The Journey Through the Tunnel Ahead

The tunnel

It is strange to me that they say that they have removed the breast cancer from my body during surgery – but I look at about 6 years worth of cancer treatment ahead of me (chemo, radiation, reconstruction and Tamoxifen) that I don’t feel like the cancer is gone (at this point it is a total gamble, it could be gone completely, or it could be hiding somewhere). These leaves me a bit bewildered as I have the first step down, but many more steps ahead of me.

It feels like I am standing at the entrance of a very long and windy dark tunnel. I am standing there on my tip-toes holding the side of the entrance looking in. I can see ahead to the next curve, but beyond that I just know that I can expect some dark and some tunnel, but I haven’t a clue what dangers or trials lie at every turn. I do know that at the end of the tunnel is a sunny valley filled with hope and the future and that my only way to get there is to enter the tunnel.

I really want to go into the tunnel, but I am scared. I know that there will be trials, I know that my life won’t be the same once I go in, but I know that I can’t turn around and walk away at this point. I know that the first corner that I can almost see has Adriamycin also known as the “red devil” he earned his name because of dangerous side effects if not administered properly and his deep red color, but he also earns me the right to regular check ups of my heart function.

Standing next to the red devil is Cytoxan. Cytoxan laughs and points at my hair (what is left of it) and makes a swiping motion to show me that with his friend Ariamycin, they will be taking that away from me. Cytoxan then points at my womb and pulls out a coin, while it is flipping in the air he begs for me to call it heads or tails. I refuse and watch the coin drop to the ground and roll away not knowing which side came up.

I look down at the ground, and look back ahead in the eyes of my foe. I pull out my cape and superpowers I earned in my previous battle and start walking into the tunnel. This may seem dark, but I am now facing the demons of what stands in front of my way to the healthy happy Mandi that I promised myself. I am scared, I should be scared, most human beings mentally preparing to intentionally place large amounts of poison in their body might be a little scared. Am I giving up? No. I am going to do this and I am going to hold my head up as high as I can keep it, and find the entertaining and funny in what decides to be entertaining and funny.

They have a lot of good medications these days to help counteract the side effects that come with chemo, and receiving chemo is nothing like it was many years ago. Unlike many people receiving chemo for breast cancer I opted to try not to get a port. This is a gamble that I may lose and be forced to insert a chemo port if my veins decide to no longer participate in the chemo receiving process. I am trying to avoid too many scars and daily reminders when this is all over. I will have enough, I would rather not have more scars than are absolutely necessary. We will see how this goes. The first four infusions are the most dangerous to my veins (thanks to that red guy).

I find out Friday morning if I will have the go ahead to start chemo, I am ready. Hopefully they serve lemonade along the way. 🙂.

Author: Mandi

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