My third round of chemo came this week. There was no real fanfare. I am kind of use to the drill. It did take a lot longer than normal. I had a full examination by my doctor, which looked good. The infusion room was packed, so I was placed in some small back corner. It took a half hour just to get the IV in and another half hour to hang the first bag of pre-chemo meds.
I kind of felt like I was on the second string’s team in the back. I missed the nurses that I normally bond with, but I had my buddy Max with me to keep me distracted. Around noon, my father swapped out with him and brought me some lunch. All was normal until I started feeling a wave of heat flush through my body. I threw off any blankets or excess clothing and felt my scalp and palms clam up. The nurses came and stopped the IV. They took my pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and blood glucose readings. I got some extra oxygen because my pulse oxygen was a little low. I had to have a doctor come down and check everything out. We never determined if it was a reaction to the chemo or something as simple as a hot flash.
By the time we got back on track, I noticed that I was one of the last patients in the building. I expected to be held there for 6 hours, but I left after 8 and a half. I am pretty sure I was the last patient out of the building and it was a crazy feeling. I felt bad for my father but he didn’t seem to mind. I passed out early that night. I was exhausted.
I am now off for about four weeks. I go in mid December for a simulation for the start of radiation. I am a little scared about it. It will be every day for 4-5 weeks, right during the holidays. I am going to get my first tattoos ever just so they know where to irradiate me.
I am now on day 3 after the chemo and am feeling the bones again. This has been the worst part of the chemo for me. I may be a little more tired than normal too. Over all, I really feel lucky. I know so many other people have a worse time with this treatment. I am annoyed by certain side effects of the treatment but in so many ways it has not been a huge deal. Giving myself the time and space to recover can almost be more difficult.
I feel like recovery includes focusing on what I want my life to really be. So many people look at cancer as a death sentence or a huge loss, I am choosing to look at it as a way in which I can gain everything I have always wanted but made too many excuses to actually take action.
I don’t even know if I would have sought treatment if I hadn’t started this year with the focus of releasing judgment. I had so many strange opinions or perceptions of what I thought things should be. I was the meanest self-critic, and I couldn’t even see it. I knew I felt miserable, but I didn’t realize how much I was playing a role in it.
After you make a huge shift in such an area, it isn’t like you are immediately cured. Constantly, I have different events come back up to test me. I feel like the more I confront my bad tapes and faulty thinking, the easier it becomes. I equate it to building a muscle memory. Thoughts can be super powerful, or they can be nothing. It depends on what the feeling is behind it and how much attention are you going to give it.
I have been working super hard at confronting my negative thoughts. Having witnessed my parents’ journeys with cancer and mine, I think it is really normal to worry about your longevity. You might be doing something mundane and then think about what someone might think if this was the last time they saw you. Stupid thoughts. I have learned that when I get a thought like this, or one that is just not pleasant, I thank the Universe for showing me the contrast and flick it away or send it off.
I went back to the woman at the bookstore today. It was time for another monthly Shared Circle of Enlightenment. The energy was a little different from when she talked to Alex and I about our spirit guides, but I still felt like I gained a lot from being in her presence.
I talked to her about feeling the need to release resistance. I have grown so much, but I still resist doing things that I know I need to do or to relax and surrender more. Besides confronting negative thought patterns, we had some dialogue on faith and trust. After my surgery, I knew the Universe had my back. I was so sure that the Universe was supporting me and giving me all that I needed. Now, a few months out, that same solid faith and trust had softened a little.
Alex and Max continued the conversation with me at home. One of the things that they hate about me is that I trust so very little. They even think I don’t trust them. In reality, I trust them implicitly. I trust them more than I do myself. That is where the a-ha came. It does seem a little backwards. I than asked Max, how does one build trust? He said, “through your actions.”
Sometimes when I read all these self-help books or meet these interesting people who help me see things a little clearer, you’ll feel better initially because you feel like…oh, now I understand. There is a little relief. But if you don’t put those lessons into practice, the Universe places little tests in front of you to see if you really get it. One way you might get ahead of the surprise quiz is by changing your actions to match what you believe.
Okay, I am the worst at this action-based thing. There are a million things that I should probably do or I know I should do…why aren’t I doing them? If having cancer doesn’t make me lose weight, what the hell else will? Good point. I know the biggest block for me is feeling worth the effort. As much self-confidence as I have built up over this year, I am still lacking crucial components.
I don’t know why I feel like I am so different. Everyone goes through this, but somehow I feel like I am supposed to suffer alone. I feel like everyone deserves love, but I often question if I do. If I felt abandoned during other portions of my life, which may have had nothing to do with me, how can I release that I don’t have to feel that way now? How can you have trust in faith that the people who love you aren’t going to hurt you or abandon you? How can you have faith that you won’t hurt or abandon you?
I can’t say I have any answers for these questions now…it is just what my mind is pondering. My goal for this week is to take some action steps to be kinder and more giving to myself. I want to celebrate who I am and feel like I am taking fruitful action to allow more to follow.