Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What a Difference a Year Makes...

One year ago I had my ninth and last (knock on wood) Taxotere/Perjeta/Herceptin infusion, my 15th chemo chemo. Let me clarify that I still get chemo, it is just 180 degrees different than what I used to get. Meaning, my nails aren't about to fall off and I'm no longer in chemically-induced menopause and my hair is growing. I can hardly imagine the strength of the poison my body has endured. But oh holy hell what a difference a year makes.

Here's me sporting nearly an identical haircut to my oldest brother, Tim, last February -- just two and a half weeks after finishing chemo chemo and about a week after receiving the news that I could take a break from it because my scan had been clean.
I was so relieved, and so tired. Also, my arm was broken, so I was so in pain, too. But mostly, I was relieved. And happy.

Monday this week, I had chemo again, although I've lost track of what number this is. It's the one I started at the end of May, the targeted treatment Kadcyla. It's like the smart bomb of chemos, and -- so far -- it is working remarkably well for me. I am still tired, but not in the crushing, can't-take-this-anymore way I was last year at this time.

I should revise that. I am fucking beat this week, but that is in large part because chemo coincided with me catching what my friend Shelby refers to as the daycare ebola. I am so hopped up on Sudafed and cough suppressants and sinus headache meds right now, it sort of took me by surprise when I also had to take an anti-nausea pill this evening, but my incessant coughing is not helping settle my post-chemo stomach. I can only imagine the cesspool of pills sloshing around in there right now, but somehow the combination seems to be working. For now. My poor liver.

Anyway, I was going to post a photo of me one-year post chemo chemo, but no amount of good lighting was going to fix what was happening with my face today. Plus, I couldn't stop sneezing. No joke, I went to put sunglasses on to take Quinn to swimming this afternoon, and sneezed so hard, it shook the glasses off my face. Somehow, they ended up right in the line of fire. Yeah, too much. You can imagine the rest. Sorry.

So instead, here's me about a week before Christmas. I'm sure Chris will laugh at my selfie face, and I know it's not the best, but I see so much progress compared to last year at this time. And I'm not just talking about the length of my hair or the (relative) fullness of my eyebrows. I see peace and calm and health. Can't ask for much more than that, can I?


  1. Happy one year post chemo chemo. You do look beautiful. I'm wishing you much more peace and calm and health.

    1. Thanks, Catherine. You are too kind, as always. Loads of love to you.