When I was first told I had a spot on my mammogram, I was so scared. I felt frightened of my fate when I found out it was cancer. Once I found out the details of my cancer, although I was frightened, I never had a sense of doom or hopelessness. Sadly, some people with cancer or other diseases are diagnosed with a terminal illness; I don’t know how they feel. My disease was treatable, not terminal – it was the silver lining that eventually came shining through, letting me feel hopeful.
The hopefulness I felt was about not letting cancer bring me down as a person. That I’d come out of it almost the same as I had been before the disease attacked. During treatment, I got flashes of that hopeful feelings at times but it was really hard to focus on any of that. I just felt miserable and wanted it to go away!
At some point, probably in early June, I was halfway through my 10 week Taxol treatments. Taxol had followed the initial AC chemo treatment. I had already started counting down the treatments. There it was; I could see it. The end of the chemo. It was a pinpoint of light at the end of a tunnel. I felt miserable, tired, stuck, and sick but it was important to be counting down toward that final chemo day. It kept me going. That light was hope!
I had hope that I wouldn’t be so sick and so sleepy. I was hopeful that I could get out and do more activities. I hoped my hair would start to grow back and that it would eventually all grow in. I felt hopeful about doing work around the house and starting up my writing work again. I felt hopeful about truly enjoying my family and friends with my head in the game!
I had a lot of things to feel hopeful about. They didn’t hit me all at once. I’d think of them from time to time. After chemo, I still had to go through radiation for 7 weeks, but for my type and stage of cancer, I was told it wouldn’t have bad side effects beyond sleepiness and maybe a minor skin issue. I thought of all the things I hadn’t been able to do during my treatment, and I couldn’t wait for the days that I felt more like me! I felt hopeful for the days to come.
5, 4, 3, 2 …
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