I don’t even have the heart to call my medical researcher yet to tell her the news: I quit. I am not really a quitter, so the concept pains me, but Mandi 2.0 (that is post cancer treatment Mandi) has learned that sometimes you have to make choices based on your quality of life. Of course, quality of life isn’t something you really learn about until you have medical issues in which your doctor discusses their concern about the “quality” of your life.
A week off of Tamoxifen and the dizzy spells were getting worse and worse. When something challenges my driving ability and how I feel at work I consider it to be a quality of life issue. They had told me that people drop out of the study because side effects, but I didn’t quite know or realize what they meant. I felt better driving the day of chemo vs. these unexpected episodes. I am pretty dissapointed because I wanted to participate in this research, but feeling so out of it was making me depressed and my overall emotional well being is important to me and my recovery. I seem to be bouncing between too much blood sugar and not enough blood sugar with no rhyme or reason when it comes to the ups and downs and when I had my last meal. I am not at a point in time in which I want to figure out my blood sugar (and I think they would have to allow me to test it, which proves whether or not I am on the placebo, which kills the whole double blind study issue). I guess I should ask, but the past couple of days of being off all of the medications have allowed me to feel about a billion times better.
I am started to notice more and more energy! I am getting more done in a day than I did a week ago, and that week vs. two weeks ago. I think my amount of energy can directly be measured by how much I cook. Lately I am cooking several meals a week rather than coming home, flopping on the couch wishing dinner would magically appear (we have been watching Star Trek Next Generation a lot lately on Netflix, and so I see that food replicator fulfill orders…).
I am haunted by the question of “what is next.” Not that I have a huge desire to change things in my life, but I am understanding why people create a period of upheaval after cancer treatment. Work is back to being stressful because it is work. I have a great marriage to a wonderful man that I love more than anything in the world and I just want to spend as much time as I can with him.
I still shudder at being called a survivor, when someone says I have survived I am just not sure how to respond, my brain says “from what?” I posted in April that I wasn’t a survivor. I am still not. I am Mandi, I had breast cancer, but I am still just Mandi (although I have been told cancer has changed my personality, not that I am surprised at that, I just don’t quite know how and if it is good or bad). Cancer treatment sucks, but I am not sure I will ever be convinced that I truly survived. I feel a need to give back in some way, but I haven’t figured out how or where or what. Quite frankly I just need to get through this next surgery, focus on work and then figure it all out (I will figure it all out right?).