t existed in the world… And DO GOOD with it through your attitude & choices. You empower us to do the same with the “cancers” in our own lives. What a difference YOU have made! 🌟Love, Lindy

  3. I’m glad I was one of those you love and spent time on the beach with. You continue to amaze me, and to motivate me through my own battle with cardiac amyloid oasis. May we thrive together!

  4. Judy… Your words are a powerful sharing of your story. It takes courage to face the future and then extra courage to share it. May you find strength in the support of so many. I love you lots

  5. I am constantly amazed by your courage to share with so many people who love you and pray for continued strength! I am truly inspired by you and send well wishes on Monday 🙂


  6. I’m really pleased that you followed your instincts about treatment. It’s good to take a break. Since it’s back to chemo, I wish we had more progress with this awful disease. Sending you well wishes…💕

  7. Thank you for sharing Judy , I stumbled upon your blog, while trying to figure out my own way through this “Pink” journey … I will be keeping you in my prayers .. Wishing you strength, patience, comfort and happiness ..

  8. Thanks for your wonderful and uplifting words. I too am on a very similar journey, always trying to find that ‘quality of life’ I once took for granted, and so often wishing and praying for the old ‘normal’. I am so glad you took a break – something I would love to do someday:) My husband often asks if I need anything when he goes to town or to the grocery store, and I always respond, “Just pick me up a new liver and a new body, any type will do.” We laugh and continue on the journey. Thank you so much for sharing your little ‘vacation’ with us – the sand, the stars, and your journey.

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