Breast Cancer Journey, Fitness, Goals, Organization, Zumba

I’m Optimistic

I look over my shoulder and see this road behind me.
An uphill battle full of challenges, twists and turns.

Day two, post-chemo, and I’m feeling pretty optimistic today. I was initially excited to have my last treatment and had been counting down the days since day 60. Literally marking them off my calendar, calculating how many I had behind me and how many still lie ahead. I’m a very goal oriented person so anytime I can check a box or measure my progress my enthusiasm for completion will be higher.  Confirmation of this theory is evident in my consistent supplement regimen over the last four months. I’ve taken vitamins for years, but only when I remembered, when convenient or when I had a particular ailment like a cold. Taking vitamins regularly has yielded some concrete results too. For the first time in my life I actually have long nails. At first I was thinking it was the amino acids, but after further consideration and some research, I’m leaning more toward the magnesium now.

As you might recall from an earlier blog post when I started my chemo treatments my doctors also gave me a host of medications to be taken on different schedules. At that time I created my treatment calendar, writing down what I had to take on the appropriate days. Then I got the old lady pill boxes and used those to save me time getting them all out every day. Since then I’ve added vitamins and supplements along the way so that now I’m up to 8 pills and a liquid supplement every day!  That seems like a lot doesn’t it?  If I was following doctors orders it would be even higher!

I’ve been holding this back for weeks but now I’m going to spill the beans. I totally quit taking my pre-chemo meds the doctors said I HAD to take. This includes the steroids, Pepcid and Zyrtec. Docs said the steroid was for nausea and/or allergic reaction. Luckily I hadn’t experienced either so I safely tapered down over a period of three weeks and then quit taking them altogether. (Disclaimer – any current chemo patients reading this should know – this was NOT while I was on the A/C, this was during my 12 week Taxol regime and I took full doses for the first 4 weeks.)

Anyway, now that that’s off my chest… where was I going with this?  Oh yes, optimistic. Now that I’m post-chemo, I have surgery to look forward to. I kinda have mixed emotions about this one. NOT looking forward to having surgery – that would be weird and morbid. But I AM looking forward to having it behind me. I finally met with the surgeon this week and believe it or not I have like ten options to choose from. Lumpectomy with radiation (5 days a week for 6 weeks!), partial mastectomy (one boob) with or without reconstruction or double mastectomy with or without reconstruction. And there are three types of reconstruction. One of which uses chopped off belly fat and/or excess back parts to make new boobs (gross!) another that uses implants and I can’t even remember the other option. I wonder if anyone has ever said, “I want a double mastectomy but just make me one new boob and put it in the middle” I’m thinking that would make the healing process a little easier and have less of an impact on my pectoral muscle recovery. If I had aspirations of joining the circus, I would definitely do that. The closest thing I have to the circus is Zumba. People do pay to hang out in a room with me and occasionally see me do some pretty stupid things, but most of them aren’t intentional nor considered freakish. I’m going to opt for no boobs (since these have already tried to kill me) but next time someone asks me I’m going to tell them I’m getting just one in the middle just to see the look on their face! Gives a whole new meaning to the term “uni-boob” doesn’t it?

Random uni-boob mug?

I’m hoping to have surgery mid to late March – still waiting for the surgery schedulers to call to set it up. This afternoon I’m having an ultrasound to check the blood clot that was in my neck, hopefully it’s gone. Then next Friday, February 22nd I’ll have my medi-port removed. I can’t wait! Then… after that… hopefully… I can really start the road to recovery. Which of course, will include lots of Zumba, definitely some weight lifting and maybe some boot camp or muscle pump classes. Everyone (doctors, nurses, websites) say it’s going to take me six months to a year to get all of my energy back, but I guess they haven’t met me. I plan on being stronger and more fit than I was to begin with by this summer. Yep – I’m optimistic. 

This is the road I’m on now.

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