I am Not a Survivor

My Komen shirt.

My Komen Race for the Cure t-shirt came in the mail today. I pulled it out and looked at it and sat down and cried. It says “Survivor” on it. I don’t feel like a survivor. Talk to me in a year or two, maybe I will feel like I survived, right now I am just fighting to make it through each day. At least they made the shirt cute, I am not a huge fan of pink, and I will be wearing my team shirt (I work in marketing, come on, my team is going to have waaaay cooler shirts). Plus my lack of hair may point out who in the group may or may not have had breast cancer.

As much as I am tempted to sugarcoat my entire breast cancer experience and convince everyone that everything this hunky-dory and that I feel fantastic. I don’t. This week has been hard. They told me that the chemo would have a compound effect and get worse as time went on, but who wants to listen to doctors anyways? What do they know? Apparently a lot more than I!

I am exhausted. I was told a side effect of chemo is fatigue. Fatigue sounds like being tired, we all get tired! Instead it is a deeeeep exhaustion that penetrates every fiber of your being. I have never experienced anything like this before chemo, and I hope I never have to experience it again when it is over. I got fatigue the first few times I had chemo, but only for a few days. This time it has stuck around. After working a full day at the office the only thing I can do is come home and sit on the couch and think about getting up (if thinking about moving your muscles was a real workout, I would be in the best shape of my life).

With fatigue comes achy. Muscles, bones, tendons, they all ache. I walk around like a 90 year old woman with my shoulders hunched forward shuffling across the floor. Mix that with a little insomnia and you have a recipe for disaster. Yesterday I woke up and couldn’t stand up straight. I felt and looked like I had been hit by a truck (not a little truck either).

I have had a fever since yesterday, the kind where I am walking around in a hoodie wearing the hood because I am freezing cold and I have the chills. I am officially on infection watch. My breast with the stitches is warm, pink and hurts. It seems that each I hit the nadir stage of my chemo is when a complication seems to pop up (I bet I could go through my posts and track them to the day). Mine is shorter because I get a Nuelasta shot, but the moment my white blood cells plummet something breaks. I am still on antibiotics and they need to do their job by Monday or I go in for surgery (again) to remove my expander. Why they have to take it out if I have an infection I don’t quite understand, but the surgeon isn’t going anywhere near it without a solid explanation. I am officially losing patience with surgery issues. My first surgery was almost 3 months ago, this is getting ridiculous.

I want to go back to reliable, on time, work hard everyday Mandi. I miss her. Instead I am “aaahhhhhh I have a fever and have to stay home and work in my bed” Mandi. She isn’t nearly as cool. Plus she is grumpy. Anyone who knows me well, knows that when I am tired I am grumpy. Mike says I am not grumpy, but trust me, I feel like I am grumpy. Thus I am a grumpy fighter, not a survivor… yet….

Author: Mandi

Share This Post On