The Roller Coaster psychology of Cancer

After being super zen last week I cried a lot of tears this weekend away with some dear girlfriends. Today I finally was able to crystallize why these transitions are so difficult. On the surface the story is that the medicine stopped working, but the dark truth underneath is that during that window the cancer has gained ground. So it isn’t just about changing a medicine. It also typically demands either radiation or surgery to zap the damage while praying that the new systemic treatment works.  And during this time my mind moves between truly zen where I’m taking it all in stride and day by day, to Holy Shit I do not want to die young and how the hell will my family’s life look when that happens& damn I’m sick of this and the meds, the drugs, the side effects (lots of tears)Back to Let’s tackle this thing and one day at time that also comes with the stark reality that to be a metastatic cancer survivor has meant blazing through new drugs every 4-10 months and then braving radiation. So every once in awhile I need a big cry so that I can get back to being grateful in still here. And that I really really am. Sometimes I just stress out about the math: to get to Will’s high school graduation…8 years, bebe’s…10. College 12 and 14. Weddings? Babies? In cancer years that’s a lot. But you can never look at that giant flight of steps. You can just go one step at a time.

Radiation is set for 12 hours on nov 29th. Hoping I can get squeezed in earlier. Don’t like this tumor growing in my brain. The jaw pain has broken through the gabapentin a few nights and it is 10/10 pain. Hideous. Waiting for Xeloda to work her chemo magic. Today I said thanks to my jaw for being the canary in the coal mine. Without it we might have gone months with the brain lesions growing. So the body works in funny ways.

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