Don’t Quit

They say that we are all fused together by that of pain. Pain brings out the rawest form of human kindness and humanity and out of suffering emerges the strongest of souls. Pain pulls individuals together, something magnetic, something holier than gravity itself. Whether you can align yourself with someone else’s pain due to your own experience, or the experience of a loved one, cancer can be the epitome of pure, human agony.

Sometimes with cancer in particular, you can only get through it five minutes at a time, with each and every breath counted to propel you onto the next five-minute time span. For the last eight months, I have lived my life in five-minute intervals. Talking myself through the course of how to make it to the next five minutes, while chasing the fugitive that is cancer.

When you are initially diagnosed with cancer, you immediately want to reset the hands of time and relive your life in a way that you believe it could have been prevented. A fresh reboot, in hopes for a different outcome. But the truth is, no matter where we hide, cancer would still have a way of finding us. I am a true believer that every cancer patient is not reduced as a human because of their fortune, but rather given the opportunity to grasp the meaning of what it means to live, in the truest of forms. Cancer patients past and current, survivors of our yesterdays and tomorrows and the deceased share an innate bond, a bond that is unbreakable and a guild that is unlike any other on this earth, for we are fused together by pain. The thing is, there are two types of pains, one that hurts you and the other that changes you.

Within the last few days, I have been sick in bed, which always provides me with a considerable amount of time to be in my own head. Undoubtedly over the last several months since my diagnosis, there have been many twists and turns but I realize that even though there have been greater moments of grief than fortune and many things have been taken from me as a result, there is one thing cancer cannot take from me; the bond I share with millions around the world, despite their religion, sexual preference or color of their skin, we are all one in the same, fighters.

That said, I felt compelled to dedicate this post to all of my brave, unwavering cancer peers, we are all survivors and fighters, no matter the outcome. God bless you all and next time you feel alone in the world of cancer and whenever you find yourself doubting how far you have yet to go, just think of how far you’ve already been.

Don’t quit.

Don't Quit

Love, Britt x

Chemo Update: 10th, 11th, 12th Round

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I

Top o’ the morning to you and Happy Monday, friends.  I awoke early today as my bedtime was roughly 7 o’clock last night.  My schedule is becoming that of an old woman.  Nevertheless, as I lay there, awake before the sun had risen, I realized that I have been negligent with regards to my Chemo Video VLOG’s over the last few sessions.  I was really priding myself on keeping that up as a means to share how each chemo session went, as well as reveal any new side effects, symptoms or other important updates pertaining to treatment.  My failure in doing so has come at the cost of how my chemo has been making me feel since my 9th round (I’ll be going in for round 13 next week).  As I have disclosed in previous posts, my energy levels have taken a dive and just about the only thing I feel like doing is sleeping.  It’s gotten to the point where I am in too much pain to sit or stand, so sleeping appears to be the best option of escape, along with my pain medication.

With all of that said, let me do a quick re-cap of my most recent chemo treatment and the effects I seem to be having.

  • Energy < No Energy
  • Small loss of appetite
  • Perpetually tired and sleeping ungodly amounts; morning, noon and night
  • Full-blown neuropathy in both hands and feet.  It has become difficult to type, as I am unable to feel my fingers/hands and has become extremely difficult to walk due to no feeling in my feet.  When walking, stumbling and wobbliness occurs and I look like a drunken person.
  • Continued low counts for both bone marrow and platelets.
  • Unfrequented urination (TMI, I know…)

The above pretty much sums up the more recent symptoms and side effects.  As for the neuropathy, the Dr. has prescribed me Cymbalta, which is an anti-depression medication, however it has been known to assist with alleviating the neuropathy.  I have been on the medication for about a week and I am not showing any signs of relief, but with most medications, it may take some time to see improvements.  On the plus side, it will also help with any form of depression.  Two birds, one stone.  Additionally on that note,  a friend and fellow cancer fighter advised me that her Dr, recommends B6 vitamins to assist with neuropathy.  You better believe I’ll be headed for the pharmacy today to purchase some B6 in hopes that it will help.  It’s so nice to be able to share tips and tricks with fellow cancer patients!

Second to that, I have continued to receive my bone marrow shots every Monday, following my chemo treatment from the week prior.  They still remain low, thus not helping my energy levels. I will be heading to the Dr.’s office in a few hours to get the not-so-lovely shot.  A little tip for anyone else who has to receive the Neulasta shot, begin taking Claritin twice daily, 3 days prior to the actual shot, alongside two Aleve with each Claritin.  This helps tremendously with the pain and makes it almost bearable for the few days following the shot itself.  Highly recommend, in an effort to not feel as though all of your bones are breaking.

Lastly, I contemplated sharing this one as it is a little personal.  I’m not one for talking about bathroom related topics, however for the sake of being forthright with all of my symptoms, I have decided to go ahead with it.  For anyone who knows me, or has been on a road trip with me, you can attest to the fact that I  frequently urinate.  I’m one of those girls with a pea-sized bladder that is constantly in need of going.  That said, for the last week and a half, my constant necessity for a restroom has been dramatically decreased.  So much so that I am now only able to urinate once or twice in a 24-48 hour time frame.  I have made my Oncologist aware of this new, strange issue and she immediately wanted me to go to the ER to have scans done, etc. but then changed her mind and wanted me to see a Urologist.  First of all, I never knew that “pee” had it’s own specialty Doctor and secondly, this is by far one of the stranger symptoms I have had since being diagnosed.  Low and behold, I followed my Dr.’s orders and went to see the Urologist last Thursday. He was able to scan my kidneys to ensure that they are stable, which thankfully, they are and then he sent me home with a worksheet so I can document each and every time I urinate over the course of the weekend.  This also includes the measurement in ounces of how much I am urinating each time.  I can safely say that it has been an extremely odd experience and I now know that I have urinated less than a handful of times over the weekend.  Once again, I’m sorry for the detailed information.  So, what’s next you ask?  I am seeing the Urologist again today to discuss next steps, whatever that may be and I will keep you posted, even if the subject is slightly mortifying.

All in all, that just about sums it up.  I’d love to tell you that I am in high spirits and everything is just dandy, but it depends on the day, the hour, the minute or the second that you ask me.  I’m continuing to take it one day at a time over here, as I believe that’s all I can do.  I’ll try to get back on track with the VLOG’s after each chemo round.  Wish me luck today with my bone marrow shot and my appointment with the Urologist (haha).

Until next time…


Britt x