So I guess I don’t have cancer anymore.  I still have a scan upcoming to say that for sure, and even then, they won’t say that for sure.  They will say there are no visible signs, and call it remission.  They will scan me every three months for a year and then decide from there how often to scan me.  If nothing shows up for five years, then they might say “cancer-free”.  But I’m done with chemotherapy.  There are no cancerous lymph glands.  My tumor shrunk below the worrisome size and shows no signs of cancer cells.  Basically, I don’t have cancer.

So now what?  For the last four-plus months, my life has basically been taken up by the fact that I was a cancer patient.  Every other aspect of my life was affected by that.  Now, I’m just a crazy bald lady.

The funny thing is, I feel sicker now than I did at the beginning.  Cancer is a disease where sometimes, depending on what kind you have, the cure is worse than the illness.  Mine definitely was.  I really had no symptoms or problems from the lymphoma itself.  All the difficulties I’ve gone through were related to the chemo.  Right now I’m dealing with the cumulative effects of six rounds of poison being dumped into my body.  So I have all these effects, but I can’t even say, “Well, I have cancer” – because I don’t.  I feel like I’m supposed to be ok now.  But I’m not.  I’m exhausted and I can’t really feel my fingers or toes except for the fact that they hurt and tingle.  I have patches of skin that feel sunburned.  I’m not sure why except guessing it’s the same nerve problem that causes the tingling in my fingers and toes.  I get nauseous easily and many foods taste bad.  I have a cough in my chest that is annoying.

BUT- and it is a big but, bigger than my big butt (and that’s big, let me tell you) BUT – I don’t have cancer!!  So all of these other things will gradually get better, and my snow-white hair will continue to grow back.  I will no longer be the crazy bald lady, but just the crazy lady.  The crazy redheaded lady, I assure you.  I will gradually get well.  Right now I am having a little trouble adjusting to the suddenness of not being a cancer patient after that being the focus of my life, but it’s a good adjustment to have to make.

So where will God take me next?

 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

4 thoughts on “readjusting

      • Dave Haas

        A former co-worker of mine is a non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer survivor (just recently celebrated five years cancer free!). An on-going side effect he deals with is neuropathy, causing pain in his feet. He never complains, but I know it was a significant issue. It affects his sleep and he can’t sit for long periods of time. He also has meds to help with the pain and sleeping, but he prefers to not have to take them.

      • I was wondering about how ongoing the neuropathy might be. It’s been weeks since I have had normal feeling in my hands or feet. Not happy to think of this continuing but not that surprised.

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