Here I am, once again wondering if tomorrow I will do chemo. Just like every time I have had a blood test, my neutrophil count on monday was low, 1.1 to be exact and I need 1.5 to be given the green light, the much desired “go ahead” to do chemo. Once again I am crossing my fingers and hoping that in the same way that last time I got to do it on time for the first time ever, this time will be the same.
And there are two reasons why I so badly want it to happen tomorrow, actually, there are 3! And they are as follow:
1) Tomorrow is meant to be my LAST chemo. I am aware of saying last, as the cancer may come back. So I’ll say it is the last of this round. I cannot wait to say 6 down, 0 to go!
2) Tomorrow is the 6th of january, the day in which the three wise men, or the three kings (supposedly) visited jesus and brought him presents. Unlike in the uk, this is part of christmas in spain and traditionally presents are given then, not on christmas day (there is now a tendency to also give presents at christmas and this has sparked debates about keeping traditions etc. but lets not get into that). Anyhow, that was a very special day for my family, and one of the only good memories I have of growing up (apart from one time when I was little and I woke up to find no presents. but lets not get into that either). You may guess from this that I grew up in a dysfunctional and conflictual family. But for some reason that day, when the table was full of presents we’d bought for each other and we were unwrapping the parcels, we wouldn’t argue. Oh the magic of gifts! So, to the point. If I did it tomorrow then it would be my gift from the three kings!!! how symbolic.
3) My older brother is getting married on the 6th of february, so if I do it tomorrow I’d be a double celebration: his wedding and the 1 month post-chemo day. So I’d be double happy.
But as I am getting to the end and reaching this milestone tears have been coming out in a way that they hadn’t for a while. At first, when all the craziness of being diagnosed (having expected it to be a benign cysts given my age) was over, when all the appointments to see if the cancer had spread were done and when finally the lump was out, I took a well-deserved break and went home to Barcelona. I was so busy gettin to grips with having breast cancer and then with enjoying myself in the city of sun, that there was little space to take on the magnitude of it all. It wasn’t until I started chemo that it hit home: this could have killed me. This could come back and take me away for good. And I went through the “oh my god, how did this happen to me? I don’t wanna die!!!This is so unfair!! why me? for fuck’s sake I am 30, I should be planning a wedding (not that marriage was on my near future list of things-to-d0), planning babies (same as with the wedding) or…i don’t know, finding love or mr. right, or going travelling or doing something that doesn’t involve chemo and radiotherapy! But after a while, I was so wrapped up with doing chemo, getting the go ahead, recovering from chemo, being admitted to hospital, hoping that the next chemo would happen, going out with friends when good weekends allowed me to, recovering from late nights, that all the worries stopped. How? I was focusing on the now.
But the now is changing. For 6 months the now was chemotherapy. Now, the now is the end of chemo, and all that it entails. Seeing the end is making me look back and reflect on all that I have been going through, hence the tears coming back. It feels like I have been climbing up a mountain and the end of chemo is the reaching of the top. But after reaching the top, I have to start the descend, which not only will involve 6 weeks of radiotherapy, but also slowly going back to “normal”, having my life back and taking decisions about it (which I was always rubbish at). It’s like I have taken a break from life, and now I am coming back to it. And I just really wonder, having gone through this experience, what will I be like? what will life feel like? It seems to me that this situation is a bit like the end of a relationship with a loved one. I think that after we break up with somebody we are never going to be the same as we were before we entered that relationship. That person and that relationship has shaped us and changed us in some ways, however big or small. And this is what the end of chemo feels like. We have been together for a few months, our affair has been intense, and it has, at times, made me lose my head. Now we are waving goodbye. And I know it has changed something in me, but I am not sure what yet. I just have to see what happens when I go back to “normal”, whatever normal may be from NOW on…