Round Seventeen…✔️

Chemo #17 is in the books. If only this related to something like I tasted 17 flavors of ice-cream instead of relating to chemo. LOL Who’s with me?

It is my off week and today I am feeling good, but slightly tired! Now, the three days after chemo…different story. This round my neuropathy really kicked in more than I have every felt it before. My hands and feet were hurting. Numbness, tingling, cracking of the skin…it wasn’t fun, but luckily it has improved. All I wanted was a foot and hand message to make it go away. My feet felt like I had a really bad sunburn and it wasn’t fun walking. My hands were red and at one point, it was hard to open up something with a cap. Lots of lotion to prevent anymore cracking. Also, fatigue hit me hard. I slept most of the day Friday and Saturday. Now, I am not complaining about sleeping because I would rather sleep than feel nauseous, have a bad stomach ache, diarrhea, throwing up…I mean with chemo, the side effects could be anything. But, today I am feeling good!

I did a big thing over the weekend that as a female, it is a BIG DEAL. I shaved my head. With having cancer, sometimes you do not have the opportunity to keep your hair. This was my choice, but it was also time. My hair was so thin, I had bald spots, and it got to the point it just wasn’t me anymore. My hair prior to chemo was me. I loved styling it, getting pampered at the hair salon, playing with color, playing with different hair cuts…my hair was me and I loved it! BUT, I am embracing the bald head. I will have fun with wigs and fun head accessories. I will make my bald head ME. Of course I shed a couple of tears, but the tears were not sad tears…they were tears of a new beginning in this journey I’ve been on since August. It’s only uphill from here! Plus, hair does not define who we are, we do!

All my numbers were great this round! Tumor marker remained the same, at a 2.8. Remaining the same it fine! Of course, I want to hear that it has shrunk, but remaining the same and not growing is okay with me. My neutrophils were great as well! Something I have been struggling with lately is my weight. I keep loosing weight so it’s finding the foods that sound good to me. I met with a nutritionist who told me what I have been doing seems to be good, but to add more calories and fats….so lots and lots of ice-cream. Right!?!

Let’s talk about life after cancer. Now, I am clearly no expert on this, but I know I will be one day. In the mean time, let me share some things my friend Sydney and I talked about. But, first a little background about how Sydney and I connected…

* We met on Instagram!

* We both are battling colon cancer (Sydney had her last chemo this past Friday. I am so excited for her and what this new life with bring.) Woohoo!!!

* We live in the same state and live very close to each other!!! Crazy

There were times we both had chemo the same day (different hospitals) and we also have the same fanny pack that holds this amazing little machine that likes to pump this nasty drug called chemo into your body for 46 hours. Fun! Friday, was Sydney’s LAST CHEMO. No more. Ummm crazy and exciting all at the same time. The first thing I asked her was, “How are you feeling?” Having cancer, your world is flipped upside down. The life you had before cancer, won’t be your life after cancer. Her response was, “It feels surreal”. Sydney has been battling this since September and she explained how so much has happened in that time. So true! The routine SUCKS. Getting poked in your chest…isn’t the best feeling. Blood draws. CT scans. Waiting game is horrible. Drinking nasty stuff. Anxiety. Body changes. Side effects. Sydney went through 12 treatments and she told me she is so done with this cancer stuff. Me too!!! It’s draining. It consumes your life. I’ve caught myself saying I want my old life back and Sydney has said the same thing. But, we have talked about how we have changed so much…what is “your old life” anymore? We talked about how we will never get our old lives back, but what we will get is an even better life and we will be unstoppable! Some people say life after cancer is hard, but Sydney and I feel that is seriously impossible to image. You go through so much hell while battling cancer, how could life after cancer be hard? Yes, after cancer you are monitored like crazy and I am sure the day of a 3 month scan happens…anxiety to the extreme occurs. But, life after cancer seems it should be something special, something amazing! A freeing feeling. Regardless, I am excited for that day!!! I am excited for my friend Sydney and other wonderful people I have met along the way.

I mentioned how the routine sucks. It does. It is draining. I go in every other week to do the same thing every other Thursdays. Pee in a cup, get a needle put into my chest, fill three tubes with blood, meet with my Dr., get the okay to have chemo, go over to infusion, answer a bunch of questions, get pre-meds, get chemo, go home with the pump for 46hrs, go back on Saturday to get the pump off, get that needle out of my chest, get a G shot, and go home to rest. It is draining. The Wednesday before chemo isn’t my favorite. That day is when I am feeling so good to the point where I can concur the world…not really! But, then I realize I have chemo tomorrow. BUMMER. It is was it is. But, this kind of routine is draining. This isnt forever for me though and it wont be forever for you either! 👍🏻

Cancer can take a lot from us. As someone going through cancer, it takes away your motivation, your hair, patience, self-love, energy, stamina, the opportunity to just live life…As someone who is a caregiver, it takes away loved ones, it gives a different perspective of life, it causes stress knowing the unknown about the life of someone you love. Cancer also gives you anxiety, fear of the unknown, insecurities, chemo brain, and doubt. However…hope, thoughtfulness, strength, positivity, perseverance are some of the words I think about daily. Positive attitude and staying as stress free as possible is so important…during this time it is important to really take care of yourself and your health. I know I talk about this a lot, but PEOPLE it is so important.

This cancer thing isn’t fun. What is fun is when I am feeling good to the point I can get out of the house and enjoy life a little. Now, that is fun!!!

Just a friendly reminder…I would love all the support I can get to bring awareness and to raise money to dominate cancer!!! #TeamAuggie

http://join.coloncancercoalition.org/site/TR/GYRIG/GYRIGEvents-2018?team_id=38840&pg=team&fr_id=3728

#bebrave

xoxo,

Audrey

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