Well, it’s been an entire four weeks since my last treatment.
This past year, I’ve been living my life in 4 week increments: 3 ‘normal’ weeks followed by one ‘cancer’ week. My normal weeks are still far from actual normal, but they’re weeks where I can try to establish some sort of routine and put cancer on the back-burner (at least until the surprise barfs show up). My cancer week sounds aggressive, but mainly it’s a treatment day. Treatment days were always a very real reminder of everything that was going on and had a way of forcing me to put cancer back into focus. For the first time in what feels like forever, this week isn’t a cancer week for me. And that feels pretty odd.
Truthfully, I got used to my new normal. I’m very much a habit and routine kind of person, and I liked having a schedule. I always had mega anxiety when appointments weren’t on the calendar because I needed to have control over something. I lost count of how many times I harassed the scheduling team. Somehow I feel like I conditioned myself to sort of “get through” everything else until my next appointment or treatment day rolled around. At times, I found myself going through the motions because treatment days were such an abrupt reminder of what really matters. Although only 1-2 days of any given month, my cancer and treatment-focused days seemed to have such a large impact on the rest of the month.
Because I’m me and I don’t take anything too seriously, I messaged Renee just to say hi and that I sort of missed spending time at Mayo today. I might get in trouble for using the patient portal for that, but oh well 😉
Speaking of, the Mayo Patient Portal app is on the first page of my home screen and I can’t bring myself to move it quite yet. Putting in a folder or somewhere less prominent feels oddly superstitious. I find myself sort of holding my breath until my January scans. Even four weeks later, this all still feels too good to be true. I’m still trying to be patient with my side effects – the surprise barfs are still very much a thing and I’m still so insanely tired all the time. I’m not really sure how long these will linger. My treatment is so new that they don’t know much about long-term side effects either, so I’m constantly trying to be hyper aware of things that feel off or different while also not convincing myself something is wrong. Careful balance, I tell ya!
Not gonna lie, I have enjoyed all the celebrations though. My family and friends threw me a poop-emoji surprise party on my last treatment day because “I kicked the shit out of cancer” and it was absolutely perfect. I have an obsession with the poop emoji, although I’m quite sure why. I don’t know what’s stranger, the fact that they make all these poop emoji things, or that I already owned half of the decorations! Last week, my entire office surprised me with a “fuck cancer” party, too! Every single one of my coworkers showed up to a happy hour. They made custom coloring book t-shirts that said “fuck cancer” – how appropriate! We all took a picture and my dad shouts “on the count of three, say fuck cancer!” … we did. And the entire restaurant cheered and I just about cried. I seriously had no clue any of it was happening and made me appreciate my people even more than I already do.
So, although there isn’t a formal celebration today, happy no treatment day to me! Now, my four week increments are turning into 3 month increments. Yay, surveillance!