I am a three-time loser when it comes to success with Affinitor, and I am totally bummed. It almost killed me the first round. The crater-like mouth sores were so insanely painful and I could not eat and could barely drink. But, my tumor markers went down 40 points. Against my doctors wishes, I tried again. I'm a ballsy broad and I figured I would "just do it.” On New Years Day, I cried "uncle.” I feel like a failure and am very nervous about being successful with this new IV chemo that I just started Monday. The unknown is a scary place.
My daughter is home from college, so she came with me for my first round. Even when your kids are in college, you still view them as "kids.” But she was so grown up, questioning the doctor about the side effects and telling him about this new "cold cap" that she had read about. It is supposed to stop your hair from falling out. My doctor told her that the cap was useful for a different type of chemo (need to research that cap this week.)
Cancer and kids. How I wish she did not have to grow up with so many worries. She was 10 when I was first diagnosed, and it has been a burden for her. It's crazy to think that the one who is living with cancer can feel guilty about having cancer.
I had plans to go to Chicago next week to see my son play college basketball. Something has come up, and I can’t go. I am dreading telling him I wont be there because I know he will be upset. That guilt again. If I wasn't sick, I would be at ALL of the games like all of the other parents. It makes me sad, it makes him sad, the whole damn thing is sad. But of course, we all know that it is how we deal with adversity that defines who we are. God knows I try to be strong, but kids are kids, and college kids are kids. For a child, there is nothing more frightening than losing a parent. It's always in the back of their mind.
I am trying to be positive about my new treatment. My meditations are all about my body being healthy and strong. What can we do but take each day as it comes to us and see it as a blessing. That is my mantra for 2012. Happy, Healthy New Year to all of you!
Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is co-founder of STAND UP TO CANCER and co-produced the TV show, which raised 100 million dollars for cancer research. Noreen went on to create the Noreen Fraser Foundation to raise money and awareness for women's cancer research. The 'Men for Women Now' program enlists men to ask the women they love to make appointments for their mammogram and pap smear. Noreen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org