Haven’t really been writing much.  Too busy playing angry birds on iPad and crocheting hats.  Also have been waiting for my laptop stand to arrive so I can sit in bed or on my fainting couch and type. Am really trying not to type lying on my stomach since that seems to be really bad for my neck.

Mood has been up and down a bit. I’ve learned though that it’s really important to frame. So I work pretty hard on framing this as positive – I have good reason to think of my treatment in a positive light, because

  • Reasonably small tumor
  • Clear margins
  • Clear Lymph Nodes
  • No evidence of  mets
  • Really nice lumpectomy that looks like hardly anything has been done

The one negative factor is that the tumor grew quickly and aggressively. So I’m having chemo for that, something that might not have been suggested a few years ago.

Still it’s a little scary, and there are days when I worry. The most vivid frame of breast cancer that I have in my head is my mother’s experience, more than 20 years ago. But, there are a lot of differences, and history does not have to repeat itself. Well, it’s already not repeating itself since our surgical outcomes and prescribed treatments are so different.

Also, I’m trying to keep in mind that more and more women die with rather than die of breast cancer – it’s more of a chronic disease. And although we’re not worrying yet about recurrences – it’s important to realize that women live through recurrences. Not always the epic fail.

I don’t like the idea of fighting breast cancer – I mean, I want the cancer cells to go away, but I don’t like all the war metaphors. I don’t like fighting with my body. It is true that chemotherapy kills cancer cells. It also kills other fast growing cells like hair, and blood components, mucosal linings and so on. Cleaning is an interesting metaphor, but since I’m such a slob, that’s definitely not me. My brother in law suggested an image of love and eating the cells, which is sort of cool.   Have to think more about that….

We  have so many opportunities to hate our own bodies, women especially  – appearance, weight, and now cancer.  I don’t want to hate my body so I don’t want it to be at war, and I don’t want to think about failure within.

The other thing that’s been really interesting is learning to be in the present. Not to dwell on the past and not to worry too much abut the future. That helps a lot. To just enjoy each day as it happens. Mindfulness.  Breathing.

Right now I’m sitting in a sunny room, looking out the window. I can’t see the Alps since it’s a little foggy, but it’s beautiful anyway. Lily is sleeping on the bed and I’m sitting here typing. It’s not a bad existence. Tomorrow I have chemo and there will be a few days of fuzzy head, swelling, and general blah as I taper down the prednisone. But then I’ll be 3/4 done with the first set of chemo.  And spring is coming, so the days will lengthen. And soon this will all be done!