I am having a hard time believing that six months of chemotherapy has come to an end at last! I am so thankful and appreciative that it has been effective in reducing the size of the tumor in my left breast. I am surprised that it was easier than I expected it to be. Sure losing my hair and wearing a wig for the last few months hasn't been my favorite thing in the world but it has been much easier than I ever dreamed it would be. No doubt my Raquel Welch wig wins my vote for my best friend this year. Thank God for places like Angel Hair Wig Gallery who make that process as pleasant as possible.
If you would have told me at the start of my chemo regime that I would be able to maintain my normal activities for the entire time I am not sure I would have believed you. We are very fortunate that these days the anti nausea medication they can give you really helps to manage side effects. I also complemented my chemo regime with weekly Healing Touch sessions, with Lavanya at Hearty Healing, which allowed me to feel in control of how I approached the whole process. From the start I always said I was starting the healing process versus the fighting process. For me personally I just felt I had the energy to heal but not to fight.
I have been able to help out in my kindergartner's classroom, attend both of my boys soccer games and have been able to thoroughly enjoy watching my nine year old discover the fun of basketball. I have been able to get my daughter to all of her dance classes. I was able to finish writing a book, Inspiring Global Entrepreneurs, with my co-author who is based in the UK, and to throw a launch party celebrating the books release in November. I have been able to continue to grow my business and teach a few of the Parent Effectiveness Training classes that I committed to. I even surprised myself by being comfortable giving a talk at the local middle school when I first started wearing the wig. How could I almost forget that we moved house during this chemo gig! We also enjoyed a fantastic road trip down to New Orleans just after Christmas.
As I look back on the last six months I am reminded of how much I have been able to do. I think it is important for people to know that life doesn't necessarily stop if you are diagnosed with cancer. I know that fear of what chemo will be like, fear of losing your hair, fear of surgery, can stop people from going to the doctor. I know because I was one of those people. I delayed going to the doctor because I didn't want to face the possibility of what it might mean. I am lucky that my cancer was caught in time for me to have some options.
Thanks to my husband for making school lunches on the mornings when I couldn't think about food let alone start preparing it. Thank you to my children who didn't mind if I took them to school wearing a headscarf. Thank you to my five year old who made us laugh so hard when he came down wearing my wig one night. It turned out he didn't even realize I'd been wearing a wig for a few months. Thank you to my friends and family members near and far for their visits, emails, care packages, meal deliveries and unwavering support.
I still have a single mastectomy, radiation, and reconstruction to go but for me the hardest part is over. If I can get through chemo and still feel like myself I know I can face the rest of the process and be fine. After years of dying my hair brown to hide those darn grey hairs I am now looking forward to seeing what I look like with grey hair when it eventually returns. There have been many unexpected upsides to this process.