Tomorrow is my last treatment of chemo, hopefully forever. (I'm superstitious, so you bet your sweet ass I will knock on wood about that.) I’m not totally done, but this is what I’m thinking I'll strive for: I want to salve the mental scars that will surely remain for the rest of my life with a calming mantra: you did the most you could, and you’re still fucking here.
The next couple months I’ll see more boob-baring treatments (radiation, tamoxifin, herceptin). That means more robes, more pokes, more “Name and birthday please?” - a phrase repeated so often during my appointments over the last seven months that I hear it in my nightmares.
I will be ecstatic to have the chemo, that red devil of poison, far, far away from my veins and my pee and my little eyebrow hairs that fall down onto my cheek.
In the beginning, when the landscape of my treatment seemed far off, and oh-so-do-able, when the summer sun was shining, when I had a lot of visitors, when I had armies of people behind me and sending me cards and offering support and gifts and food, I stated that I was grateful this happened to me.
I want to alter that statement. As time has worn on - crawled on - and I’m still in treatment, and I've faced my mom’s brain surgery a week before my own surgery, and as I've seen my resolve weaken and at times plummet into a dark, dark abyss, here's my revised take: I’m not all butterflies-and-rainbows thankful for this awful, awful disease. Could have done without it, actually, thanks.
But I am thankful for my life, of course. I believe my relationship with Mike has strengthened to an awesome degree. My relationships with my friends have ascended to the highest levels of lady love. You truly see the good in people. You also see who kind of toddles off from you - It's like, see ya later! nothing to see here!...and you’re like, really? But you learn you can’t hold it against them, and that everyone’s different, and like, honestly? Whatever. It’s not worth it to sweat it. I definitely have noticed that I don’t get as “jazzed” (as Mike would say) about people or things I can’t control, and yada yada.
To sum up, I’m not out of the woods, the next couple weeks will be pukey but hopefully won’t land me in the hospital again - but after that…after that?! It’s on. Even my superstitious and realism-seeking self won't be able to deny how glad I'll be to be done with the poison. And closer to fully accepting that all that matters is that I'm still fucking here.