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September 19, 2020 - Stuff Doesn't Love You Back
Yesterday officially was the last chapter of a very long book. Yesterday signified the day my brother and I sold Mom's house. Miss Margaret's home is of no more. It is hard to believe that she left this earthly world last year on July 27, 2019. It is hard to believe that she has been gone over a year. It is hard to believe that 90 years of hard work, sweat, and tears has been bequeathed, donated, sold, or thrown away (sorry Mom!).
Her death came last year when I was only weeks out from my double mastectomy. The anniversary of her death came 3 days after brain surgery. And now the selling of her last earthly possessions comes 3 days before I began taking oral chemo medication. None of this has any direct relation, other than it is all on my mind.
I failed in properly remembering her on the 1 year anniversary of her death. As I was only a few days post-op from my unexpected craniotomy, I'm sure she would forgive me!
With my current diagnosis looming at the very top of my mind coupled with disposing of Miss Margaret's assets, I can't help but ponder. Stuff is just....stuff. Most of it is clutter that complicates the very lives we try to simplify. Stuff can weigh you down. Stuff doesn't love you back.
Miss Margaret would vehemently disagree. She would argue. She would defiantly defend her "stuff". Every piece of ceramics, every piece of wall art, every knick-knack of unknown origin, and every piece of nostalgia she owned, was "valuable". She considered every little piece her very valuable treasures. Her "stuff" made her happy while she walked this earth, but boy, was she a pack rat!
It actually took months to comb through her possessions a properly dispose of them. Loved ones kept sentimental pieces, so we all have a little bit of Miss Margaret visibly remaining in our lives. And, yesterday culminated with selling her house. It was bittersweet and sad.
I suppose it is only fitting, that I begin my new chemo cocktail with a clean slate, a new beginning. I actually begin the oral pills on Monday. It is quite the arsenal. It is not lost on me that it took almost 20 days from the doctor prescribing the meds to actually receive the medication. The approvals back and forth with the Mayo Clinic, the Insurance Company, and myself was rather involved. I had to fight really hard to get the very medicine that while prolonging my life is going to make me feel like crap. Oh, the irony! As I did in the spring, I pray that this new cocktail will prove to be more of a friend than a foe. That remains to be seen.
We do know that of the 2 oral medications, I will begin Xeloda on Monday. I will take 3 pills in the AM and 3 pills in PM. 6 pills a day. I will take that one week on, then one week off. I will have a break from that poison - I mean medicine - every other week. Hopefully, it will help me manage the side effects as it is reported that they can prove to be quite gross. Stay tuned for that one! I'm sure I will regale you with oversharing! If I have to experience, you can at least read about it, LOL!
On the second week, I will begin Tukysa. Once I start it, I will take it every day without stopping. It will overlap with Xeloda and my Hylecta injections, which are once every three weeks. Tukysa is the newly FDA approved pill and is supposed to be the new "wonder" drug at containing and eradicating brain tumors. In a sick way, I'm pretty excited to be taking this. This will require 2 pills in the AM and 2 pills in the PM. Heck, I would take them 3 times a day to keep my brain cells healthy.
I will also have 2 nausea meds that I will rotate and take every 4 hours as needed. I'm very hopeful that I don't experience heavy nausea, but if I do, my docs have made sure that I am equipped with meds to quell the queasiness. It should be of no surprise, I will report back how I do on this cocktail. There will be weeks when I could potentially take 14 or more pills a day, plus an injection! It is unimaginable to me.
Ironically, I was never one to take much medicine. I rarely took Tylenol, and now our bathroom medicine cabinet is really a Medicine Cabinet! It is a pharmacology wonder! Thank goodness I have Jamie to keep my meds straight. He is quite the pill organizer, and I know he will dispense them to me like a drill sergeant but with a lot of love!
And as I meander writing this post, I am brought back to stuff. If I've learned anything in the last 17 months, it truly is not to sweat the small stuff and don't worry so much about your "stuff". The love to and from family and friends is the only thing that really matters. You can't take your stuff with when you are gone, but you can LOVE your family while you are here. And they can love you back!