Tomorrow is the big day. The day I have been waiting weeks for, though it has seemed like an eternity. Tomorrow is the day I start chemotherapy. It's the beginning of the end, so to speak. The first battle was the partial mastectomy back in September. This is the second battle and hopefully it is so gosh darn freaking aggressive that it scares cancer away so it never comes back. I hope and pray that what we are about to do to me is the equivalent of me arming myself with a tank and the remaining cancer cells are only equipped with sticks and stones.
While I absolutely hate being called a fighter (seriously - next person who says that to me, I'm taking that as an invitation to punch you in the face), this is a battle. I have been through hell these last couple of months. From the moment Dr. Grandpa told me it was malignant to now, sitting in my room, I have been through hell and it's only begun. I'm looking at three months chemotherapy and six weeks after that as radiation. I have a solid five months before I'm feeling better again and on the road to recovery.
There is no Get Well Soon with breast cancer. There is no speedy recovery.
What there is: hope. You have to have hope when going through something as shitastic as cancer. When things get bad, and believe you me things are extremely bad for me at the moment, you have to have hope that you are going to come through the other side stronger. Chemo is likely going to weaken me but I'm hoping that 30 year old me can take this beating and not have it be completely life-changing (at least physically - it's already changed me mentally). I have hope.
Two years ago, I went through a rough time. I got pregnant and subsequently had a miscarriage, which is a whole set of blog entries in of itself. Woo doggie. Those months were pretty rough and dark, and the miscarriage was just absolutely heart-breaking awful. I never want to experience anything like that again. (I sometimes still have nightmares of what happened back in summer 2008.) Immediately after, I broke up with someone who I thought cared about me but obviously did not. Later that year, I was diagnosed with having all sorts of issues with the boobs. That's when the realization for me kicked in that breast cancer was a real and immediate threat to me. For months, I went through a pretty bad depression.
An acquaintance of mine remarked to me after the miscarriage, break up and all the boob problems: "Wow, I don't know how you handled it all and not gone crazy. Me, I don't think I could have."
I said to her, "I get up swinging. If someone or something pushes me down, I get up swinging. No question. You can stay down as long as you have to but you always get up and you get up swinging." Like everyone else in this big ole planet, I have had some not so great things happen to me in my adult life. I have had a few setbacks (the goiter making me crazykins is the big one). But how you deal with these bad things and setbacks, that's what sets you apart. I did let myself feel that grief and depression after the miscarriage and breakup. Eventually, the pain lessened and I could go back to being silly and yelling, "[MY LAST NAME] rules!"
Chemotherapy is a three-month period of hell that will push me down hard. It's going to make sick, it's going to take my hair, it's going to make the Lara everyone has come to known go away for awhile. It could also very well teach me about faith and strength, it could show me my true path in life and set me on it, it could reveal to me the people who I should keep in my life and those I should let go and move on. I'm optimstic.... that this is going to suck?
I'm scared and nervous but I'm ready.
Signing off for now.
You stay classy, interwebs.