Keep breathing slowly


Tomorrow I’m back in chemo camp. Not, I hasten to add, for more chemo ( I’ve done that and won’t be doing it again).  Tomorrow I’m back to attempt more herceptin following a break of almost 5 weeks because my body retained so much fluid, especially in my joints, that I couldn’t use my hands or walk for more than a few yards.  Dr C has already told me there are no guarantees, pushing ahead with the herceptin could make the joints much worse and he doesn’t know if or when it will resolve. Decisions, decisions. If I’m going to die before for my three score years and ten, and the possibility is real, then I may as well get my money’s worth and have the experience of rheumatism even though rheumatic colicky joint pain is not the problem.

Today has been stressful which goes some way towards my ‘you know what, I’m not bothered any more’ attitude. Totally unnecessary issues came up but they were stressful all the same so much so that I’ve  barely had time to think about tomorrow.  It’s a story for another post or maybe a whole series of books if I get the time.

By now I should be getting slightly twitchy about tomorrow. Instead I’m feeling like the photo of Kingswear in this post – lots going on but the water looks pretty still. The vein issue will no doubt rear its ugly head and three of the four nurses avoid the job of sticking a cannula into me because its so difficult for them (and me.)  The herceptin holiday means we also have to go back through the loading dose procedure because herceptin looks more meek and mild than chemo but in reality it’s quite a tough little cocktail and is known to cause severe allergic reactions. The range of allergic reactions includes death.

Maybe when you’ve been through this stuff for months on end your attitude changes. A year ago I definitely wouldn’t have been blase about any drug that came with hazard warnings, the need for an oncologist to be present in the department and an all day stay in hospital. Now I don’t see the point in worrying about it. Some day the reaper will come for me and that’s that. It would be better if it wasn’t tomorrow because I haven’t got all my affairs in order and chemobrain means that will take some effort; there are also a lot of folks I’d like the chance to say goodbye to. However this whole thing has shown me that although death is final,  it is not the worst thing I’ve had to face in my life.






21 thoughts on “Keep breathing slowly

    • So far so good Maurice, a few of the usual complications but, I am in sight of the final treatment now, just two more to go. Meanwhile I’m having some time away with my son to get a little more “normality” back into life 🙂


  1. I’m so pleased we met each other Carolyn, albeit through the ether and through a situation neither of us would have wanted to face. Face it we do though. I’ve established through 43 years of active research that life can be very cruel and the things we’re confronted with in the here and now are far more devastating than death itself. Death is only devastating for the ones left behind. Of course I don’t wish death for anyone especially when it’s untimely as it is for far too many of us but as we both know, the act of living and dealing with the things that get thrown at us can be far more daunting. Sending much love your way xoxox


    • Thank you so much Mae. I did well today, no problems and fingers crossed I will get to complete the treatment. Your kindness is much appreciated


  2. Some how seems wrong to say that I “like” this post. I love that you are writing and facing this, but I hate that you are experiencing it! I don’t know you, but I will be thinking about you tomorrow. I truly hope that this round of drugs prove to be more beneficial than you could possibly have imagined. Much Love, Sandy


    • Sometimes we connect with people we haven’t met better than people we see every day… I think its one of life’s nicer mysteries 🙂 Thank you so much for your good wishes Sandy, it means a lot to me xoxox


    • You’re such a lovely lady Purnimodo, goodness shines from you and your love and strength came through for me today. Thank you, you warm my days 🙂


  3. Your comment about rheumatism reminded me a thought I had today about myself. I’ve stopped wearing UV protection. I reckon I’m not going to get old enough for excessive wrinkles to be a problem, so why not go ahead with a nice carefree tan, like I used to when I was a kid?


    • I’ve been thinking of you Vicky, you are one of the first people I met on this breast cancer hokey cokey and have always been an inspiration. I agree with you, what’s the point in having perfect skin and no wrinkles when you can enjoy the sun, save a fortune in sunscreen, build up your vitamin D levels and avoid looking washed-out all the time. I’m very fair skinned and burn easily but won’t be wasting my money on sunscreen either in future.


  4. I’ll be thinking of you, Tracy. There is a mindfulness visualization of being a mountain. The weather can be awful and severe and the mountain stands. It sounds like you are transitioning from the sarong clad Everest climber to Mt. Everest itself.


  5. “However this whole thing has shown me that although death is final, it is not the worst thing I’ve had to face in my life.” You said it Tracy… I’m intrigued by the echo I hear while reading your posts. Good luck tomorrow sweetie, I’ll be thinking of you… love you…


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