I’ve just returned from my 16th Herceptin infusion and it’s almost too surreal to say, write or believe that I have only one more treatment to go. At this time last year, I had just started writing this blog, not knowing anything about what would lie ahead. Not knowing anything except fear.
Fear has never been my friend.Two of my favorite acronyms for it. 1. Fictional Events Appearing Real, and 2. F’ Everything and Run. Last December, the second of those, while extremely appealing wasn’t an option and, regarding the first, there didn’t seem anything fictitious about the events that were about to occur. I once told my friend, Denise, that my super hero name was Reality Girl and my secret weapon was a cold bucket of water that I would throw on anybody who was living in denial or delusion. Neither of those suit me well. Honestly, in a life that has had its share of anxiety, last December, for the first time in my life, I, Reality Girl, was drenched in her own icy cold truth that I was scared to death. My family will tell you that I cried a lot. They probably did, too, but were kind enough not to let me see. Not knowing the realities that lay ahead, I hoped my fear would subside once I started treatment. Yet, each new side effect brought it all back again. Would my eyes ever stop tearing, would the feeling return to my hands and feet? Would chocolate chip cookies ever taste like chocolate chip cookies? I’m happy to report that at least the cookies taste good again — maybe even a little better.
There’s a lot of literature out there that talks about all the scary feelings that go along with treatment ending. Having fears about not seeing doctors regularly; that the cancer could return; that friends and love ones won’t be as close; that “pretty” is gone for good; that life will never be the same. The closer I come to finishing treatment, the louder these questions become. Luckily, Reality Girl has a new acronym for FEAR: Face Everything and Rejoice. I plan on kicking this attitude into high gear during this brand new holiday season. I’m sure I’ll have lots of pretty extra serious resolutions come January 2016, but for now…all I can say is….one more treatment to go. Pass the cookies.