When I was under going treatment for breast cancer five years ago, I imagined the hardest event for me to experience was receiving chemotherapy infusions (IVs).
In the process of having a stereotactic needle biopsy, wire placement, surgical lumpectomy, and 36 radiation treatments to my left breast, I missed out of the dreaded chemotherapy drugs and the rumored, not-so-pleasant side effects. By taking Arimidex® pills once a night for nearly five years post surgery, I was following the course of being cancer-free, so I believed.
However, 1½ years ago, with the detection and removal of a soft tissue sarcoma tumor below the skin of my thigh, I again missed out of needing chemotherapy. Surgery and radiation were all the doctors ordered.
The month following the sarcoma diagnosis, the third and unrelated to the earlier cancers, was determined through a diagnostic abdominal laparoscopy and laparoscopic biopsy.
Now, thirteen months later, after fourteen (14) chemotherapy infusions for peritoneal cancer, I’m giving loving, e-mail guidance to a dear relative who had her first chemotherapy treatment last week.
Note to the reader: The photograph of a basket with clipboards and paper was taken in "Writing Workshop" at the Wellness Community. Today twelve cancer survivors all addressed variations of the prompt, “The hardest emotional moments for me are…”