Last Monday I had another brain MRI and Tuesday my doctor came into the room with a smile on her face. I could then exhale, at least for the time being. The spots, according to the scan, showed a slight amount of shrinking or no change. Things continue to go in the right direction. I am very grateful.
I also just completed my fourth cycle of the maximum allowed dose of oral chemotherapy. My doctor reminded me that not everyone is able to tolerate the medicine at full dose for as long as I have. Eventually, there will probably be too much toxicity in my body to continue at such a high dose. For now, however, I am doing it.
Meanwhile, I continue to struggle with answering the questions, "How are you feeling? or How are you doing?"
In relation to people without Metastatic Breast Cancer, I'm not feeling all that great. It's a struggle to move beyond the horizontal position each morning. I experience nausea at some point almost everyday. My feet and hands are suffering some consequences of such high doses of medicine. I still have the residual effects of whole brain radiation. I am often tired, sometimes angry and occasionally sad.
However, when I think about how I'm doing as a Stage IV Cancer patient, I'm doing well, especially according to what my doctor has said. I do get up every morning, I move slow, but I eat breakfast, take a shower, walk when I can, do household duties, help the kids with homework, read stories at night, tuck them in, and spend time with my husband. Every now and then I'll even make dinner, (but really, I rarely ever cooked before all this).
All that being said, it's not always easy to respond to the "How are you feeling?" question. My smart mama suggested I preface my answer with "Considering the circumstances..." That sounds good to me. Just saying "I'm good" didn't feel like I was telling the entire story.
So, to all of you curious about how I am feeling, "Considering the circumstances, I'm doing ok and some days I'm even doing better than ok." It's really all a matter of perspective. Thank you for asking.
"Sometimes a change in perspective is all it takes to see the light."