This blog is going to be a compilation of general things I want to share which have happened around me over the course of time! Sorry if it is too long, I just love sharing every tiny bit as again, like I’ve mentioned before, the goal is to help and comfort even 1 single person out there who either is about to or is already going through the same thing or even knows someone going through the same if possible, and not to entertain anyone. 🙂
I just had my 4th cycle started today on 09/14/2018 which means, I had my 8th therapy. It doesn’t sound as bad when we talk in “cycles” as to when compared to “therapies” as from the number of therapies one can make out the amount of drugs that have been repeatedly given to the body which also means, that one can get an idea about the weakness level. My last chemo was so far the best I think because of 2 major reasons:
1. Since my doctor along with the board doubted my pet scan done on 08/09/2018 after having completed 2 cycles of chemo saying that, the 2 lymph nodes that showed up were “unspecific” meaning “non cancerous” which, was later proved by the biopsy done, they dropped the bleomycin in my 6th therapy.
2. Since I am a student and I have a student insurance plan with my school, the plan starts every August so, I had a gap in my chemo cycles (yes it is safe to have a gap between cycles but only your doctor gets to decide how long can it be) by about almost 3 weeks as we had to wait for the absolute important information- the coverage!
These 2 things sort of gave my body a good enough recovery time as my blood profile changed drastically. I was only weak/ down on the infusion day and pretty much myself from the very next day!
On 09/14/2018, I found myself sitting in the lobby by myself, surrounded by these people – some were patients and some were visitors. I am usually 90% of the times by myself as it’s quiet a long process which takes approximately 4 hours including my blood draw and awaiting its results with the infusion and I don’t like bothering my relatives who have been taking such good care of me for nothing. So, I usually take my iPad, facetime my parents and my boyfriend and the time goes by. Now, I have to take my physical therapy national boards in January, so this time I had my book out and I was reviewing something. All of the a sudden, I look around and realize that I’m the only person in the whole wide room who is less than 45ish…. yes 45ish!!! years in age and mind you this was including the visitors!!! What did I do? At first, I felt a little, I don’t know it was not a happy feeling for sure, but then I smiled to myself, told my self…. oh well… and continued my review! This helped me not think about it at all, and push that negative feeling far far away!
Now, the reason I mentioned this is not for you to pity me or sympathize with me. Nope, the reason I mentioned this is because, Hodgkin’s is a type of cancer that targets the younger age group. How young? It’s usually between 20-30 years of age, sometimes teenagers (as I have read blogs and watched YouTube videos from the same age). So, a lot of times it will happen where, you will either find yourself in the same situation or might get this feeling the first time, very first time you enter a building that says “comprehensive cancer center” (my very first doctor’s appointment day!) or be asked to confirm your date of birth as per usual and in my case, each time I said 1992, the opposite person would ask me again! The very fact that, they would ask me again used to annoy me initially, but now, I just smile along and show them how the disease tried so hard to get to me and I did everything in my power to fight it through, and I succeded!
This brings me to the next piece that I would like to share… I am someone who used to be a little more than required short tempered and anxious and someone who would panic really easily until 5 months back! I still am that way in certain things and I am working on it, thanks to my better half, but, I can safely say that I have developed a really peaceful state of mind when it comes to my medical treatment and health! Cancer treatment is a tedious process and it is very vital to have patience and maintain your cool. This will not only help you but, also your family! I have learnt 2 important facts so far on my journey:
1) The more you let something affect you, the more it will!
2) The sooner you get frustrated or start giving up, so will your family! Sure, they might not always show you, but you WILL be able to feel their worries for you!
So, always remember one thing..
“GIVING UP, IS NEVER AN OPTION!”
One might say.. well all these things are easier said than done but, trust me, trust me when I say this… if I can achieve a calm mind and be able to process things the right way, ANYONE can! I had this really really stupid habit of overthinking, over analyzing, and expecting things to happen a certain way and when they wouldn’t, I could get really sad! Okay let’s change the “had” to have.. but, I have been lucky to have a life partner who has helped me reduce that and it doesn’t always have to be your life partner or your better half or whatever tag you want to use, you can always find someone to talk to, the person can be a friend, a colleague, your parents, or even your doctor! It just has to be someone, can be absolutely anyone! Because, I strongly believe it is a simple rule of nature: the more you share and are open about your issues and worries, the more you will find this path easy and I feel the same way, for things in general life! Make sure you are not needy or whiny or just pouring your worries onto somebody’s shoulder as that is not going to help you or them, and they might have things that they are going through as well! You need to be able to develop a habit as per se, to simply share and have healthy discussions about how you feel or what you think and what can or should be done! Just take your time to process things because there will be a lot of times where, you will be told things you don’t want to hear like: Your pet scan did not come back clean or You need more chemo (the number always got to me!). But, trust me, when I say this, I mean it… it will get easier and sooner or later, it’s all going to be okay! Like they say, when you hit rock bottom, there’s only one way to go and that is..UP!
So, if you are on this journey like me, just keep going, YOU GOT THIS! Cancer doesn’t have you, You have cancer and you are overcoming it!
Never let anyone or anything dominate your life and tell you to be a certain way, you be your own hero and do what is right to you, ALWAYS! That being said, don’t be stupid and do things that are self destructive! 😛
Be happy and stay strong, wherever you are in the world! 🙂