If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now,
'Cause there's too many places I've got to see.
I ain't no Lynyrd Skynyrd fangirl, but I feel something about this song on my last day before six months of chemo begins.
My bone and CT scans were both unremarkable, and although the full results of these tests and the heart scan I get tomorrow morning won't be in until Friday afternoon, I feel such a gigantic tumour lifted off my body. This all means the cancer is just in my left breast for now and I'm fighting something much smaller than me.
Believe you me, for the last few weeks, every twinge and ache has seemed an indication of a subdivision of cancerous cells dangling somewhere in my body, but for now, I'm clear.
I start round one of eight chemo treatments tomorrow, so one hour with an IV in my arm at the BCCA, then three weeks of a cocktail of side affects at home, ranging from hair loss, vomiting, and fatigue to mouth sores, early menopause and sun sensitivity. My white blood cell counts will get low with each cycle, which means bacteria will be my sworn enemy.
How this will all fit around trying to be there for my family, I'm not sure. I'm under no illusion this will involve nothing more than moving a few meetings around in my schedule, but I'll do everything I can not to let it take over every aspect of my life.
I have my anti-nausea drugs, my thermometer, my sick bucket, my magazines and cancer binder (I like to misspell it canser, just to slap it around a little) and even bought a rockin' hat today. My meditation table is set up in the corner of my living room, with only a few things on it so far: flowers from work, a picture and rocks from Sooke Harbour House, and a cute little pillow to kneel on. It'll grow over the next few weeks. It's to remind me that this isn't everything to me and I will be free of it one day.