1. completed chemo: I did fine through the first four rounds, working for two days, taking two days off, and then doing fine for the between-treatments week. Then I was allergic to the second set of chemos, so I got a bit delayed but eventually through that as well (June 1st was my last one!), thanks to the many many meals provided by friends. Seriously, there was one dish that we got a few times and loved -- MMT's lasagna, and when Jo suggested that we ask her for the recipe, I could not fathom why we would not just want MMT to keep making it for us. Since then, I am glad to report that I've gotten my cooking groove back..
2. but lost a breast: mastectomy on July 5th (our second anniversary; sort of a reverse-present, I suppose) I front-loaded my anxiety for this, as I had for the chemo, and I'm doing great. Got my prosthesis a few weeks ago, and I really don't think about it all that often.
3. started radiation today: It's particularly odd to go back to the same clinic every day (yesterday was a dress rehearsal, and today was rad #1, and I have to remember to go again tomorrow...) -- usually after a doctor's appointment, it feels like something to check off, but this has a certain Groundhog Day (the movie) quality to it. Fortunately, the techs and nurses and my radiation oncologist are great, and if you have to have cancer, it's a good place to be.
4. the hair: yes, I lost it. Shaved it a few days after that last post, wore the hat&wig for month or so, then couldn't be bothered and wore just a scarf, rather pirate-style, for a while, and finally went bald everywhere but work.
As I'd hoped, I think the new hair did indeed reach sassy-length for our vacation last week! If it didn't, don't tell me. ;)
5. been storing food: I've also managed to make use of the canner I bought last summer, and just pulled out 11 jars of tomato jam that are for party favor gifts, for Nina's second birthday party this Sunday. Other food-storing for winter: jars of pickles, salsa, corn, roasted tomato sauce, tomato jam, broccoli, green beans, lots by comparison to the past, which only ever included pesto*, and yet still so much room for progress. I'm currently addicted to buying the gorgeous bargain bags of 'seconds' tomatoes at the farm just a couple miles from us, so I'm likely going to make more roasted tomato sauce, salsa, and jam in the next week or so!
6. been knitting: Nina has two new cardigans (one still requiring the buttons); I have (almost) two beautiful scarves, and need to complete a gorgeous-but-might-be too-small cardigan for myself; and N has already grown through a pair of pants she wore for Thanksgiving last year and a dress she wore to a family bar mitzvah in March.
I do have joint pain -- a delayed response from the chemo -- and I'm tired and can't hold thoughts together so well, but overall, I am doing well. Jo just started middle school yesterday; the girls are so sweet with each other; and Hali and I are cooking up another project, which will remain quiet for a while longer -- especially as we don't know if/how it will turn out.
I feel blessed that our family made it through the bulk of this cancer treatment so well, and that frankly, I've had so much time with my toddler this year. The year between 1 and 2 has always been one of my favorites -- watching language and personality emerge like blossoms -- and though I was afraid I'd miss so much with the cancer, my friend Judy was right: we've really had more time together this year than I would have had otherwise. She will be two a week from today, and I am looking forward to sharing this milestone with a few friends and family.
I know this post is word-heavy and photo-lacking, but I had to get back on the horse!