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  • Writer's pictureChrisCutler

The Sunny Side

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

“Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side...." ~ Ada Blenkhorn & Howard Entwisle

I'm not going to lie; over the past six months, there were many days that I had a hard time keeping on the sunny side. This breast cancer/chemo journey tested me, as I have said many times. Feeling sick all the time from chemo made me cranky and irritable. Just as I started to feel better, another round of chemo was on the horizon. I dreaded it, and I dreaded the side effects that would start to hit me two or three days afterwards.

After my last infusion, I experienced some of the scariest side effects of the four treatments. The worst was when my blood pressure bottomed out, and I took an unscheduled "nap" on the floor in our hallway. Luckily, Mike caught me as I was going down, so I didn't hit my head on the hardwood. I was scheduled for hydration that day (below left), although the nurse practitioner yelled at me for not drinking enough, not going to the ER, and not calling her right away.

BUT! I survived. Ten days after the blackout, my blood pressure is still low, so I get dizzy if I move too fast or stand up without pausing. At my appointment with the oncologist here on Friday, he said I'm doing great and that I just need to drink more (They are such a broken record.), eat soup and red meat, and try to walk a little.

I also had a virtual appointment with my oncologist at Moffitt in Tampa and the radiation oncologist here. The RO here explained that I need only 16 radiation treatments (THREE WEEKS!), and he suggested I finish my treatment here with him. His concern was that if I move to Florida while I'm still weak from the chemo, I will not heal as quickly.

My doctor in Florida said the same thing when I spoke with her. She also told me—and this was extremely important to me—that she would have followed the exact protocol with me if I had been there. I had been wondering if she would have prescribed the chemo, but she assured me that the type of cancer that invaded Ethel was aggressive and needed that chemo boost.

All three oncologists said to me, "You're going to be all right." Six little words, but they were the best words I had heard in six months. Six little words that had such an effect on my attitude. I'm looking forward to moving to Florida and to getting my old self back.

Next week, I go in for the radiation mapping. Apparently, they will do a cat scan to determine the area they need to irradiate, and after that, they will give me a few tiny tattoos to mark the area.

I asked if I can choose the shape they tattoo. I thought a few little sunflowers or seashells would be nice. The nurse didn't laugh.

I tell you.... Some people have no sense of humor.

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