Guess what tomorrow is? It’s my last chemo treatment! Its been 4 months, 4 rounds of AC, 4 rounds Taxol + Herceptin, 1 million tears, 1000 meltdowns, one head shave, and a roller coaster of, "What the fuck, is this really happening?" YAY, BABY WE MADE IT!!
Don’t get me wrong, this is not the end of the war, but it is a battle won, so let’s celebrate!!
Before we do I want to share a convo I had the other day with a very close friend of mine. Let’s call her Lolo. She said something to me that really reminded me how many people are on this journey with me. Some who only see me through my social feeds, some I only speak to on the phone, and some I only communicate through text. No, they will never really understand what this is like for me, but they are in my corner watching, cheering and some battling their own conversations around mortality . . . mine and their own. She said something to the effect of, “I am in awe of you, that with you facing possible death, you are not balled up in a corner somewhere." Yes, you can insert a PAUSE here. ( I love you Lolo! But DANG!) At first, I was like, fuck! I mean yes sometimes I feel like death, but I don’t sit around thinking that I am actually facing death, but thanks for the reminder! I get what she was trying to say. Cancer does spark the fear of imminent death. Luckily, she caught me on a good day, I was on a unicorn high from feeling good the last few days and spitting rainbows.
Lolo: "All I mean is, I don’t know where you get your strength from, I would be curled up in a ball somewhere." Fair enough.
Me: " You know where I get my strength from? I get my strength from all of you, you guys are my strength. You hold me up. I am not standing here by myself. I am blessed with a rock star husband, a loving family, and friends who make sure I am not facing this alone (I wrote this prior to my, surprise party, but that just goes to show how amazing my circle is). I do not know how the single ladies manage this shit all on their own, they are the true warriors!
I am one of the lucky ones. Holy shit! As I write this I can barely believe I can say that even with the big C, I am still one of the lucky ones. After all I am still here, many, many are not. I am held up by the strength of my community and NOTHING else. Don’t get it twisted, I do curl up in a ball and go to those dark places, but I have people around me who will not let me to stay there too long. My people are what keep me going. They cook special meals for me, tuck me in bed, make me liquid meals when I can’t digest solids, show up at my doorstep with gifts in tow, send weekly care packages and cards to my house, secret Santa me, do my laundry with toxic free detergent (thanks mommy), send me text messages with no expectation of a reply, whatsapp me cute emojis, call me to check in, whisk me away for the night, take me to brunch, hang out when I can’t leave the house and send me video messages from a far (sometimes wearing super women costumes, THE BEST!) I have the love and support of these beautiful people, even the times when I pushed it away. Kristina, Cheryl, Audrey, Anjali, Jenelle, Diana, Natasha,Tanya, Jaya, Chenelle, Sheena, Laura, Raquel, Shivaun, Jasmine, Chantal, Melissa, Janielle, Belinda, Lindsey Crawford, Lana (banana). I know there are many others who I may be forgetting, forgive me! AND I want to say a special thank-you to Camille, my sister from another mister. I know you are behind the "Care Package Posse" and orchestrating my "Surprise No More Chemo Party," I have no words for what this has meant to me. You continue to make the milestones in my life unforgettable.
I am forever grateful for all of you! For those of you who wanted to be there and could not, this is what I said, "You are all my strength. I know this is hard for all of you, and you don't always know what to say to me, or how to help. Know that every little thing you do has made a difference. There is no 'right' magical phrase that will comfort me. All of you have made this journey so much easier than it could be. I am so blessed to have all of you in my life. I love you." Of course I said all of this while bawling my face off.
That is how I survived chemo . . . that is how I will survive the rest.
Cancer is a lonely fucking journey, it is depressing as all shit. HOWEVER – as the last chemo round arrives I am reminded how grateful I am to have the community around me that is my strength.
I LOVE YOU ALL THANK-YOU!