the next big decision

TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY OF RADIATION!

The deep sense of exultation and celebration and relief that I feel is seriously off the charts! I am so, so thankful.

Radiation has been a different beast than chemo for sure. Looking back over both, chemo was much more grueling physically: dark days of sludge and malaise and nausea and exhaustion and overwhelm. I often felt like I was in a tunnel, and the days passed slowly with the end seeming so far out of sight. In a million little and big ways, my body protested the infusion of 4 different toxins, each creating their own impact in my body. Many of those results remain and are just starting to lift.

Surprisingly, radiation has felt more mental and emotional: having to walk *each day* in to that “cancer center”, in to the bright lights and sick faces and techs arranging my body and machines swirling about and panic always one step away and dizziness most days when I stand. How do you brace yourself for that, every morning? But it must be done – I have to walk through those doors.

Tomorrow I will walk through those doors and lay on that treatment table one last time and I am already feeling the sweetness of it. Wahoo!!

Just around the bend and in fact, already sitting here with me, is the pressure and angst about the  next big treatment decision that I need to make. as I shared here, the last 2 rounds of herceptin were pretty devastating for me. The current standard of care is to receive 12 months (concurrent with starting chemo, which I did). I completed 7 1/2 months when the decision to stop during radiation was made simple by the screaming of my body and the wise counsel of my integrated oncologist. I am so thankful for that right decision, knowing for sure it was the best for me at that time.

But that decision was to be revisited after radiation ended … and now I am here. I’ve exhausted all available research, spoken again with my main oncologist (who recommends resuming and completing the full year, per the standard of care). I have prayed and attempted to still my body and listen and weigh pros and cons and still, I am just not sure.

These big decisions feel too hard, too heavy and with stakes that are too high.

I long to be able to meet with my integrated oncologist, who has provided God-sent counsel and insight at previous crucial decision-making junctures, but my budget will not cover a visit with her.

I need some clarity in the next week as the window to resume isn’t wide open – now or not at all is the bottom line.

So, I will press in to praying and seeking answers. I am so unspeakably ready for the period at the end of the sentence of this chapter of “treatment”- ready to turn the page.

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