Yes, Vomiting on Yourself Is Totally Worth it if Cancer Dies
I told myself this last Friday while I waited to have surgery to remove the tissue where the lump was and the few lymph nodes that were positive for cancer cells back in July.
As I dozed on the couch, one of my doctors unexpectedly phoned. She had my test results in front of her and she was so happy she had to call me. My body has had a "complete pathological response to chemotherapy"--which means that those horrific infusions of carboplatin and taxotere did what they were supposed to do. There are no traces of cancer cells in my lymph nodes or in the breast tissue that was removed.
I was kinda like Oprah when I was on the phone with the doctor. I cried, but I managed to hold it together as I listened to her talk. The minute I hung up...well, I hugged my sister and my 13-year-old son and bawled like a baby.
I have drawn on my eyebrows and worn wigs and smiled when people asked me how I'm doing. I realized that no one wants to hear someone reply, "Actually, I'm not doing so hot and I kinda feel like passing out under a table."
At the end of most days I have collapsed the minute I got home from work. I've been in such terrible physical shape that I have often worried that I wouldn't wake up alive when my alarm clock went off in the morning.
The numbness in my fingers has made typing feel like I'm being stabbed with tiny needles. I have seemingly endless hot flashes because chemo drugs put you into menopause. My body is a swollen mess because of the steroids I have had to ingest to keep the chemotherapy infusions from killing me. A month after the end of chemotherapy, the side effects are hanging in there. I've been so worried that the doctors would say sorry, we didn't get all the cancer, you're going to have to do more chemotherapy or more surgery. They didn't say that.
Let me type that again: I DON'T HAVE CANCER ANYMORE. I DON'T HAVE CANCER ANYMORE. I DON'T HAVE CANCER ANYMORE.