Sunday, January 6, 2013

Update - Welcome, 2013!

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Not gonna lie, 2012 was a DOOSIE! I was really hoping to be done with the hard-core treatments by the time 2013 started... But alas, I am at the doctor more these days than ever.

I'm 3/4 of the way through radiation (25 down, 8 to go). At first it seemed like the radiation was making me really tired and really nauseous.  I seem to feel better the more I have it, which is opposite of what's supposed to happen. I am becoming super crispy. Like sandpaper skin that's becoming so dry that it's starting to break and peel off. It is SUPER ITCHY. It's worst under my armpit and right in the center of my chest up to my throat and around the right clavicle. Because of the skin breakdown, they've asked me to to keep it slathered in aquaphor as often as I can tolerate - which really just makes it itchier. AAAAGH! I have to be careful scratching cause I will literally scratch the skin right off... and while it feels like a sunburn, it's not in that the layer of skin underneath the skin that comes off is NOT ready to be exposed. (It hurts.)

Enough complaining. I'm VERY HAPPY to report that aside from the burning, I'm doing great! I'm still riding to radiation (NOT every day, but as often as I can). I'm running like a fiend, training for New Zealand and for a half marathon that I'll do right before I head out. I managed to muster out 30 miles on my feet this week, the most running I've done in a week in a long, long time. The running and the riding and the return of muscles in my legs are making me feel more like myself. I've never been more grateful to have such a strong body.

My hair is returning and so far, seems to be the same color it was before (maybe a little bit lighter). Everyone who's lost their hair to chemo tells me that I'm still in the "bunny fuzz" phase, and that it will still probably change color and texture. I'm cool with whatever it is, I'm just SO HAPPY to have it! It is however, growing straight out of my head like I stuck my finger in a light socket. It's not sexy at all, so I'm styling it into a faux hawk until it does anything different. It's kind of hilarious.

So, in the next 4-5 weeks I need to pull the giant yellow backpack out of my parent's garage, figure out what I need for 9 weeks of trekking in New Zealand, figure out how to get what I don't have for 9 weeks of trekking in New Zealand, train for a half marathon, train my back and shoulders to be ready to lug a backpack around for 9 weeks, complete radiation, move my stuff out of this house and back into my parents garage, take care of all the stuff that I can foresee becoming an issue during the time I'm away (bills, etc),  see all my doctors, and say goodbye to my peeps - again.

Deja vu? Yes. What a trip. I did this almost exactly one year ago. The difference, when I left last year I was unsure and insecure and nervous... this time around I'm excited and ready to soak in all that this journey has to offer.

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