A Sigh Of Relief

After a bit of a rough week I am feeling a lot better today. Mostly because I found out the aches and pains i’ve been feeling are likely side effects from the Herceptin i’m taking.

While I was killing time at Penn Station yesterday, waiting for the Long Island Railroad, I googled Herceptin side effects and found people complaining about the following:

– Sore ribs, backs, and bones … Check.
– Weak fingernails and cracking skin … Check.
– Random headaches … Check.
– Feeling tired all the time … Check.
– Brain fog and memory problems … Check.
– Nausea and dizzy spells … Check.

Before my google search I just assumed all the symptoms meant the cancer was coming back, growing, and spreading. And I was definitely starting to freak out. But now my mind is at ease (for the moment at least). And oddly enough the pains seem to have dramatically lessened since I found all this out.

And, as always, it feels fantastic to be back in NY. Being here does wonders for me as well.

Despite a nearly 9 hour journey to get here, Miss M and I remained upbeat through it all… The delayed flights… The long waits… Transferring from cars to buses to planes to trains… I swear Miss M is the best travel buddy ever.

I noticed that I too, was handling things better than usual. The old me would have been stressing about timing each connection perfectly, anticipating Miss M’s every need, and trying to get to the end destination as quick as possible. But the new me just went with the flow. Made decisions as I went along. Arrived at the train station and boarded the next available train instead of stressing over the fact that we had just missed the previous one by 2 minutes.

As I said in therapy last week, I am keenly aware of my patterns and self-defeating behaviours, now my challenge is to accept the curveballs life throws at me and make different choices. Turn my patterns upside-down. Interrupt the self-defeating actions before they take over.

Each day offers a new challenge. And while I certainly have my bad days, I remain determined not to let life’s challenges take me down.

Right now, I am focused on the magnificence of summer in NY… Spending time with family and friends… And getting ready for my surgeon appointments (that are now confirmed for Monday and Tuesday next week).

I really am one lucky lady.

Peace. – T

5 Responses

  1. Soak up that NY vibe girlfriend! Sorry to hear it was a tough journey and that you have been feeling rough, but glad you found some answers that make you feel better mentally and physically. Funny how universal it is that having a reason for a ache or problem makes things more manageable. Like how everything is exponentially worse at 3:45 am. We are funny creatures.
    I love your comments about being able to go with the flow. Definitely a lesson I could learn. Your enlightenment illuminates us all.
    I’ll be thinking of you next week, I hope your meetings with the surgeons bring further helpful information.

  2. Heh… I have a very similar thing where, once I know what’s causing a problem, and know that it’s a choice (kinda sorta), it suddenly seems a lot less bad. It’s the mysterious stuff that’s more scary and painful.

    (I mean, the Herceptin might not exactly be a free choice, but it’s *a* choice.)

    I really get with you about self-defeating patterns. All the frustration in the world won’t get you to the train station 3 minutes ago when you would have been able to catch the train – but it’s so easy (for me at least) to just jump into the feeling without any realization that it’s happening. On those days when I can step back and see it, of course, I can short circuit it to some extent – like, “why am I about to let my brain go places that won’t bring me anything but unhappiness?” But, oh, *wow* is that a hard discipline to learn, both seeing what’s about to happen, and short circuiting it.

    (But I did find that sometimes treating one’s “inner child” can help in those situations. Seriously. If a child was cranky but verbal, I’d stop, listen, show compassion, and (where appropriate) explain why the world doesn’t always work the way the child would like. Full validation of the feelings, and compassion for how awful they feel, with adult perspective pointing the best way forward. It’s just easier to think of when the child is on the outside :-).)

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