Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shifting Gears

This past Monday was without a doubt one of the darker days since my diagnosis. Mourning the loss of Polly, and having two friends whose parents are fighting Cancer was overwhelming.  After completing nearly a full day of work,  I came down with a stress headache and took a two hour monster nap in order to try to make sense of a disease that doesn't discriminate.

Two weeks ago, in a drug induced state, Polly called my parents in tears. She was not crying because she was terrified of dying, or because she was in pain, but rather because she was all broken up over the fact that I was battling Cancer- and that it was simply unfair.

Even in her final moments, Polly was thinking of others and not of herself. How could Polly be consumed by my fight, when she was saying goodbye and making trying to make sense of the fact that her days were numbered?  Polly's capacity to give was remarkable. I have felt and continue to feel her presence with me during this battle.  I think the best way to honor her memory, is to fight every day with all the strength I can muster. Polly fought for every day and for every moment. I hope to carry on her legacy.

Monday evening Marc and I went to the gym and I found that exercise helped me release the stress, worry, and overwhelming grief I was feeling from earlier that day.  I have been exercising throughout my treatment as a way to better connect to my body- a body that I have trouble recognizing and understanding. When I exercise I feel I am able to better understand my body's abilities and limitations. There are many studies that indicate that exercise is beneficial for Cancer Patients. While I am not overly exerting myself, and certainly  am not running or lifting at the pace that I used to, I am moving- and it feels good.

After our session at the gym, I had a lengthy conversation with Marc and an email exchange with Ethan about the importance of mourning Polly, feeling the pain and sadness, but eventually shifting gears in order to continue fighting.

I felt guilty about having to shelve my grief, but I also recognized how these events depleted me of all my energy and drastically affected my outlook. In order to get my body and mind ready for my surgery and my second round of Chemo (which begins this Friday), I needed to protect myself by refocusing.

Yesterday I had a port catheter placed in the upper part of my right breast. This port ( also affectionately known as my trip nip, or port authority) will eliminate the need for future IV's and pricks. As someone that has recently looked like a heroine addict, I know this device will be a welcomed change to the daily pricks. Initially they wanted me to have a double port (affectionately known as my double p's) but the surgeon felt that I was too thin for this device.  The initial thinking was that this port could also be used for a potential blood transfusion of which I may or may not need. As a result, the surgeon opted for a mini power port, which is made of both metal and plastic laying just beneath the skin. It is a bit bizarre to know I have a foreign object inside of me, but I'll get over it. You can barely see the bulge, and the scar is a little larger than my biopsy.

These scars are my battle wounds and will serve as a reminder for how hard I fought.

As I gear up for round two, I have a lot of memories that I shelved and plan to draw upon when I symptomatic and scared. Thank you to those of you that have touched me and provided me with incredible memories over the years. I plan to use them as grenades for this round.

Cancer you better watch out.

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