My current chemo drug, Taxol, is much easier than the
previous drug cocktail.Easier side
effects.And even though I’m still
coughing, I’m pretty much over the awful cold I had starting the new year. So I
was feeling pretty good and decided that it’s time to start getting back to
First step was attending the January meeting of the Indian
River Genealogy Society.We don’t meet
over the summer because so many members are snow birds; and many of the permanent
residents travel to escape the Florida
summer. But I’d missed every meeting since they resumed in September. It felt
good to be back seeing familiar faces and a bunch of new ones, too.The speaker gave an excellent presentation
and I was inspired to get back to digging up dead relatives.
Then I had my weekly chemo a couple of days later and my new
reality came back.There’s a new normal
that has replaced the old normal.It
will definitely be baby steps taking my life back.
I hadn’t been on Ancestry.com for a long time so I went back
to check on al the hints that have accumulated over the past several months.
(Those little leaves they show you in their TV ads)That was on Friday – day after chemo.I couldn’t do it.My brain was just too fuzzy and I couldn’t
concentrate at all. Very frustrating. I tried again on Saturday but made little
progress.Finally on Sunday, I was able
to review many of the hints and add a few facts to some people on my trees. But
I stuck to the simple ones and left the more complex ones for later.
My new normal is that I’m pretty much ok on Monday, Tuesday
and Wednesday. Thursday is chemo day so that’s a complete loss. Friday and
Saturday are days for not trying to think too much, reading light stuff, and
playing easy computer games. Sunday is not bad.I’m not taking two naps a day anymore and
some days don’t take a nap at all.
2013 wasn’t the best year for me so I’m happy to be in 2014.
At least I will be finished with
treatments sometime this Spring.
The holidays sucked.Neal came down with a terribly bad cold just before Christmas and of
course I got it too.It’s really a nasty
one and knocked both of us on our tails. We mostly just sat around coughing and
blowing our noses. On New Year’s Eve we had a bottle of champagne and were in
Other than being sick, things are still going pretty well.
One of the oncology nurses told me that my hair might begin
coming back while on Taxol, but the opposite has happened.I have even less stubble on my scalp and now
my eyebrows and eyelashes are gone.I
miss my eyebrows.Now that this cold is
starting to clear up, maybe I’ll feel like practicing with an eyebrow pencil.
My brows have always been so dark that I never needed one before.
I’ve also started having some nail issues.One of my fingernails is starting to come
off.It’s a common side effect of Taxol
so it is not a surprise. I’ve had only 3 treatments so far with 9 yet to come
so who knows what will happen to my nails.“Chemo nails” are as common as “Chemo brain”.
As always the net is a huge source of support and
information. The best site so far is www.breastcancer.orgThe discussion groups there are populated by
women from all over and with about every variation of the breast cancer
experience there is.There are women who
don’t have cancer but are fearful of it; and at the other end of the spectrum
are those with Stage 4 cancer and multiple metastases; and everything in
between.It’s a great place for
learning, for getting advice, and the cancer humor (yes, humor) is priceless. They
are my new BFFs.