Let me start off by saying this: chemo is no walk in the park. I hope none of you have to endure this in your lifetimes. It makes you tired, sick and is all around just a pain in the ass. But what makes it worse for me, is wearing the cold caps for about 8 hours and having them changed every 15 minutes. I can’t complain though, because it’s saving me my hair. (knock on wood) Instead of focusing on the grueling negatives of chemo, I want to focus on all the positive things that give me strength during treatment.
- Prayer. I’ll admit I wasn’t the most faithful person before being diagnosed, but throughout this journey I’ve found my relationship with God. I make sure to pray every night, especially the night before treatment. I know he has my back.
- My family. My parents, step-parents, brother & baby siblings, grandmothers, aunts/uncles, and cousins have been amazing throughout all of this. Between changing my cold caps, picking me up when I’m feeling down, listening to my worries and fears constantly and making me laugh, their job is no easy one. I don’t know what it’s like to care for a person with cancer, but I imagine it’s not easy.
- My boyfriend. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 and a half years and we’ve been through a lot together. We never thought we’d have to add this to the list. He’s been the most amazing person to me and has really shown me this is just a bump in the road and that he’s not going anywhere. This is something some married couples don’t have to go through until much later in life, and here we are in our early twenties dealing with it. He’s taken on responsibilities as a husband would and I’m so appreciative for that.
- My friends. I have an amazing group of friends to add to my support system. I’ve always prided myself in having great friends over the years and they’ve only lived up to that in this hard time. They constantly check up on me and let me know that they’re always there for me no matter what. They’ve made me feel normal throughout all of this and never once made me feel weird or like I was an outsider, which is so important to me.
- My nurse. I’ve had the same nurse for the last 6 treatments, and she’s really been the best. She wipes my tears away and lets me know that I’m going to be okay. She’s opened herself up and shared stories with me, which makes me feel a connection with her. She’s blunt and honest, but also understanding.
- Being tough as nails. I always knew that I was tough, but I never knew I was tough enough to fight cancer. Every time I look around at people my age living their life so carefree (as someone my age should be doing) I can’t help but ask “why me?” But then I remember that they probably wouldn’t be able to handle it like I could. “God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers” has basically been my life quote for the last 3 months.
- Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Unlike some cancer patients, I do have an end date for all of this treatment and I feel extremely lucky for that. I’m lucky that the cancer I’ve been diagnosed with has a very high cure rate and in a few short months this will all be over.
- Returning to normalcy. Like I said, this will be over before I know it. I’ll admit I’m struggling quite a bit fighting this journey but what keeps me going is the fact that pretty soon I’ll get to return to my normal life, return to work, and be as carefree as ever.
I have to remember these 8 points not only during chemo days, but any day that I’m struggling. It’s hard sometimes, but I can do it.