The chemo and immunotherapy have continued in the last few weeks since I wrote the FAQ blog piece. Even though the side effects have been on and off, I felt good overall. The abdomen pain I had with cancer has also significantly reduced; in fact, I would say there has been a decent increase in appetite over the last couple of weeks.
Throughout my treatment from last year, you would have read that I am a Peloton user. Even now, with the ongoing treatment, I almost forget I have cancer when riding the bike. Peloton bike rides give me the mental and physical strength to fight this beast. I have been getting 5 to 5.5 miles in 30 minutes most days. My face swells with pride that of a winner after every ride. Every time I get on it, I feel I still have it in me to fight, to stay alive, and who the heck says that I am a stage 4 cancer patient.
With all that positivity and energy, I have still been dealing with low immunity and WBC count during this entire cancer treatment. The low WBC has resulted in me to able to get the chemo treatments the 8th week twice in a row. Bone marrow is overworking, so I make sure my diet consists of food that can naturally help boost it if possible because there isn’t much-proven theory yet on it. My oncologist has also been experimenting with the medicine dosage to avoid the 8th-week chemo cancellation, but we have been unsuccessful so far. I feel strongly that the cancer is winning – when my chemo gets canceled due to these circumstances, where I don’t have much control. I hate that feeling. Those days I try my best to keep my mind diverted to positive things like music, reading a good article or book, talking with family and friends – whatever works best that day.
With the hysterectomy, there have been challenges with UTI (urinary tract infection), resulting in my visit to a urologist. I already had it twice within two months, so I wanted to explore options to control the condition. Along with 3-month antibiotics, we would also go ahead with Cysto (cystoscopy). A thin camera is inserted to look inside the bladder. Cysto helps find problems within the urinary tract and other things like infection, cancer, bleeding, etc. On average, after menopause and hysterectomy, UTI goes up to almost 4-5 times a year, but I also have a low immunity right now with my chemo treatment. Hence, it is better to get checked if there is anything crazy happening inside. Cysto is coming up soon on my calendar. You will hear more about my experience probably in the next blog.
Just when I feel a little upbeat, a turn comes my way unexpectedly throughout this cancer journey. I was warned about it but, as usual, unprepared for how the twists and turns would start to unravel. These unwarned circumstances make me question if there is a sign that the universe is giving me? Am I missing something? How much are you going to keep bombarding me with? Why now without warning? Why again?
Why the blog title?
A couple of weeks ago, I realized I had a persistent headache. Initially, I ignored thinking it could be because of my youtube recipes – creating and editing the videos was time-consuming. I was also working on a couple of other things, which took much of my focus. When those activities ended, the headache continued along with pain in my neck and shoulder blades. A mention of it during my chemo visit – opened a new can of worms for me.
TADA !! As a breast cancer patient, a persistent headache cannot be ignored, and the stupid C has the power to break into the brain cells. The headache could mean that cancer could have spread to my brain. Now, is the headache due to my chemo medication side effects, UTI antibiotics side effects, or a weaker spine and wrong posture – is the pain elevated, or has cancer indeed spread? Too many unknowns, but the answer to them leads to an MRI. Yes, have that too on my calendar.
During a chemo treatment – how can the cancer spread? It spreads because the cancer cells can resist the meds, and as far as the brain is concerned – the blood-brain barrier does the trick. The blood-brain barrier (made of blood vessels and cells) protects our brain from all the toxins in the body, and in that process, it prevents even chemo meds from entering the tumor to beat it.
We take two steps forward, and C comes right back, pulling me down. One might think I am a terrific magician based on the sheer volume of solidity I keep pulling out from this magical basket. Still, this basket in the form of my family and friends has made itself available to me and keeps giving me the resilience to continue this fight, and it never ever makes me give up. It drains them, but they never complain and keep disseminating a wealth of benevolence. And then there is Robin, who, along with all the other things, continues to massage me on the neck and back to help me relieve the pain and fortify the muscles. The massages have gone from once to twice a day. I can sense the strong determination of togetherness in this fight that he passes silently to me during these sessions.
Retention is one of my superpowers, and I am scared to lose it. That is why I will continue doing everything possible to prevent losing it. While I debated if I should be writing this blog or not. Writing clearly won because I want to prove C wrong again, that it cannot just seize my brain so easily. Until we hear more from the MRI – Sorry, the blog doesn’t have an ending but only a cliffhanger this time.
One thought on “Will I lose one of my SuperPowers?”
Brinda – you are a superwoman and we admire your resolve and strength!
Prayers and wishes for you to keep fighting and magically beat this beast 🙏🙏