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Three more chemo treatments to go, one of them today. All the usual worries apply – neuropathy, infection, fingernails lifting off. But this is small potatoes compared to the Cytoxan and Adriamycin. And "just three more!" beats so much louder in my mind than the old litany of worries.
At the same time, with radiation around the corner and Tamoxifen on its heels, new concerns are cropping up, lymphedema, carcinoma, and artificially induced menopause.
Underneath all of this, of course, is the tiny little possibility of breast cancer recurrence, metastases, premature death. What? Death? That little thing? I don't think of it so often anymore, maybe just once a day.
When I first started down this cancer road, my brother D~ said something about the "new normal" and I snapped back at him that there was no normal anymore, nothing was normal. But yesterday I had a little flashback to the old normal, when the scariest health concerns I faced required little to no medical intervention: miscarriage, urinary tract infection, irritable bowel. Those were the days.
I remember hearing David Allen suggest in an interview once that we should all mark our calendars for a month from now, and mark his words. Something big was going to happen to change everything. Something big always happens and changes everything. So do your best living now. Give your gifts. Make that call. Take a break. Get new tires on your car. Whatever it is that you're overdue for, get it done. It's time.