It has been a wonderful summer. Living in an area with four very full seasons makes you appreciate every summer more because you realize how short this time of year truly is!
I am trying to catch myself thinking about the previous diagnosis as I approach the 1 year mark from my surgery. Realizing how hard it is to go a day without thinking about it is humbling.
It seems that taking the beating physically with all the chemo is nothing compared to the mental anxiety. Perhaps it is because of the upcoming anniversary and check up. My last echocardiogram whose that the Herceptin (targeted chemo) is taking a toll on my heart, although still within "normal" limited on the pumping capacity, it's not ok with me. As a family we joined friends yesterday to celebrate the 4th of July and took a 3 hour hike in the White Mountains. Never before have I felt like that as my heart tried to keep up. I may not finish the last 4-5 treatments.
I also recently realized why most women actually gain weight during chemo. Remembering the steroids to prevent nausea causes incredible bloating and inflammation, an acidic environment and the very thing you are trying to prevent...an unhealthy environment. So to heal the immune system after becoming this toxic is a steeper mountain than the one I climbed yesterday.
I'll plan to discuss this more with Dr. Isakoff this week in Boston, but in the end, I will listen to my body and my guidance which I believe has kept me as strong thus far. It's harder to follow a strict diet in the summer but I am determined to get back to where I need to be and hopefully feel better and stronger. My heart goes out to survivors and I know the mental attitude is so challenging going forward. Every headache, twinge of pain, stiff bones in the morning creates a challenge not to think the worst. How can the new you feel normal when you will never be the same? So when the doctors ask how you are feeling, I will say fine. At least I'm still here enjoying another summer with my family and watching the kids grow and living every day with gratitude:)