A Surprising Colon Cancer (cont.)

I usually feel so stressed during the holidays that I hardly take time to really enjoy the season. Not this year. Even though I'm pretty tired these days while going through chemo, I enjoyed each and every minute and tried to do all of the special things that we all associate with Christmas.

I baked for everyone I could think of, tried to make all of my family's favorites, decorated a little more than usual and went to bed very exhausted -- a really GOOD tired -- every night. It just made me acutely aware of how we sometimes take so much for granted and only fully appreciate all we have when we become aware that it won't last forever.

I can't wait to enjoy it all again next year and the year after that.

Happy New Year.

Worst Fears and Realizations
Sat., Feb. 11, 2006

Good Morning America recently did a segment about "What are you most afraid of?"

The No. 1 answer was "snakes." Spiders were up there in the top five, and I don't remember the others because I started thinking about what my answer would be to that question.

We've all thought about it ever since we were kids. As long as I can remember, the thing I was most afraid of was "getting cancer." I wasn't particularly afraid of "dying of cancer" or getting any other horrific disease (although I certainly didn't want those), but I just thought the scariest thing imaginable was getting cancer.

Well, about six months ago I WAS diagnosed with cancer. Colon cancer. Pretty scary. I had finally "met the devil." Even though it was scary, it was not nearly as terrifying as I had imagined. I've heard that the way to conquer a phobia or terrible fear is to meet it head on. I have done that with my fear. I deal with it every day. I fight it and expect to win.

Cancer is no longer my greatest fear. I think now it might be snakes.

Meanwhile, this week was a milestone in my battle with colon cancer. I had my seventh chemo treatment, which should mean I'm halfway through treatment. Hooray! Let me tell you about my chemo to give you a visual.

I take a combination of three drugs every other week. I have a port surgically implanted in an area near my collarbone that allows me to receive treatment in and out of the clinic. I receive two of the drugs over a five-hour period in the medical facility, and the third drug is in a pump that resembles a video cassette that I carry in a fanny pack. It's attached to my port and I take that drug over a 48-hour period.

I can go out to dinner, shopping, or wherever I feel like going with it.

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