Tomorrow marks 11th of 12 weekly chemo treatments! I also met with the Radiation Oncologist this week to discuss my radiation treatment. It was decided that I would begin the 33 days of daily radiation the week after I am finished with Chemo.
Although radiation will be something I need to do every day, the side effects are not nearly as intense as chemo. I will notice fatigue and skin irritation. So, all in all, great news…right?!?! We are on the down hill swing of this journey.
So, why in the world am I filled with tears?
Yes, I am really tired of this. I have been walking this journey since January and another 6+ weeks still feels like a very long time. Especially since it is imposing on my life daily, but in my heart, I didn’t feel like this is what was causing the tears.
Tonight, I decided to go for a walk and while I was walking, praying and really listening to the whispers of my heart, I realized what I was really struggling with. I am still working on accepting my appearance. How self-centered is that?
I have so much to be grateful for…my life, close to being cancer free, the support of my family and friends, the list goes on and on…
Each time I go into the cancer center, I have to get on the scale. I never thought during this process that I would actually gain weight. That number on the scale the last couple of weeks has troubled me more than I have admitted. You see, the last several years, I have worked really hard at losing the weight I started to gain after I turned 40 and I was feeling good about myself. Since I have not been able to be active for the last several months, even though I also haven’t had a huge appetite, I have actually gained weight.
The hair loss was something I came to accept during treatment. I have had some hair growth the last month, but it’s still very short, very thin and very gray. Not to mention not having any eyebrows or eyelashes! Now that the treatment is coming to an end, I have to get myself in a place to be ok with how I “look.”
I went back to Sara’s blog as I remembered her writing a post on “Beauty.” In her post, she talked about when she had Cushing’s, looking in the mirror and not recognizing who was there. She had no control over gaining the weight when getting Cushing’s, but once she lost the weight, she not only recognized herself, she saw more than herself.
She saw the real her…a survivor.
That is where my focus will be. Instead of seeing someone a bit heavier than I want to be. Instead of seeing someone that lacks hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes, I will see a survivor. All of these side effects are marks of survival.
All of these side effects are marks of survival. And there is beauty in that. In surviving.
Thanks, Sara…I get that now.
And, as part of my own healing, I will share with you what survival looks like…with a bit of makeup and choosing joy! 🙂