Slowly Falling Apart to be Put Back Together Again

When I had my “last” surgery in June to remove the latest round of tumors from my March diagnosis, I thought I was done. Much to my surprise, when I went to the oncologist’s office for my follow up visit, I met with one of my doc’s associates, just like I always do. Before she left the office she told me “well, the doctor will be in soon to discuss the plan of action”. After she walked out I sat there, slightly confused and started to panic. Plan of action? What? I thought we already did our plan of action. How could there be more? When my doc came in he explained to me, yes the chemo shrunk my tumors and the surgery was successful and there was no more visible evidence of disease but because the cancer came back so quickly he wanted to act more preventative in nature. So what was decided on was oral chemotherapy, Xeloda, 1800mg (5 pills) twice per day, 14 days on, 7 days off, plus a 15 minute infusion of Mvasi every three weeks. How long I will be on this is still to be determined. When I left the doctor’s office I sat in my car and cried. I had felt so positive going into his office thinking I had made it around the corner and was moving forward just to be shot down. How could I endure more treatment? And even worse, there was no magic number of doses and a treatment end date. Then I started freaking out over the size of the pills, the side effects, etc. When I received my first round of meds, I was pleasantly surprised that the pills were easy to swallow and my side effects seemed minimal. But then I started my second round of meds. And I developed something called hand and foot syndrome. Hand-foot syndrome causes redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet. Based on the information that I got off the internet (gotta love Google), I have a severe case, which includes cracked, flaking, or peeling skin, blisters, ulcers, or sores on the skin, severe pain and difficulty walking or using your hands. And then I cry some more. As I look at my hands and each day more skin starts to peel and fall off and the pain increases and the ability to do simple tasks decreases, it is hard not to question if this is all worth it. The medication and what it is doing to me, the things on the inside, the things that I do not see. But then there are days where I look at it as a shedding of the skin, a rebirth of sorts. That I have to be torn down, slowly, piece by piece for me to get stronger, to be more confident and sure of myself, to accept the things that have happened to me, to be more prepared for the things to come, to make changes in my life that optimize my overall health, to challenge my mindset, to be better. These storms and challenges do not always come into our lives to harm us, sometimes they are to help us. So what is it that you see as a storm or a challenge that you can “reframe” and make it work for you and what you are trying to achieve in life?

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