A little bit of this...and a little bit of that.

It's been over 3 weeks since my last chemo, and it has been so nice to allow my body a break from being pumped full of toxic drugs...the thought of it still makes my stomach turn. I do not feel back to "normal" by any means, but it is still so relieving to be done with chemo. My energy level is so low and I get extremely exhausted if I overdo it at all, my body also feels really sore...almost like body aches. It is hard to find a good balance. I will be feeling pretty good and go run some errands or go on a walk, and I just get hit with fatigue and my whole body just feels tired. I have been told that most people don't feel "normal" for many months after chemo...that's a little discouraging, but all I can do is try to take it easy and not push myself too hard. I have also had some shortness of breath lately, which has been a little scary. I had a lung function test recently and am waiting on those results.

My hair was beginning to grow back during chemo treatments, and this worried me because I related it to the tumor I had above my heart growing as well, but after my last chemo, my hair has begun to fall out AGAIN. It's bittersweet. I thought it was weird for my hair to be growing back like it was during chemo, but I am now sad to see it falling out all over again. It is shedding a lot. Just to clarify, when I say my hair was growing back, it was still very sparse and short, but definitely growing. The best example of what my hair looks like right now would be Prince William's hair...I'm not trying to be mean, I swear! It is just a really good example. I still make it a point to avoid the mirror as much as possible when I do not have my head covered...it just shocks me how different I look...it's like looking at a stranger. I wear wigs more often than I thought that I would, and I HATE them. Why is it that there is no such thing as a comfortable wig?! They are all so itchy and hot! And I always feel like I can't think clearly with it on. I mostly wear them as a way to not draw attention to myself. When I wear a head scarf, I get so many stares...I could care less, but it is just annoying. Sometimes I just want to blend in and attempt to feel normal. My eyebrows have thinned out a lot, but are still there...I haven't had to get them waxed in months, and my eyelashes have also thinned out quite a bit, putting on mascara is a little difficult because there is not much there to work with...I'm just fortunate to have any eyelashes or eyebrows left at all.

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but cancer can really mess a person up. Physically, I just feel gross. I hate not having hair, and I hate my "new body." To top that off, I feel tired and weak...it sucks. Mentally, I just don't know how to process all that I have been through since February...it has all happened so fast, it seems unreal. I'm still in shock. Although I try my best to put into words how I am feeling through all of this, I have such a hard time finding the right way to describe everything. Since the chemo has ended, I just feel overwhelmed with all sorts of different emotions...
I am happy to be done with chemo. I am nervous about radiation. I am scared that when I have my PET scan it won't show clear. I am terrified that it will show clear and then come back later (Hodgkin's has the highest risk of coming back, if it's going to, the first 18 months after remission). I am exhausted from all of the worry and what I have been through physically. I am horrified that this cancer will kill me and I will not be able to do all of the things that I have always dreamed of, I have hardly even had a chance to "live" yet. I try not to think like that, but in all honesty, it is hard not to sometimes. It is so unfair to have these kind of stressful thoughts...especially at my age.

I have been trying to take full advantage of having this break before starting radiation, and I have enjoyed it so much. My sister took me to Santa Cruz for a two night stay for my birthday, she had me wear a blindfold along the way and she surprised me by picking up my best friend Jen who lives in Stockton! Such a great surprise! We had such a fun & relaxing time...it was much needed, lots of story telling and laughing. My sister is the BEST!! The picture to the left is (from left to right) my sister, me, and my best friend in Santa Cruz.

Beach in Half Moon BayThe next weekend after that, my boyfriend Garrett surprised me with a one night stay in Half Moon Bay as part of my birthday gift. It was my first time there, and I loved it! We went to the beach, looked at all of the cute shops, and I again had a great weekend! 

I finally got a call scheduling my PET scan appointment, it will be done on Saturday, August 6th. I am hoping that my Doctor will have those results fairly soon after that. I am so nervous and scared for what those results are going to be...hoping for the best...but can't help thinking the worst. Keep your fingers crossed for me please for a clear scan. I am not sure on the exact date that I will begin radiation, but I would imagine that it would be soon after my PET scan.  

Thank you SO much to everyone for all of the love and support as I have gone through all of this. It means so much to me, and I truly do appreciate it. There is no way that I could get through any of this without all of the support that I have had from all of you!! Thank you!!!

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