|Girlfriends visiting Hospice House from Porland (Lacy, Caitlin, me, Bri and Allison)|
|My incredible family having coffee together after I got home and finally felt better...|
We made it through July! That by itself feels like a miracle.
This was a HUGE month - being in the hospital/Hospice/home on bed rest for over half the month, starting a new chemo, going back to work 3 hours a day (thank goodness for a few moments a day of not thinking about cancer), then the incredible art benefit and tons of my tribe visiting and loving me in huge ways, then our fabulous beach vacation...now I'm tired. I'm excited to slow down this month, invest in some nourishing self-care and honestly sleep a lot while my body fights "the beast." (I'm looking for a good humorous name for my cancer...suggestions welcome. ) At this point my energy is so limited, it's all I can do to have 3 things I want to accomplish during the day (i.e: work, go to a doctor's appointment, and one other thing) and then I'm lucky if I can stay awake until 9pm now...there are so many life lessons coming out of this...it's okay to rest, learning to honor what my body is telling me about slowing down, letting myself be sad/mad/pissed about the whole cancer experience, knowing I can fall apart and be brave at the same time...
I had my weekly check-up on the new chemo with my oncologist today. We do weekly general labs and everything was in the normal range today for the first time since all of this started!! Woo hoo! AND the labs we run to check tumor markers actually showed something pretty exciting...The first time we did this lab it was 523, two weeks later and just before we started the new chemo, it had gone up to 941, and after two weeks on the new chemo is is DOWN to 686!!!! This means the chemo is doing positive things!!! We are still praying for miracles because this is still not likely to be curative, but my doctor and I are hoping this is the beginning of that miracle. :)
The not good news...we ended up running more labs after the appointment today because it looks like chemo has put me into early onset menopause. Let's add one more thing, shall we? I started having severe hot flashes in the past few weeks and a few other symptoms, so we ran hormone tests today too. Early menopause in women going through chemo is pretty common, I guess. We started a new drug that is both an antidepressant and will help with the hot flashes too. We'll start looking into if we want to add hormone therapy to the mix in the next couple of weeks....
To be honest, getting the antidepressant (and some anxiety pills) is a relief after a few anxiety attacks this week. Processing the cancer journey, and how different my life and experience of being in my body are right now, compared to even a month ago, is a crazy adventure. I'll be spending some down time this weekend thinking through what I need in this season, how to provide the most gentle nourishing care I can for myself right now...my energy levels are so different now, and coming to terms with that need to happen. A typical day for me right now involves getting up for chemo at 6:15am, resting for an hour until I can eat breakfast, tracking my meds/temp/ blood pressure/ bowel movements, pain levels etc, going to work for 3 hours a day (this is my sanity right now), mom picks me up and we run an errand or to an appointment (right now we are still in the process of getting labs, or picking up a few items at the store), resting at home and trying to eat something that I can keep down and that actually tastes like food (my taste buds have gone away on this chemo so nothing tastes anymore) and then trying to keep my eyes awake until 7pm. face
But tonight I'm looking at the good - the awesome labs I got today! Miracles are happening and so much could continue to change!!
Thank you for being part of this...I will be really exploring what I need healing wise over the next few days...I am a firm believer that we each know what we need...and giving myself permission to really relax, sit with it, and create space for [inset new name for cancer - seriously, if you have ideas, tell me, this thing needs a funny name...].
|Doodling from my healing journal the other night|
That said, I'm going to really focus nourishing myself over the next few weeks with sleep, food and savouring deep rest.
At this point, please call/ text before stopping by to visit as I'm giving myself a week of much needed rest and limited activities so I can give myself a chance to heal and recoup.
Thank you all for being my champions, rocks an supports! I couldn't do this without you!! Enjoy the weekend, and here is to surviving July with GREAT news from the labs! :)