The Best Day Ever (Cancer or No Cancer)

Just wrapping up the best day ever. This second chemo cycle has been EONS better than the first. I was still pretty laid up the first week with nausea and fatigue, didn’t leave the couch much, but even so, it was less all-consuming-debilitating than the first go around—evidenced, for example, by the fact that I could tolerate TV watching and book reading (last time both only made my nausea worse), and by the fact that I actually started to get stir crazy a week in (last time I felt too putrid to feel anything other than putrid until almost two weeks in).

Today I woke up and went for a VERY SLOW but nonetheless RUN with Josh in the first sun we’ve had here for days. Then I ate a full bagel-with-the-works brunch followed by some good ol’ Monopoly (no surprise, Harrison negotiated us out of our properties and took us for our money, too). IMG_0283After the appropriate amount of said lounging around the house, we ventured out, and the kids helped me pick out a very fun, very purple wig; and then Harrison and I chopped IMG_0063down a Christmas tree (with Sophie, Amma and Zayde—aka my mom and dad—in tow). The only way the day would have been more perfect would have been if Josh had been with us instead of studying away. (Josh graduates in May 2015 from his very time- brain-energy-consuming physician assistant graduate program.)

But wait, there’s more. Then we rescued Josh from his books for a tree-decorating, cheese-and-cracker-eating, dance party. Hard to say whether my highlight was twirling around the living room with Harrison and Sophie (and you, dad!); or lIMG_0096aughing with them as we tried on pink and green wigs; or running with them through the fields of Christmas trees; or sitting around the dinner table just a bit ago with my parents and my smiling, happy children, and my love Josh, talking about what a great day itwas and knowing there are more to come, whether it be tomorrow or next month or next year.

(The bad news is that I have terrible mouth sores, a new symptom that developed a few days ago. The good news is that chemo #3 isn’t until Thursday, so mouth sores aside, I am looking forward to a few more days of feeling more physically able.)

Last night out before chemo

Happy birthday to my love, Josh. We went out last night to celebrate, and this morning I woke up with the realization that it was likely my last night out on the 15456481530_c666a7c287_otown with my hair and my breasts intact. I felt pretty last night, I flirted, I felt confident. And now I think about how the next time I see many of those people, I’ll be in treatment, I’ll be bald, I’ll be who knows how sick. I’ll be the one in the room that people are pitying or feeling uncomfortable around or thinking, “She used to be so….”

Today our family of four spent the day together to celebrate Josh. I wish I could write that it was wonderful. I (all of us) really could have used that, but it was full of bumps. My stomach has been in knots, my mood on the edge the last several days, and I wonder whether I would feel this way regardless—it’s all very familiar, after all: the free-floating anxiety, the impatience, the edginess. But it’s hard not to wonder with every turbulence whether things would feel different had I not been diagnosed with breast cancer fewer than 3 weeks ago.

It breaks my heart to be edgy and impatient with the kids right now. Breaks my heart that today, our first family day with just the four of us in literally weeks—and probably one of our last for a good while (so many cancer-supporters cycling through our home these days)—was not blissful. I feel like I should be savoring life more than ever, not getting caught up in the pettiness. And yet… life and being human does go on, breast cancer or no breast cancer.