If I’m feeling better, it must be time for another chemo treatment

In this breast cancer chemotherapy cycle, when I start to feel better that means another chemo treatment is imminent.  As in tomorrow.  Today I’m not achy and can actually taste food (somewhat) without a chemical taste in my mouth and don’t have mouth sores and don’t feel generally rotten.  Tomorrow morning all of that will start to change.  But this will be my next-to-last chemo.  Right now I’m halfway through this Taxotere treatment.  Four more weeks sounds like a long time to me.  When you’re in “normal” life, four weeks flies by, but not when you’re having chemo.  That’s one aspect that is hard for my friends to understand.  When I say I have four more weeks, they cheerfully say,  “That will fly by!”  Um, not so much when you’re feeling rotten and can’t taste anything and are achy and have a variety of other side effects.  When you live a life of frenzied activity, yes, time does fly.  But when you are sidelined with any kind of physical aliment, time has a totally different quality.  I won’t say it creeps by, yet it does not pass without my noticing it.

And that can have its gifts.  I’m more aware and alert than I was when I was too busy.  I take much less for granted.  I’m more aware of the season and the weather and the angle of the sun and peoples’ kindnesses and the value of friendship and family.  I enjoy watching the cat laze about,  I enjoy drinking a cup of warm coffee.  I enjoy soaking in the restorative powers of sleep.  I don’t wonder where my day went because I’m aware of what I did or did not do.  Much of that is “did not.”  I did not rush through the day, not paying attention to who or what was right in front of me.  I did see kindness more more readily, and I did appreciate it.  Many of you read my last blog post and have made a point to encourage me through words or service.  That has been a blessing to me.  I’d have appreciated that before this cancer journey, but now my appreciation is of a deeper sort, a recognition of our shared humanity and our need to be of service to each other.  Of that I am grateful in a way that I could not have been six months ago.  So in a backwards, upside-down sort of way, cancer has been a blessing.

I’ll try to remember to look at it that way today as I feel better –  as well as tomorrow when the chemo starts its effects.  Because all in all, I have so much for which to feel gratitude.

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