December 17, 2019 – A year ago today I had my first chemo treatment. I took a picture for my family to let them know I was fine and fighting. I had blonde, straight hair, makeup, and you could see my smile. Rich was able to spend the whole time with me. It was scary, going into the cancer infusion center at Bergan Mercy for the first time. It freaked Rich out a bit. There were a lot of really sick people in there….the cancer patient you think of in movies…no hair…skeletal thin…and with that weird grayish-yellow tinge to their skin. I looked so healthy in comparison. Little did we know I would mimic that look (minus the skeletal look) within the next month or two. My first chemo combo was not good to me. It shrunk my tumors but nearly killed me because of a crazy lung reaction I had to it.
December 17, 2020 – Fast forward to today. I was again in the infusion center. It was packed. Packed is relative term since everyone has to be physically distanced now. I had since the year prior been bald for several months and then my hair grew back on my second kind of chemo…but came in dark and curly. Between the steroids, having to eat a little bit often to keep the nausea down, decreased activity, and being forced quickly and chemically into menopause, I have regretfully also gained nearly 30 lbs. This I hate. I am used to being so active and right now I am doing as much as I can by walking 4-5 miles a day with Tallinn. I get tired. My feet hurt due to hand/foot syndrome. But I am way better than I was at the end of last year. After my first chemo treatment photo with the ASL sign for “I love you”, it became a tradition. Rich has not been to my chemo treatments since April. The nurses are happy to take my photo for me. I have a teleconference in less than an hour with my sarcoma specialist at the Mayo Clinic. A plan for the beginning of 2021 will be made. So I will post later. Here’s to being around and being healthy on December 17, 2021!