The early cancer experience today isn’t what it used to be. Depending on your particular type of cancer, many factors may have changed: the drugs, the targeting of the drugs, delivery of the drugs, side effects management.
Or maybe it is exactly what it used to be. Maybe it’s just different than I had expected
Of course I can only speak to what I’ve seen from friends and family and now with Youngest.
My expectations of this induction phase of chemo were just wrong. They were outdated and based on long-ago experiences. Totally discounting the recent experiences of friends and family. And the age, strength and lack of pesky initial complications of Youngest.
When the docs and nurses spoke of the end of the second week as bottoming out, I had visions of endless nausea, basic bed ridden boy, writhing in discomfort. Especially with that Monday morning experience.
Because each person responds differently, the best the docs & nurses can do is give you general guidelines. But when they do that, they know they’re building expectations. Catch 22.
They told us, told me. While hopeful that they were correct, the image & expectation was cemented in my brain.
How silly is that? Well, it is what it is. Maybe because my engineer background says to hope for the best but plan for the worst. Always understand the range of possibilities.
While there are times that I still feel positioned for battle 24/7, the relaxing has begun. My brain has started really processing and I’m calmer. The early cancer experience isn’t what I had expected.
Maybe it’s because in most cases you don’t see that initial diagnosis or treatment. Maybe it’s because in many cases what we think of as cancer is the impact of years & decades of living & maybe treatment on a weary body.
This Friday, I’m thankful that our face of the early cancer experience, of this induction phase, is the reality that it is. While we are prepared for complications, we are hopeful that they pass Youngest by. That his initial strength and continued building will have him continuing his… “But I just don’t feel sick” mantra. And that it helps everyone else to see that this diagnosis of “Cancer” isn’t the grim reaper paying a visit or hovering in the hall. It’s hope and healing and recovery. It’s getting back to it with a new perspective.
We are all guaranteed this minute. That’s it.
I’m off to make the most of it!