Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We are tough cookies!

Someone on one of the breastcancer.org discussion boards let out a "primal scream" yesterday.


Message heard, loud and clear!!!

I think we all HATE CHEMO! No one feels "good" on chemo, unless you count the ability to get up and semi-function as "feeling good."  We're just putting one foot in front of the other, showing up for treatment like good warriors, and dealing with the aftermath as best we can.

I think, for me, the big "revelation" in all of this is that I have been able to get through it without it killing me. Because, honestly, I thought it would, for sure! Everyone uses the word "doable" and my thoughts were that, yeah, going to war and coming home minus limbs is "doable" because the human body and spirit are so resilient. But doable doesn't mean you would want or choose to do it!!!

I guess the one thing that has kept me going is that I was determined to not let chemo keep me from living my life, spending time with my family (after 20 years of living away) and to the extent possible, enjoying all the things I like to do, or eat, or see, or whatever. With just 2 Taxols left, I have managed to keep on keeping on! Yeah, I've had lots of SEs but I have found there's a pill to minimize almost every one of them except the hair loss and fatigue.  If you are what you eat, I am a toxic waste dump at the moment!

I know that my journey is not what many of my BC sisters have experienced. That is the reality of our human bodies, though. We are all so different, we all process things differently and our bodies all react differently. I learned this first by being diabetic and understanding that one food would raise someone's glucose while that same food would be fine for another diabetic.  Many of my sisters have marveled at my ability to do as much as I have done in the midst of treatment, to take care of things for my mom, to host and enjoy family gatherings (which would not be possible without everyone pitching in, by the way) and generally to be as "normal" as possible under the circumstances.

The thing that has amazed me most (although I think my family had more confidence in me than I did) is that I have been able to face all these challenges with way more courage than I ever thought I had in me. I've never, ever thought of myself as courageous, brave, whatever descriptor you like to use. Perhaps I wasn't giving myself enough credit for being a "tough cookie". I remember people saying that about my grandmother - that she was "tough" and could handle anything thrown her way. And now I know that I am tough, resilient, and all those adjectives that would describe someone who has battled a ferocious opponent.

I am not yet ready to call myself a survivor, but I am a fierce warrior!
We are all tough warriors in this battle, and we will march on as we must until we can claim victory.

Man your battle stations, ladies! We've still got some work to do kicking cancer's a$$!



  1. Yes you may not claim to be a survivor yet, but I know you are a very FIERCE WARRIOR!

    Carry on with the battle I'm rooting for you.


  2. Michelle, I keep forgetting to come over here, but I remembered this morning. It's good to hear your thoughts on beating cancer, and how you look at it, enjoying your family outings, meeting friends, and basically just getting on your your life. I know you use different things, pills,etc. to make it a little easier to handle. Your energy level has ALWAYS been higher, so your fatigue may be different than others. I know just being high in blood sugar makes me crash. I like how you take care of yourself, YET there's still more of you to go around to family, especially your mom! You teach us all how to look at life, how to face things, not sit back and take it, but to forge ahead.

    I look at you AS A SURVIVOR NOW, even if you don't yet.

    I'll try to look in more.