Choice. It's a funny thing, how I forgot about choices. When talking about my treatments with my family, I always say, "Well, it's gonna suck, but it's not like I have a choice....". And I've been thinking about that, and I'm wrong. Saying I have no choice abrogates my own responsibilities. And it ignores my own abilities and intellect. Damnit, I DO have a choice. And this is the path I chose. I chose the chemo/radiation. Yes, it was recommended as the best treatment, but nobody forced me into the TomoTherapy machine every day for 32 days. I chose to be there. (And my butt is a nicely browned, well done toasted color...thank you very much.....) Nobody held me down and force fed me 6 Xeloda tablets every day during that time. I chose to take them to increase the efficacy of the radiation.
I'll start chemo in two weeks. Eight rounds of Folfox 6, and that too, is MY choice. I could refuse and take my chance with chemo/radiation only. I could chose the Xelox regimen instead of Folfox. But I've done my research and once again, I am in agreement with my doctor, that Folfox 6 is the best choice for me. But it is MY responsibility. No one else's.
I'm not going to be forcibly strapped to a table tomorrow when I have surgery to insert the chest port. I chose to have this port. I've researched and come to the conclusion, that yes, my doctor is correct and a portacath will save my veins from the corrosive effects of chemo. I've studied the different types of ports, and I have decided that for me, the chest port will be preferable to the arm port. I've chose the Folfox 6, which requires a few hours of infusion, followed by 46 hours on a continuous pump. And a port in the arm would be awkward with a pump, so chest port it is.
When my oncologist said we would start chemo on Feb. 25th, I decided that was too soon for me. So I chose to postpone for a week, and will start on March 4th. Again, this is my choice.
So why have I been saying, "I have no choice"? It seems I've been making choices since last October when I was diagnosed. I've always been a "do-it" myself kind of person. Leaking faucet? I can fix that. Dryer stops heating? Google it. Yep, I can fix that. Lay some tile, plumb a sink, tear out a kitchen, install a toilet? Sure, why not? Give it a shot. But for some reason, this past week, I've been feeling diminished, somehow made smaller, weakened, by this whole process. Dare I say, gulp, passive? Good Lord, last week I somehow became the "woman who cried about freaking everything". I don't think a day passed without the waterworks. And don't get me started on the Valentine cards my hubby gave to me and our two daughters. Just thinking about them might get me going again. Maybe it was just the mind numbing drive to radiation every day. The 299.1 seconds I was being slowly sucked into the machine, whilst thinking..."Oh jeez, I gotta pee....."! (Yeah...deep thoughts while I'm being radiated....) I just felt raw, mentally, physically and emotionally. Sort of like the universe had a giant sander with 80 grit paper that had just been grinding away at me.
But last night, I had an epiphany...I'm still here. And I'm still standing. And damnit, the past six weeks weren't something that was "done to me", but something I had done, to extend my chances at a long life. It was me, using the tools at my disposal to fix something. I'm still me. Today is my last day of radiation. I made it. I'm still here, still me, still standing and ready to keep bringing this fight. My choice. I chose to live. Cancer started this fight. I'm going to finish it.