The journey with chemo therapy is over. I won!

Katharyn BradyStarred Page By Katharyn Brady, 28th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/noo7k66e/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Recovery & Coping

On February 7, 2014, I thought my fight with cancer was over. On February 8, 2014, I discovered the fight was really only beginning. 6 months and 5 cycles of a very harsh chemo therapy later - I won. I beat cancer. Fighting cancer has given me a new perspective about life's challenges. I truly no longer sweat the small stuff.

The fight against cancer wasn't over . . . it was just beginning.

Wow – what a journey I have been on. February 7, 2014, I thought I was done with cancer. I had even announced to my friends on Facebook what an awesome day it was. The radiation side effect, fatigue, was almost non-existent. My skin didn't even blister from the radiation. In fact, it was a lovely brown color, just like when I was a child in the summer time. My sister teased that if I wore a tank top, I'd need to get a dark spray tan so my skin would look even colored.

But, on Saturday afternoon, February 8, 2014, yes the very next day, a new lump surfaced on the left side of my torso. It was exactly like the lump that was removed at the end of January 2014.

I needed my "teddy bear".

Up to this point in my journey, I had hardly shed a tear. But, after I made the decision to move forward with a treatment plan of 6 cycles of chemo therapy, I felt the emotion well up inside of me. I knew I needed my "teddy bear" who is my big, strong husband.

I went to the living room and said, "I need a shoulder".

He turned the television off and came over to the couch. I nestled into him and the tears just poured down my face. I began to sob. He said, "That's ok Baby, let it go, get it out".

I talked about my fears and how much I didn't want to do this. I questioned whether I was strong enough.

Michael assured me that I am strong enough and I could do this. He would be there with me, every step of the way.

Surrendering the journey to God.

Surrendering to God and trusting in God for my personal health felt so scary. I had never had any serious health issues. The only bone I've ever broken was in one of my toes.

Crying brings such relief and release.

I then did my surrender pose (palms facing upwards) and surrendered this journey that I was about to embark upon to God. That always brings me peace.

God never abandons us.

Fast forward 6 months: End of chemo and freedom from the PICC line.

I completed 5 of the 6 chemo therapy cycles. There will be no more chemo therapy as the doctor canceled the 6th cycle. It appears that I am unable to tolerate any more chemo.

When I learned that I was done with chemo therapy, I literally jumped up and clicked my heels.

The PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line, a long, slender, small flexible tube that is inserted into a peripheral vein and used to administer the chemo therapy, has been removed.

I had to be so cautious with my arm. I didn’t lift anything nor do much with it to minimize the risk of bleeding (which happened once) or the PICC being inadvertently pulled out of my arm (thankfully, that NEVER happened - yikes!!).

I feel so free.

I am so very thankful.

Each cycle I stayed in the present and in the moment. I didn’t look to or worry about the future. That was how I managed to stay sane through this journey.

I had such amazing support both through prayer and action by family and friends. True to my husband’s word, he has been there for me every step of the way.

I am thankful for what the chemo therapy has accomplished, stopping the metastasis of the malignant Phyllodes tumors.

I am thankful and so appreciative for my oncologist, her assistant and the many nurses and doctors who have cared for me over the months.

PET scan results - I am cancer free!

I had a PET scan after the 3rd cycle of chemo therapy. The result was that there was no active cancer. The two tumors used for markers had shrunk significantly and were very small.

Today, I had a PET scan which validated the cancer is still gone. I’ll be talking to a surgeon to discuss when the last two tumors can be removed.

Perspective: Really...don't sweat the small stuff!

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” seemed easier said than done prior to the experience with cancer. I used to get really worked up over little, unimportant inconveniences. Life’s many challenges have been put into perspective.

I truly no longer sweat the small stuff.

Other articles by this author.

Katharyn's journey with a rare form of cancer, malignant Phyllodes tumor.
Diagnosis: from benign to malignant.
Having cancer brought opportunities for healing and change.
Weigh the pros and cons of a decision and then commit.
Counting down to being cancer free. . . or was I?
Critical decision: Change the medical team.
My doctor layed out a plan to cure Malignant Phyllodes Tumor cancer.
Support to a person with cancer is like water to someone who is out in the desert.
The peace that surpasses all understanding.
Reflection on my journey with chemo therapy.

Tags

Cancer, Cancer Fighting, Cancer Free, Cancer Treatment

Meet the author

author avatar Katharyn Brady
I have survived cancer multiple times. It took 8 surgeries, 33 sessions of radiation and chemo therapy. My focus is on being healthy in mind, body and spirit and helping others do the same.

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
28th Jul 2014 (#)

I am glad you got good news in regards to your fight with cancer.

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
28th Jul 2014 (#)

Thank you, Mark.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
28th Jul 2014 (#)

thank God, thank God a million times for your safe recovery just as Steve is...blessings...

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
28th Jul 2014 (#)

Yes, cnwriter..carolina, thank God a million times. The chemo had a 40% success rate and it worked on this rare form of cancer.
I am blessed in so many ways.

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author avatar Mariah
29th Jul 2014 (#)

Well done Katharyn..such great news, onwards and upwards now no looking back eh...just wonderful x

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
29th Jul 2014 (#)

Thank you Mariah!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
29th Jul 2014 (#)

Good evening, Katharyn; this is wonderful news. Thank you for sharing it along with how you coped. Support is so important and your husband and others sound like those you needed. Blessings ~Marilyn

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
30th Jul 2014 (#)

Thank you, Marilyn!

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author avatar Lee Hansen
31st Jul 2014 (#)

I feel the joy in your writing. I am in remission from cancer as well after a grueling schedule of surgery, chemo, radiation and lymphedema therapy. I praise God that I am on the mend. I Thank God for your blessing.

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
1st Aug 2014 (#)

Lee - I am so happy that you are in remission and have survived your grueling schedule! Thank you for sharing.

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