Next Steps

I am excited to post about the next steps, instead, of gearing up for another round of chemo!

Olivia introduced me to an Instagram account titled, “The Cancer Patient.” It’s a satirical look at life as a cancer patient. I have noticed that the memes I gravitate towards change as I go through this experience. Lately, it is memes about getting back to work, the reality that even though I may get a clear scan in December, it will always loom that at the next one it could be back. Well, the good news is I’m starting to think about being on the others side of treatments!

I got a note from the Bishop that said, “…I’m thinking it may be a little more difficult spiritually as we turn from summer to fall and things gear up at church…” My first thought was, “I love fall. I think it’ll be a nice change.”

Well…

It’s getting hard people! I am absolutely elated that I am done with my regimen and as of Saturday, November 11, I am officially off of nine of the drugs I have been taking. That is wild! I’m still on a few, but not having to take nine of them anymore is pretty liberating.

Each round has beat me down a little. So, while I get to detox from all this medication, my body feels weak. I don’t feel like myself. I am anxious to give my body sometime to find its new norm.

In the Wanda Sikes 2023 stand-up special on Netflix she starts out her bit with, “You know, my last special was in 2019. It was called, Not Normal. Yeah. Since then, we’ve had a pandemic, an insurrection, Roe v. Wade got overturned… yeah. Yeah, I should have called that special The Good Ol’ days!”

Following 2020, I had never used the term new normal so many times. And sadly, in 2023, I am still using the term wondering what my new normal will be. I’m still unsure of the lifetime effects this chemo will have on me. What will the cancer do? How exactly will I transition back to work and people? Ultimately, I have been in a bubble again for 2023. I found that just walking through Cedar Point with my friends was way overstimulating. I definitely have some adjusting to do. I will do it though!

The plan right now, though I’m always ready to pivot, is to be back at work on January 15. I have my oncologist follow-up on December 27. The plan is to get some wonderful news and head out on an epic road-trip celebration. It will include New Years with friends on the beach in NC, a trip to Disney to experience Star Wars, and of course, finally getting back to my old stomping grounds in Florida. I’ll see loved ones and the devastation of Hurricane Ian with my own eyes. Then, back north to get-back-at-it.

I’m not sure if I’ll be radio silent in this waiting time, other than likely some theological post in Advent about waiting! LOL.

The treatments may be complete, but my journey sure isn’t!

9 responses to “Next Steps”

  1. Sherry Avatar
    Sherry

    All good things ahead! I’m excited for the new Dana to bloom❤️

  2. Margaret Vredeveld Avatar
    Margaret Vredeveld

    The journey is truly one step at a time and one day at a time. Celebrate the small steps. We’re praying! 💞🙏🏼💐

  3. Sara Avatar
    Sara

    I love Boyer’s note- something for all of us to keep in mind (ha! See what I did there?). I love you and will be there no matter what comes next. 💜

  4. Dorothy Fetting Avatar

    I am so relieved that you have completed chemo and are on the way to recovery.You are wise to take life slowly enough to help the process. My prayers are with you. Savor the next few weeks.
    Dorothy

  5. Amy K Avatar
    Amy K

    Dana, waiting to watch your continued recovery allow you to blossom in the renewed you! Continuing prayers for you!

  6. Sherry Avatar
    Sherry

    Step-by-step, Dana! Your epic trip sounds like a wonderful and meaningful part of your healing journey.

  7. Heather Battle Avatar
    Heather Battle

    Every season and every chapter of our lives unfolds exactly as it is meant. This is no different, and Boyer is bang on as she always is. Love you, friend.

  8. Jan Avatar
    Jan

    I am struck that this point of your journey is much like Advent, a time of waiting. Praying your waiting will result in a glorious hallelujah and blessings will abound.

  9. debby Avatar
    debby

    reading your post, i couldnt help but compare some of your feelings to Jesus’ feelings in the garden. i dont profess to be a theologian but how must he have felt….and did he know what all was ahead for him. praying for u, have a safe road trip and remember we owe u a Harp:)

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