I am happy to report that my final PET scan showed me to be CANCER FREE and in full remission! 🎉
I have already shared this on Instagram and Facebook, but I have not shared here on the blog. Honestly I am still processing what has happened. I am also still healing from many of the side effects from the chemo.
First of all, I want to say THANK YOU to everybody who prayed, sent DM’s, notes of encouragement, cards, dinners, gift cards, flowers, etc.
Second, thank you all for sticking around even though my posting schedule has been a little inconsistent. Some days I feel like working, and some days I am in too much pain. Healing is not linear.
Currently: expectations versus reality
I am realizing that I romanticized what life after cancer would be like. I thought it would feel like one big joyful celebration. Weeeeeee!
The reality is that I am dealing with some hard core neuropathy, leg pain and foot pain and muscle weakness. The joints, tendons and muscles in my legs and feet really took a beating from chemo. My body has been through so much trauma, and healing will just take time.
I am trying out exercise and all kinds of healing modalities and supplements to try and help those get better/ stronger. Maybe I’ll share some about that later. I will also be seeing an orthopedic specialist in the next couple weeks.
Most days I float somewhere between over-the-moon thankful to be alive… and frustrated with my physical limitations. I am super glad the cancer is gone and that I don’t have to endure any more chemo. Truth is that I am really struggling still, though.
I did not expect that, and it has really surprised me how long it is taking to “bounce back.” Also, I feel a little like a jerk face for saying that when I have so many friends still fighting like crazy to just get to LIVE and see that cancer free scan.
But the struggle is real. Cancer is out of my body (praise God!), but it is not out of my life. That has been hard to wrap my mind around. I know so many cancer survivors will relate to this.
Hair growth after chemo
One of the questions I get asked about most is my hair. People are super curious about hair loss and hair growth after chemo.
Losing my hair was very traumatic. I never realized how much my long blonde hair was part of my identity. Until it was gone.
I cut it all off to make a wig, just as it started to fall out. The rest fell out within a few weeks after that.
Once it was gone, I just embraced hats.🤷🏼♀️ And I learned that I am not my hair style. I am more than that.
I think we all know that on some level. But living as a bald woman really anchored that belief in. And being bald was not all bad, y’all. It sure was easy to get dressed without having any hair to fuss with!😜
Losing eyelashes and eye brows was really hard too. But all of that is coming back! Yay!
I hesitated whether or not to share pictures. I initially took these for my own benefit, so I could see hair progress. But I have gotten so many questions from my fellow cancer fighters and survivors.
Everybody’s hair growth after chemo is different. But I hope it helps you see how my regrowth is going! And to know that if you have or are suffering hair loss, yours will come back too! I started to look more like myself somewhere around week six or seven weeks after my last chemo.
And this is me a couple weeks ago, eleven weeks after my final chemo.
My hair has come back with much more white hairs. And I don’t hate it.💁🏼♀️ After cancer, I feel differently about aging, and I know many cancer survivors and those with other chronic and/or deadly illnesses can perhaps relate.
I am thankful that I get to age. I have the privilege of growing older. Because I have literally had to sit with the reality of the alternative.
Once you have stared your own mortality in the face, getting older is literally no big deal. Gray hairs? No problem! And to be honest, I am happy to have any hair after being bald.😂👌🏻And! I am happy to be alive hopefully long enough to go gray.😎 #perspective
Overall, I am such a lucky girl. I made it through one of the hardest seasons of my life. Even though some chemo side effects are lingering on, I know I will get through that too. I am much tougher than I ever imagined. THANK YOU again, friends.