Because of the medications, I’ve turned into a night owl, getting up several times at night.  If I’m lucky I remember to pause as I enter the room, to shuffle through on the hunt for the land mine.  Our dog Pepper loves to get up and follow people, and after she’s assured herself I’m coming back, she will often splay herself in the middle of the bedroom floor, or on my side, partially under and mostly beside the bed.  Half of the time I trip over her or step on her.  It’s impossible to see her big black body and neither of us ever wins this game, yet she continues to play. I suppose there are all things we continue to do despite the fact it’s not working for us.

I’m this way with my diet, I try so hard to eat healthy but some days are more successful than others.  Especially since my oncologist put me on medication to increase my appetite, which is working in a scary, junk food at 10 pm kind of way.  Do not get between me and my lunch.  It’s like a shark feeding frenzy. Yes, mom, I have put on a few pounds.  She is not allowed to ask anymore.

Thankfully we have less than a month left until school starts.  Summer is too long for me.  BRAVE was a total miss with us.  Selfish teenage girl with nasty tangled hair + overbearing, strict mother = lesson learned on the way out of the theater, “So if I change you into a bear and change you back, will you be nicer to me?”  This after I’ve managed to truck us out to the theater for a little fun.  My daughter has also accused me of “Not doing a very good job of making her happy”.  I can’t wait for her to have a spirited daughter of her own. Every day I try to put on my best game face and bravely plow through the physical challenges and mental doubts, while remaining faithful that this journey is all going to work out as it is supposed to. And she wants me to make her happy too? Sheesh!

Here’s a quote that grabbed my attention the other day, it reminded me of my battle.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”  from  Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

I am now back on Zelboraf on the same dose I was on (day 5) and so far, so good. I feel great, knock on wood.  I’m not a complainer or a hypochondriac, though I worry that my oncologist thinks I am.  The Fourth of July wasn’t fun and I am thankful to have it behind me.  The physical ups and downs of cancer treatment are so frustrating and the emotional challenges and doubts can bring down even the strongest warrior.  The cancer abyss was definitely looking back into me.  I had a full set of body scans in April, but three weeks ago they only checked my heart and my brain.  It’s already in my heart and melanoma LOVES to go to the brain.  As hard as it is to accept, these are the only organs my oncologist wants to check on right now, so I was full of the WORST thoughts.  Hopefully the Zel is working everywhere else and I’m all still clear.  I try so hard to trust and understand.  I’m pretty sure some of these other organs are NOT optional, like my lymph nodes and part of my pelvis turned out to be (ha, ha).  My oncologist is very good at doling out information for me as I can handle it and I know he has his reasons. There are people who’ve been on this drug over two years and it is still working, there’s no reason that this can’t be me.  I choose to trust him and move on.

I regret wasting time feeling sorry for myself and I certainly don’t want anyone else to feel sorry for me.  Today I have this to say “NOT TODAY MEL!  NOT TODAY!!!” My treatment is working.  I have things to do and a life to live.  Today is not the day to give up or quit.  Feeling well for a few days can have an amazing effect. We keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other, hopefully avoiding more landmines along the way. Furry or otherwise.