I had my 3rd to last Herceptin treatment on Good Friday. While the chemo treatment is usually 3-4 hours, I’ve been taking the entire day off and getting other things done. This past time was breakfast with my former boss, a trip to the Post Office, a contact lens fitting, a diagnostic mammogram, and THEN chemo.
While Herceptin is a lot less hard on the body than “regular” chemo, I continue to have side effects. I should have bought stock in Imodium when all this started; I take 2 every night and on some days I take more as needed. I take Advil for headaches and muscle aches, and added Vitamin D to my regimen to help with muscle aches. I get stomach cramps, intestinal cramps and the occasional nausea, but nothing is as bad as last year. It’s all sort of manageable.
I still have neuropathy, especially in my feet. A friend described it perfectly – it’s like I’m wearing wrinkled socks all the time. In my hands it’s not so bad, but with my feet it can make me a little unsteady at times. Often upon standing from a sitting position, I have to make sure my feet are truly under me, and coupled with my muscle aches, I have to take a minute before I can actually move. The neuropathy is still from last year’s chemo; the chemo I’m receiving now shouldn’t be contributing to the problem. Given that it’s been 9 months since my last general chemo infusion, I’m getting a little concerned that I’ll always been wearing wrinkled socks.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately reflecting: reflecting on my work life and my volunteer life. I think I’ve said before in this blog that life is too short, and while I’ve always had that philosophy, having cancer really reinforces this for me. And so I’m practicing what I preach. I resigned from a volunteer position I loved because I discovered that the founders, while perhaps not doing anything strictly illegal, are skirting the line of law, and are most certainly unethical. It’s disappointing to realize that one’s been duped for 3 years by 2 of the most unethical people I’ve ever had the displeasure to know. I have to keep reminding myself that I was a part of a lot of good done in those 3 years, but life is too short to spend working for people I can’t respect.
As for work, I’ve been reflecting on that, too – what makes me happy, what doesn’t. No job is perfect, but some things are easier to let go than others. I’m trying to decide how much I can let go and what I can’t. Life IS too short – too short to be unfulfilled or unhappy whether working professionally or as a volunteer. Life also goes on, and that’s a very good thing.