I can’t believe it is already February 1st. Sometimes the time flies by and sometimes I feel like it is dragging along. Monday morning my port gets placed in my chest at 6 am, it is a surgical procedure and I have to go under anesthesia. After surgery, I have to go over to the infusion floor and get 5 hours of chemotherapy. They are going to access my port while I am still in the operating room and not awake so my chemo nurse just has to hook up the tube to my chest. All of this is making me lose sleep. I have been putting off the thought of having the port placed because every week when I have chemo, the nurse removes the catheter out of my right arm/hand and then I go home with just some pain and bruises. NOW, I will have this thing in my chest. It is really hard on me emotionally because it makes everything a little more real for me. I have my moments where I can totally forget about the fact that I have stage 4 breast cancer. Most of these moments are when I am with my children because they have this magical way of treating me like I am not sick. Its like everything is normal for them, they don’t walk on egg shells around me and they are not scared of me. Now that I am having the port placed, I know it is a permanent fixture and it will remind me every single day that I need to have treatment for as long as I live. I do know that it will be much easier on my body physically but I still don’t want it.
Its amazing how my kids have adapted to this new version of me. Izzy (3 1/2) comes home from preschool last week and says “Mama, I told my teacher that the doctors have to open up your chest to make you all better and I will take care of you forever.” My kids are so brave and so strong, I don’t think I would be this strong and positive if it wasn’t for them and their strength. There are days where I hurt and my legs are so swollen and I am really struggling and I just want to stay in bed or lock myself in a room. I have never given in to the pain or the emotions because of the kids and Scott, I find a way to push it all out of the way and do what I have to do. I have my wtf moments where I still cannot believe what has happened to me but there is no time in my life for pity parties. I know that my time is limited now and I have to make the most of it, sick or not. My kids deserve it and I will not let them down. They are such brave little girls and I am so proud of them.
There is one chemo that I am on currently that has some pretty nasty side effects. I was informed that one of the side effects would be my finger nails and toe nails would fall off. I did not think it would be this bad. My finger nails are literally oozing and are green, yellow and purple and SO painful and SO gross. I couldn’t even remove my nail polish on my own, my chemo nurse had to do it. They are lifted off the nail bed and it hurts to do anything. I have to wear rubber gloves most of the time when I use my hands. I would rather have no hair for the rest of my life than no finger nails. I don’t like getting into the yuckiness of it all, but because of this condition now, I cant even type on the computer the same way, I have to use one finger at a time. Once I stop this particular chemo, they will be back to normal.
Since my diagnosis, I haven’t really felt self conscious when out in public but lately when I am with my kids I have been feeling it a bit. I see the way people look at me when I am alone with my kids and someone hears them say “Mommy”. FACT: adults stare more than kids.
Once again, I am humbled and so grateful to the amazing supporters that I have. I am so lucky to have an amazing man, children and family. I know that some are not as fortunate in this way and I cannot even imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have them. I never take anything for granted, ever. My oncologist likes to tell me “this is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Happy February everyone, make everything count.