Sunday, March 27, 2016

Out of hiding

I know, I know I kind of went into hiding there for a while, huh? To tell you the truth I went quiet for a few weeks to spare you from my crankiness. I was pretty darn miserable and I was afraid I'd only write mean things. To sum up the last few weeks of treatment: cancer f*cking sucks. And not so much the cancer, but the side effects of the treatment you're suffering through. Did you know that radiation burns you? Like leaves marks, burns you? Like need to use creams in places only babies should need creams, burns you? Reason #284 why Lesley will never be a bikini model. Throughout all this miserableness no matter what advice anyone gave me, nothing was helping. I just had to wait it out. So I did. And here I am. Burned parts and all.

The good news is I'm using less toilet paper these days....if you get my drift. The doc said to slowly introduce foods back in my diet to see what I can tolerate. I took that as go eat everything you've been craving for the last 2 months but couldn't eat (I might not be great at following directions). I just look at it as celebratory gluttony.

Because of my increased visits to the potty, I've lost a considerable amount of weight. Listen, I've been walking the fine line between being obese and overweight most my life, so normally losing 25 lbs in a matter of weeks would be cause for celebration. Losing 25 lbs from having stupid cancer mess with your insides? Not cause for celebration. This may be why when people see me now and say "You've lost so much weight! You look great!", I cringe. I know it's a gut reaction (pun not intended, but I'm keeping it) to say this to overweight people who have lost weight....I know, I've said it before too. But don't say it to normally overweight people who lost weight because they've been through 7 weeks of hell.  I'd rather be fat. Take this as a public service announcement. Please.

So what's the plan for the future, you ask? (You didn't ask, but I wasn't sure how to segway from fat talk to....anything else). It's been about 2.5 weeks since my last treatment. I meet with my oncologist in about a week and as long as everything looks as it should, I'll go for a scan in a few months and cross my fingers that Roid hasn't returned. As for the immediate future, I'll be returning to work soon. I miss interacting with adults. Being a stay at home mom while trying to rest and recover was not an easy gig. I think my kids are ready to get rid of me.

I haven't explained much to my kids about what's going on. My 5 year old just knows that mommy went to the doctor everyday and that something is wrong with her belly. Even though they didn't know, they helped me celebrate on my last day of treatment - along with my husband, my parents, my partner in crime - Aunt Jean, and 2 of my amazing friends. There is a bell in the lobby of Roswell for patients to ring on their last day of treatment. On the first day of my journey at Roswell, I took a picture of this bell. I took it so I could have it with me as something to work towards - someday I'd ring that sucker. But then in the beginning of my journey, part of me wanted to skip the bell because I thought it would be mean to other patients who had a longer journey than I did - those who wanted to ring, but couldn't. But as I progressed and met other patients, I saw how supportive of one another we were. And as I neared the end of my treatment, at my most miserable point, all I could think about was that damn bell. I would ring it for me and for my pals I waited in the radiation waiting room with - day after day. I would ring it for all the amazing staff that helped me every day. I'd ring it for my supportive family and friends. Being able to walk out of the radiation department and ring it in front of my family and friends and have everyone in the lobby cheer as I did it - Best. Feeling. Ever.

I wish I could end this lengthy post with "and that's how I beat cancer"....but I didn't...yet. I survived treatment, that's what I did. I'm so happy it's over for now. I'm not sure why I got this rare form of cervical cancer....but I did. Did it make me stronger? I'm not sure. It definitely taught me a lot. I know/have known way too many people with cancer. I can safely safe that until you go through this yourself, you just have no idea. I had no idea.