Friday, March 20, 2009
The Beat Goes On
Sometimes I don't feel like I have cancer or going through treatment. And then I realize that ache in my back is a side effect and not over-exertion, though if you knew my schedule you would not rule out over-exertion. I can't decide if this feeling is good or bad. Do I need to be miserable to know that the drugs are working? I can't use the term miserable, but each treatment seems to gain in intensity just enough to make me dread the next one. The last treatment was high in the aches and pains which always pairs nicely with sleepless nights from the steroids. I guess overall, not feeling miserable certainly makes living through this a bit more bearable.

***

When things get really painful, physically or emotionally, I set the alarm on my phone for five minutes. I can do anything for five minutes. If I am achy, I know it will get better soon. I give myself five minutes to feel it and then I move on and do what I have to do. If I am feeling the emotional brunt of things, I give myself five minutes to feel sorry for myself and move on. I simply can't wallow in negativity or give in to dark feelings, but I have to allow myself time to acknowledge my feelings and then I have to let it go.

Surprisingly I developed this trick from my sister, Joyce. Whenever I don't want to clean, she always tell me to set a timer for fifteen minutes and see just how much I can do in fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes, it seems you have gotten into a rhythm and keep cleaning. It really works whether you are cleaning house or cleaning your psyche.

***

Overheard in the Infusion Room a.k.a. Chemo Lounge

Nurse 1: The IV alarm keeps going off when he moves his arm
Nurse 2: Want me to change it?
Nurse 1: No, he doesn't have much time left.
Patient: I don't? The doctor didn't mention that to me.

(I know, not many of you will find mortality humor enjoyable, but it was a very funny moment.)

***

I'm still having the heart shape phenomena follow me. Blister on my foot...you guessed...heart shaped!

***

OMG! A very sweet, sweet bloggy friend sent me gift -- a buff! I lurve it! In fact I sleep in the buff, work out in the buff, go for walks in the buff, and more! I love to be in the buff! (What would life be without the double entendre?) It is THE one most comfortable thing I have discovered in this whole long cancer process. Thank you sweet survivor sistah!

***

I have two more treatments ahead of me. I am two-thirds, 67%, almost done. In fact in about a month I will be having my last treatment. God help me, the time can't pass soon enough. It seems to be taking forever this time around and the thought of things progressively intensifying does weigh heavy at times. But with each treatment that passes and each time I rebound from the side effects, I feel empowered. I realize how strong I am, how many amazing people are sharing this burden with me, and that together we still have plenty of fight to carry me through.

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Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12