I’m HALFWAY through chemo!
That means I’ve had three (successful) rounds of TCHP.
But that also means my body is starting to experience the cumulative side effects of three successful rounds of TCHP.
Let's, for a moment, wade in the wasteland of halfway.
The beginning and end of things can be exciting - a new project! A completion!
But the middle? That’s typically where we’re treading water…barely.
Think about it - as kids, we were always excited to get to Christmas break. It was needed. It was a reprieve from the day-to-day! No homework. Rest. A break! It was somewhere around the halfway point of the school year.
But, when break was over, we went back to face exams, tough classes, ongoing issues that existed before break and were never resolved. It seemed like a lifetime until summer would arrive.
And then, as adults we set goals for ourselves - high expectations. We say we’re going to lose 20 pounds. We say we’re going to run a marathon. We say we’re going to write a book!
And we start out doing really well, but then we creep closer to the halfway and we second guess. We run out of ideas. We hit a dead end. We have to change direction. We lose energy.
According to INC, 92% of people don’t achieve their goals. They get lost in the halfway.
Let’s apply this to something I’m all too familiar with as an N.C. State fan.
Think about your favorite team.
We don’t give up at halftime, do we?
Halftime is the opportunity for the coach to regroup, re-strategize, and encourage the team. Maybe nothing needs to change or maybe everything needs to change.
There’s a full second half to play! There are lots of opportunities to continue success or find success.
Being in the halfway requires discipline.
It requires energy.
It requires perseverance and stamina.
There’s a drive that’s necessary to succeed through the halfway and into completion.
So here I am. Halfway through chemo.
It's a good opportunity to recognize how far I’ve come since March, and begin charting the course for the next two months.
How far have I come?
In my most recent visit with the oncologist, she said “I’m not even going to guess where your tumor was. I can’t feel anything that feels like a cancerous tumor.”
Y’all - THAT!!!
That statement means this chemo cocktail is working. It means that all the terrible, horrible side effects I’m experiencing on a weekly basis are indications that this poison going through my system is knocking out those cells I never wanted to begin with.
And that’s something to celebrate - we’re celebrating success at halftime!
But, there’s still a second half to play, and I’d be lying if I told you it’s not daunting to me.
Chemo builds up in your system and has cumulative side effects. This means that I’m slower to bounce back with each round. The fatigue is stronger now and my tastebuds are flat for a longer period of time, making it really difficult to find food that’s appetizing to eat. And when you don’t eat, you don’t have energy, which doesn’t help the fatigue.
When you’re in the halfway, you know what obstacles you’re going to continue to endure. You may start to dread them if you haven’t figured out how to more easily defeat them.
There’s nothing more I can’t stand than having to hole up in my house because I have zero energy to do anything.
It’s a mental game as much as it is physical, and I have to be acutely aware of when I start throwing myself a negative pity-party. It’s not good for me. It’s not good for those around me.
For some of us, we aren’t even sure if we’re in the halfway. We’ve been trying to work toward a goal - fixing a relationship, trying to have a baby, putting our marriage back together, cutting an addiction - for years.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t know where you stand in achieving an outcome.
Continue with one step at a time.
And for those of you working toward really exciting, big dreams - KEEP GOING!! See it through. The halfway will be a great story to tell once your done.
What started for me taking one week at a time has now become taking one day at a time. I have to accept that as my pace, embrace it, and keep moving forward.
If I can do this, you can do it, too. In whatever you’re working on - whether you want to be working on it or not.
We’re all in this together.