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Monday, December 3, 2012

Went to 11



Back in September, when I was just starting chemo, I stopped into a Duane Reade to buy water. (I've done chemo without a port, so I've been working hard to keep my veins plump and ready to receive weekly IV drugs. I normally hardly ever drink bottled water, but the bottles help me keep track of how much I drink. In addition, the chemo gives everything, including most water, a really gross metallic taste. So I've developed an $8/day Evian habit. But anyway.)

I was buying three 1.5 liter bottles of Evian, my water for the day. The woman at the checkout said to another woman, "I need to start drinking this much water every day." The other woman said, "They say if you can do something for a month, you can do it forever."

Which is kind of a weird thing to say.

But actually it's halfway true. A couple of years ago a study that said it takes 66 days to make any particular activity into a habit.

Friday was Taxol #11. Sometime in the last few weeks, I stopped getting nervous the night before chemo. I got lax with my water intake. Side effects that were so distressing last month are now just part of life. I learned to schedule around them. I became cancer girl, so I got used to chemo.

With the penultimate dose of Taxol under my belt, and the final one at the end of this week, I am wondering where things go from here. (I will be officially done with chemo -- however, I will still visit the chemo center every three weeks for the next year, to get my IV infusion of Herceptin.)

It's hard to picture there ever being a time when I don't feel like cancer girl. I'm so used to being bald that I can't see myself as someone who has hair, for instance.

I know I can't go back to who I was before this happened. I'll always have numerous scars to remind me. But when my treatments are finished, I look forward to meeting my new new self, and getting into the habit of being her.

Number of needle sticks: 2
Number of veins blown: 1
Annoying-ness factor of on-call intern I spoke to on the phone about said vein: 7/10

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