Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski
By Sheryl Jedlinski
Friday was day one of my recurrent battle with endometrial cancer. After three years in remission, it returned to exact revenge. Knowing this day would eventually come, I had amassed an army of family, friends, doctors, therapists, and personal trainers to prepare me mentally and physically for the fight for my life. I was trained, rested, and ready to prevail again, or so I had convinced myself.
In the absence of a new targeted treatment for my specific cancer mutation, I am repeating my initial chemotherapy regimen. This is not a bad option, seeing as how I know it works (after all, it helped me achieve three years of remission) and my doctors believe it will be even more effective this time because we caught the cancer much earlier, and found considerably less of it.
Walking into the all too familiar infusion room again, my husband, Tony, squeezed my hand and said, “You’ve got this one; it’s going to be a piece of cake.”
“Been there, done that,” I muttered under my breath, echoing Tony’s confidence.
I chose a recliner chair at the far end of the row against the floor to ceiling windows and closest to the bathroom (need I say more?). Tony covered me with an oven-warmed blanket and I settled in to listen to Michele Obama’s book, Becoming. The 2-1/2 hours went by quickly – a good bit of it devoted to choosing vending machine snacks and where to go for lunch.
My treatment went without a hitch, and I was quite pleased. One down, only seven more to go over the next six months. What I didn’t realize was how much of the experience I had “blocked out” over time, like forgetting that side effects from my treatment usually don’t show up until day three. That’s when constipation and neuropathy begin rearing their ugly heads. At least this time I have the benefit of knowing what worked and what didn’t to calm things down.
The lessons I’ve learned as a cancer survivor can be applied to many different challenges in life.
Here are a few you might want to keep in the back of your mind: