Coping with Chemo forum: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger (?)

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Imagecritterologist
Jan 8, 2012 4:23 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
It's been said, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." That might apply in some ways to chemo, at least in terms of realizing chemo is a poison whose purpose is to kill the cancer without quite killing the patient... although, sometimes, that's a finer line than we'd like!

Certainly everybody reacts differently to chemotherapy, and the same patient receiving the same chemo may have different effects from one treatment to the next. Not being able to predict what could happen can make it hard to cope with the side effects of chemo.

For me, the "triple cocktail" hit me really hard, much more so than my doctor had anticipated (he said it was well tolerated by 90%+ of patients, with most feeling badly for a day or so and then going back to their normal routine for the most part). However, it also hit the cancer really hard, so I figured I had to just keep getting through it, because I was willing to do pretty much anything to survive. On days when I barely made it out of bed or off the couch, when I had trouble walking across the room, I depended a lot on my young daughter's smile.

I made it! Chemo didn't kill me, and as far as we can tell the cancer is gone. But I thought it might be useful to have a thread where we could talk about the ups and downs of undergoing treatment...

This forum is a place where we can encourage one another, but it's also a place where it's OK to express yourself when you're discouraged, exhausted, and feeling like the best thing you can say about your most recent chemo is "well I guess it hasn't killed me yet." With our families and friends, we often feel we have to be positive and keep up that upbeat attitude 100% of the time... Here, if you're having a bad day, you can let the rest of us "think positive" on your behalf!Thumb of 2012-01-08/critterologist/55764f
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris.
ImagePuff
Jun 13, 2012 10:48 AM CST
Name: Flowers
NC
Critter I admire your stamina and perseverance along with all the others that have faced the ins and outs of chemo, surgery ect. Whoever said that women are the weaker sex surely never faced breast cancer. Keep up the positive attitudes and know that there are many praying for complete recovery for you all!
.You never get to old to play
Imagecritterologist
Jun 14, 2012 8:45 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
Weaker sex... hah!

F.L.A.G.!

(Fight Like A Girl!)

Thanks, Puff. I hope folks undergoing chemo now will check in here and let us lend an ear...

You do have to be patient with your body for a long time after undergoing treatment... it takes months, if not years, for your immune system, stamina, energy, etc. to recover. I was doing pretty well last summer (a year after initial diagnosis), and this year I'm more energetic yet... but recovery is a slow process. Sometimes I have to think back in order to appreciate how well I'm really doing. Of course, being cancer-free is the big thing... I'm so dang glad to be alive that I can deal with the rest.
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris.
ImagePuff
Jun 16, 2012 9:34 AM CST
Name: Flowers
NC
Well I have never had and hope never will have the dreaded BC. But if I do I will remember the strength that I've seen here with your ladies posts and from watching friends go through it. Keep up the fight (FLAG), and keep the faith. Its good to hear you at least are on the upturn and have a brighter future to look to. Group hug
.You never get to old to play
Imagecritterologist
Jun 16, 2012 2:36 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
Thanks!

:hearts:
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris.

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