#MyLeftBoob Chronicles: Gripping Fear and Grappling with Wigs

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Two-and-a-half hours of sleep can do a number on your emotions….. even without going through chemo. It was another rough one last night…. not with much physical pain this time…. more like mental anguish. This is when projects and distractions come in handy.

Last night’s project was to find the best wig. While my scalp is still pretty sore from the hair falling out, and I am not completely bald yet, I’m growing tired of trying to cover the splotchy peach fuzz with one lone scarf. So I decided to try on some of the wigs that I ordered. I put the 4 options (pictured) out for a vote on my Facebook and Instagram pages. Most people seemed to like the bottom left.

While the hair loss is only just one of the many side effects I’ve been experiencing from the Adriamycin, Cytoxan and Neulasta, it is a big one. It’s important to keep a positive mental attitude throughout my treatment and feeling like I look halfway decent will definitely help with that.

Last week was unexpectedly rough with the delayed reaction to the ACT. Thursday and Friday the muscles in my legs and bones hurt so bad I wanted to cry. But instead I downloaded an app (Bible Gateway) and listened to Psalm 103 over and over to soothe me to sleep.

It seems the darkest part of my battle comes very late at night….

The fear says:

*What if the chemo isn’t working?”

“What if it comes back?”

“What if this pain in my ribs is ‘something?'”

“What if I end up like so-and-so who didn’t make it?”

The faith says:

“The chemo IS working – that’s why my hair is falling” out”

“Trust that the doctors are checking me continually, and I know my body, so any new lumps and bumps will be checked.”

“The pain in my ribs is bone pain, a side effect from the Neulasta.”

“So-and-so waited too long to go to the doctor, the other so-and-so was misdiagnosed, and the other so-and-so was at a completely different age and stage. I am only stage one. It has not spread. Focus on the positive.”

Last night I couldn’t sleep because all of those dark thoughts swirling through my brain.

So…. if you are one of the people sending me stories about your loved one who passed away from cancer, I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and your family. You were robbed. Cancer sucks. I wish that didn’t happen. I wish your loved one was still here with you.

But until I am done with my treatment, please don’t send me stories like that. It only adds to the fear that we (cancer patients) already experience daily. Right now as I go through treatment, I need to only hear positive and uplifting stories. I need to hear about survivors. I need to be surrounded with hope and strength. This may sound selfish to you but I have to be selfish right now for my mental, spiritual and physical health.

Unless you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, it’s hard to understand. And unless you’ve been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer that was only just discovered 15 years ago that not much is known about and has a higher rate of recurrence, then it’s even harder to understand the gripping fear that takes over at times.

That is why it is so important to feed my faith and feed my spirit. I’m so grateful to have been connected yesterday with a wonderful support group at Walnut Hill Community Church, right here in my hometown, Bethel, Conn. I know this will play a huge role in keeping my spirit strong and help in my recovery.

The leader is a 10 year cancer survivor. The ladies in attendance are survivors, full of faith, prayer warriors. They have been through it and and are all wonderful!

Here is a scripture that the leader read that really touched my heart from Romans 8. Those who are believers will “get it” and those who are Atheists or Agnostic, think of these words as beautiful poetry, because that is what it is!

“18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 38 I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Thank you all so very much for your love and support, for your donations and well wishes, for your continued prayers. You are all helping make my battle so much easier and I am forever grateful!

And now it’s time for a nap! 🙂

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