Cancer Chronicles VIII: How I’m Doing

I’m getting really frustrated when well-meaning people think I’m done with treatment just because I’m done with the really bad weekly chemo. My husband is even one of those people! I am far from done and right now I’m really struggling with the long road ahead. March 2016 seems SO FAR away and that’s not even the end, really. But it’s the finish line I’m focusing on for now.

I started daily radiation this week. It’s a giant pain in the ass but my symptoms haven’t been too bad yet. Most of the time your symptoms don’t reveal themselves for a couple of weeks. I’m tired (what else is new?) and I’m a little sore in the area that’s getting treatment. Not too bad and not sick like I have the flu which is a blessing. But it’s still a giant pain to go to the hospital every single day at 8:30 a.m. and get scorched. I’m very thankful I’m able to have this done over the summer because I think I’d lose my mind if I had to go teach all day and then go to the hospital for treatment each day. Silver linings, right? Three down and 18 to go!

I had my first every-three-week chemo last week. It wasn’t bad at all. I was definitely exhausted the day of and the day after, but not sick which was good. I have approximately 14 of those left.

Unfortunately, because I was so overwhelmed with paperwork and info at the beginning, my genetics testing was forgotten about and now I can’t get in to see that doctor until September. It is very unlikely that I have the gene that causes breast cancer, but then again it’s rare that I have cancer in the first place! So I’m having the test. If it comes back positive, that will mean more surgery and worry for Olivia. I’m not even worrying about that for now. Or I should say I’m trying not to worry about that for now.

There are so many appointments it’s ridiculous. I don’t even want to go to the dentist because it’s one more flipping appointment to go to.

I’m basically in chemically-induced menopause and it sucks. There’s no other way to say it. I was already up 10 lbs. over where I like to be when I started all of this nonsense (thank you stress!) and now, thanks to chemo and menopause, I’ve gained another 10 lbs. Those who know me know I’m freaking out right now, right? I’ve been working out and eating super healthy and…haven’t lost an ounce. Matt’s new hashtag for me is #yourbodyholdsontocalorieslikeamotherfucker and it’s fitting. It makes me laugh too, which I need right now. I’m bald and fat and feeling really awesome (that’s the sarcasm font in case you don’t have that on your computer). The last six months have just been a ball of fun. I get online to look up if what is happening is normal…because who the hell GAINS weight on chemo when you’re basically sick all the time and not eating? Turns out it’s very normal. And, according to a lot of people online, it only gets worse when you add in the Tamoxifen that I’ll be taking for the next 5-10 years. But I’m trying not to freak out. At least I won’t be bald forever…

I feel like an asshole because I should just be thankful that they caught it early and my prognosis is good. And I am thankful. Thankful and frustrated.

Can you tell I’m tired and frustrated and just want to be back to normal? I’m starting to feel like that Tiffany is gone and this new one is who I’m stuck with. Luckily, even though this one is fat and bald, she’s still smiling and trying to find the joy and positive in each and every day. I guess that will have to do for now.

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6 responses to “Cancer Chronicles VIII: How I’m Doing

  1. Darnelle Kamm

    Hi Tiffany! I wanted to share with you something that my Grandma and Aunt did during their treatment. They each chose a pretty vase or bowl to display in their home on the table or coffee table. Then they added one stone, shell or marble for each day they had left of treatment. The grandkids had a lot of fun scouring the lake side for special stones to help out. Each day they took out one stone as they progressed. It helped them to visually see the level of stones going down each day, and it was something the family could participate in too. Of course there was a huge celebration when the case was empty. Just a thought: )
    Darnelle

  2. Only you would feel bad for being over it and frustrated. Of COURSE you’re over it and frustrated!!! This whole situation sucks balls and there’s no two ways about it. PS I look at all your instas and haven’t noticed weight gain at all. PPS I gained 10 lbs in Europe, can I blame your asshole cancer too? Thinking of you.

  3. I’m sure you’re frustrated as Hell! It just seems like one more insult, doesn’t it. Hang in there, Tiff! xoxo

  4. I continue to think of you often. I have wondered what these new treatments are like for you. Thanks for keeping us updated. We appreciate the raw honesty so that we know how best to pray for you, my friend. xo

  5. Hang in there Tiffany! I can’t imagine what you are going through. Even though my mom went through it and I saw the worst of it, it is different when it is yourself. I am praying for you. I am still amazed by how strong you are! You can do this. I know you can…..love you!

  6. It’s okay to have “all the feels.” You’re going through something tremendous, and it sounds like you’re kicking butt. Loved the hashtag.

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