Shauna Wears Pink

I will never forget the day my doctor uttered those horrifying words “I am sorry to tell you, but that is a cancer tumor that you have in your left breast”. I was 33 years old, and my life changed forever. I invite you to read my story, learn from it and hopefully be inspired to reach out to other young women living with and beyond breast cancer.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Living life one day at a time

Chemotherapy! I know that I should think of it as life saving medicine, but I just think of it as poison. The best way to describe the side effects is to think of having a massive hang-over for over a week. The first few days involve dehabilitating nausea, then I move on to two or three days of mind numbing fatigue. From there I develop a headache so intense that it hurts to even talk. After these effects wear off, I experience mouth sores and extreme intestinal upset. Then despite thousands of dollars of shots to encourage my body to increase its production of white and red blood cells, my white blood cell count usually plummets to dangerous levels putting me an serious risk of an infection from anyone and anything I encounter. But for me the worst side effect of all is the fog that descends upon my mind. It lingers each time for almost a week. Each day I awake and think, “This will be the day that I feel better”. This goes on for a number of days each as dark and foggy as the previous, as my body and mind fight to overcome the pain. Then one day I awake and the clouds part, the sun shines into my mind and I feel like shouting from the treetops, “I am alive, I am alive.” My husband and friends can always tell when this day comes because I start returning e-mails and voicemails with a vengeance, as if I have returned from a long journey. Then I will feel fine for two weeks, until have to go back to the clinic for another treatment. I so dread my treatments that I begin to experience nausea two hours before a scheduled treatment, and each time I open the door of my clinic a waive of nausea hits me in the face. I have trouble wearing clothes that I wore for a particular treatment because the mere sight of them almost makes me vomit. I know in time this will all pass, and the chemotherapy has probably saved my life. So I keep on putting one foot in front of the other, just focusing on the day at hand.


  • At 2:11 PM, Blogger Liz said…

    Shauna, We are SOOOOO thinking of you and pulling for you and your sister every day! You are a force of nature, and although the statistics can provide landmarks they are only statistics. They are not about you. We love you guys and look forward to the time, many years from now, when this is a distant memory that seems like someone else's life, and you get to laugh about your little one's "code brown", over-the-diapers-and-up-the-back poop emergency.


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