Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Onto The Next Phase

I got a call from Dr. Webster bright and early this morning to confirm what I had hoped. My surgeon got clear margins and better yet, they found no more cancer in the portion they had removed. So, with that knowledge in my back pocket, I went to the cancer center to fill my prescription for my chemo drug.

My brother and my parents were a bit worried about me because they thought I should be much more thrilled with the news. I was of course thrilled, but I am also now reflecting on the next phase of my journey and what that will entail. My parents told me a story of when I was 2 years old and we travelled to visit my mom's family in Europe. We were at the airport in Spain leaving my uncle's place and when we were going up the escalator to catch our flight I said "I wonder what Mormor is doing?". Mormor means Grandma in Danish and we were on our way to Denmark next to visit her. So, ever since I was 2 I have easily dealt with one thing and then moved quickly onto the next.

I will start my new chemo drugs on Thursday night so that if I do have any immediate reactions, then I'm at home when it happens. The medication will be taken in the morning after breakfast (guess it's time to start eating that every day!) and then after dinner. You would think that they could get the whole dosage in one pill, but I will be taking 5 pills at every sitting. Then I will also have some anti-nausea medication on standby if needed.

The list of side effects is lengthy and unknown as to which of them might affect me. I should know within a couple of days whether I am being affected by some of these and then by the end of the first cycle for the remainder of them. The goal is to get me through at least 4 cycles (each cycle is 2 weeks of medication and 1 week break) and hopefully 6 cycles in total.

I feel much more optimistic about everything these days and am looking forward to many great things. My team at work moved into a great new space and my office is absolutely unbelievable - a view of the mountains and tons of natural light! Tricia and I are planning a trip to New York - I can't wait for her to show me everything she's told me about for all of these years! And...I am attending a meeting with the founder of Rethink Breast Cancer next Tuesday to get engaged with them - finally my chance to give back and share my story with others!

It's too bad that I had to get another round of cancer to once again remind me that life is to be lived and it is our responsibility to give back to others. So, I hope that this time I've got it for good!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Tasha,
    You sure didn't waste any time in sharing this latest news with us. Thank you! These are the results that we, too, had been hoping for. We celebrate this thrilling milestone with you.

    Your childhood story about moving on to life's next adventure is an endearing one. Apparently at two years of age you were already exhibiting an eagerness to get on with living and a willingness to deal with the tensions of not knowing what lies ahead. Both traits are serving you well in your present "journey".

    From what you describe, the chemo drug cycles that you are just beginning could last up to 18 weeks, depending on your ability to tolerate the medications. That's an overwhelming prospect for us to imagine, but we will continue to support you in your journey, one day at a time.

    We are inspired by your own optimistic focus on a bright and open work space, a trip to New York with Tricia, and sharing your story with others through a project called Rethink Breast Cancer. It is astounding that you are able to think of giving back to others while you are still battling so hard yourself.

    What a Valentine's Day this has turned out to be for you and your family, Tasha! Tonight you will take your first dose of the new chemo drugs and head into what you call "the next phase" ... loving and treasuring life itself, every step along the way.

    Cheers and sincere best wishes,
    Louise and David