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Chemo Girl's Words Of Wisdom

This is a collection of posting beginning from shortly before chemo began in December 2012 to when chemo ended on Valentine's Day ... little snippets of what was running through my head - Read on!

Chemo Girl's Words of Wisdom Part #1:

The difference between denial and surrender? Perspective.

Five years ago-I plowed thru chemo telling everyone around me that I was fine-thinking that would make it so. I didn't rest as much as I should have, and I probably allowed some of those side effects to be worse than they had to be (sleeping your way thru the shitty days is so much easier).

This time-if I feel like crap I'm staying in bed-and my little world will be waiting for me once I feel better (unless the Mayans are right-we'll see how that all pans out in a week or so). My friends pay per view, vicodin and xanax are lovely companions. Not so bad. One down-three to go. Chemo Girl's Words of Wisdom Part #2:

It's Christmas time, and I'm giving myself a break this year from all the 'shoulds' dancing in my still hair covered head (because if you can't get a pass when you have cancer when can you, eh)?

The 'easier' chemo is still having its way with me like a tawdry slut. A funky stomach and bone pain seem to be how I roll now. Still doing the 'old lady shuffle' around the house and the prescriptions to alleviate the side effects come with their own side effects-some of which are keeping me perpetually buzzed (definitely NOT complaining about those).

I've opted not to send out cards. I've let the kids decorate. I've let my husband do the gift shopping. The 'men' that I live with will also be cooking Christmas dinner, albeit heavily supervised from a pain in the ass drunken Italian she-elf perched on the couch.

So go on and make merry with those you love-and know that I will be doing the same. Isn't that really what it's all about? Chemo Girl's Words of Wisdom Part #3:

If you are starting chemo-check your license! At the bank the other day and was showing mine for ID and I realized it will expire this July...JULY! So off to the DMV I go.

Cannot even fathom having to carry around a chemo-girl photo for the next 4 years ... and if you've ever driven with me you understand that even more. Chemo Girl's Words of Wisdom Part #4:

Keep your kids involved. I learned this the first time around. Whatever their comfort level might be.

Five years ago when they asked to participate in something I very hesitantly let them. Now, as teens, they know far more about the whole process. As my hair began falling out I wasted no time firing up the clippers (it's a control thing). My fourteen year old immediately offered to do it for me-so I let him-and the end result is better than I could have achieved!

The upsides, he felt involved and helpful and I've found that less hair equals more time for other things...such as make-up, bra shopping and Pinterest. Chemo Girl's Words of Wisdom Part #5 (really a PSA):

'My' official stats...I've found it takes about 20 days for your hair to begin falling out once treatment starts. Coincidentally, it is at exactly this same time chemo-brain kicks in. I will officially be irretrievably stupid for the next 6-8 weeks. Chemo Girl's Words of Wisdom Part #6:

Time to breathe...in and out. Over and over. It's been a crazy week filled with new train schedules, excessive napping, flowers, pink streamers, chemo brain and welcome back cards.

Yes-I am still doing the 'old lady shuffle' but at least I am shuffling amongst the working. I'm so happy that I feel well enough to return to a NYC commute halfway way through my treatment. Five years ago I could have never been able to take this on-not only did I not have the support but I didn't have the tools. Now I'm a little older, a lot wiser, and much calmer.

The work will get done. Deadlines will be met. Management will understand. Chemo is temporary. Cancer be damned! Chemo Girl's Words of Wisdom Part #7:

Ahhhh yes, the ride continues. The cumulative effects of chemo are starting to hit hard. Muscle soreness, fatigue, gross stupidity and of course, the hot flashes. It's fun-with a capital FU.

So even though it's cold outside I go to bed dressed like it is the middle of August in Miami because the flashes only like to flash me between 1 and 3am. The overhead fan is running full power all night and if I think I can get away with it, I crack the window open once Pete falls asleep. Poor guy has to dress like a Sherpa to sleep in our room.

One more to go-I got this. Chemo Girl's Words of Wisdom Part #8:

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” –A.A. Milne

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