The herceptin infusion I received yesterday was a gift to my future self. I have to make the choice to see it that way. Herceptin shouldn’t make me sick, lose my hair, or destroy my fast growing cells once again because it isn’t a toxic drug. Instead it is supposed to block the Her2 protein from coming back and trying to form cancer once again. Yeah for that! Three cheers for my secret weapon- Herceptin!
My emotions shaky, I stepped back in the infusion center for the first time since receiving my final chemo 2 months ago (somehow it feels like a lifetime ago!) Call me crazy… but get this… I had what I’d call a chemo flashback. A few minutes after being hooked up I got nauseous, had trouble swallowing, and had that awful metal taste in my mouth once again. My mind automatically made the yucky connection with this routine. It was bizarre. Telling myself to get a grip, I practiced the art of mind over matter. I sipped some water, concentrated on breathing, reminded myself of the reality, and began to feel back to normal in a few minutes.
Marathoners, ultra runners, endurance junkies, and triathletes alike have all experienced the power of mind over matter. With unbridled passion for our sport, we love to reminisce over (and maybe even brag about) those unforgettable times when mind over matter helped us stick to our guns, focus on our goal, and find a way to rise victoriously despite a challenging experience. It’s a beautiful thing. And dare I say, addicting.
Back to the treatment, all glory to God for equipping me for situations like these. I’m ever so grateful that He’s allowed me to have disciplined my mind in this way before confronting this battle. He has brought me here for such a time as this. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Be certain of this, anyone going through life’s challenges can also tap into the Lord for their strength. With all the hopelessness, despair, and fear in the world today, I feel compelled to proclaim the wonders and the peace that God graciously fills us with when we accept the gift of Jesus Christ his son, particularly when we experience trials. He gives freely to all who simply come to Him. It’s an everlasting gift.
I realize there are multiple gifts mentioned in this post. How appropriate for this time of year. ‘Tis the season! So, how about the gift of hair on my head once again? I’m starting to become fuzzy (it’s so soft, like babies hair!)
Full disclosure, check out what my fingernails look like without any nail polish (not an enjoyable gift!):
The discolored white/yellow part is where they are lifted from my nail bed. They were constantly hurting 3 weeks after I finished chemo. The toxins contributed to wage war on my body even that far out. That’s when the separation suddenly began. Now they are wiggly and some of them feel like they are going to fall off. I’m trying to be really careful not to catch them on anything.
I have been getting more mobility in my arms now that I am a month out from surgery. Hitting that one month mark was so wonderful because the doctors finally allowed me to work out again. I actually was not supposed to do any sweating before then in order to prevent more inflammation from building up in my system. I’m grateful to be able to cycle again! Only one week left until I am allowed back into the pool and to do any planking or push ups again!
So, I’ll go in for herceptin treatment every 3 weeks until May. I will start radiation soon. Several of you know I was really fretting over that part but now I feel a peace about it after getting my other doctor’s opinion this week about it. Those treatments will be 5 weeks long, 5 days a week. Grueling, but the end is almost in sight. It’s the one final bend before I expect to see that finish line.