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Ovarian Cancer & Me,  Life

My Fourth Chemotherapy Treatment: The Home Stretch

Easy Bell Sleeve to Puff Sleeve Dress Refashion
DIY Cropped Blazer

Heyo! I’m writing to you exactly one week out from my fourth chemo treatment!

We’re in the home stretch, as I have just two more treatments to go.

home stretch bridge meme
The perfect meme for my 2020.

My first chemotherapy treatment was tough. Thankfully, my second treatment went a lot easier and left me feeling like I had a pretty good idea of what to expect as far as side effects go. My third chemo treatment was…well…harder.

Chemo Round 4: So Tired & So Bored

I was warned the effects of chemotherapy are cumulative, so they would get harder and harder each round. That was definitely the case for Round 4.

Jillian in mask at infusion center
Funtimez at the infusion center!

I spent most of last week in an exhausted brain foggy haze. Chemo fatigue is particularly frustrating because all the good nights of sleep and naps in the world won’t leave you feeling rested. You can’t get away from the constant exhaustion no matter what you do. You’re trapped in it.

I have, however, become the master of knowing which side effects are most likely to creep up when. This means I know exactly when to take my pain, nausea, migraine, and cornucopia of other pills.

Seriously. I’m popping roughly 20 pills some days.

refashionista in thrifted dress/slouchy hat
Slouchy hats are a go-to on chilly days!

Thankfully, I had a new season of The Crown on Netflix to binge (It’s awesome!). The treatment before that I binged The Queen’s Gambit (also awesome), and the treatment before that I watched the final season of Schitt’s Creek. Netflix has timed its new releases perfectly for me. 😉

A lot of you have asked how I’m feeling.

To put it simply and frankly, I feel like I’m being diminished.

I don’t feel like I’m doing enough. I don’t feel like I’m being strong enough. I get frustrated with myself for having a hard time running short distances and concentrating (in the days immediately following chemo). I’m not sewing enough. I’m not producing enough content for this blog. I’m not contributing enough monetarily to my household because I’m not working enough. I don’t look good enough. Every time I need to take a nap, I criticize myself for being weak.

“No one expects you to be at 100%. You’re in treatment for cancer,” Mr. Refashionista tells me again and again.

“You’re handling all of this so well and I’m so proud of you,” he reassures me.

“You could never be a burden. You’ve made my life so much better by being in it,” he says.

We just celebrated our first wedding anniversary.

Mr. and Mrs. Refashionista
Rocking a new wig and a $1 thrifted dress for an impromptu photoshoot

Like a lot of folks, we had some pretty great plans for 2020, most of which we’ve had to put on hold. Our first year of marriage hasn’t looked anything like we thought it would.

Throughout all the sickness, fear, pain, and sadness, there’s this one shimmering thought I can’t push away. I’m so lucky.

I’m so incredibly lucky to have a partner whom I adore to bits who feels the same way about me. I’m so lucky to have his love, support, kindness, and optimism.

refashionista close up with sunglasses and slouchy hat
The giant shades hide the dark circles under my eyes. Follow me for more life hacks. lolz.

My hair has fallen out and my eyebrows are on their way out the door as well. My chemo acne is making me feel young again in all the worst ways. My skin is sallow and tired-looking. And I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful handsome husband who still thinks I’m cute. 😉

But…we’re in the home stretch.

In just over a month, I’ll hopefully be done with all of this and getting back to my healthy and happy self.

In just a couple of months, we may have a COVID vaccine in distribution and may see life making a gradual return to normal.

Mr. Refashionista and I have booked a beach house to ring in 2021 and celebrate all we’ve overcome this year and all that’s yet to come.

The home stretch is scary. It won’t be easy. There will be more pain, sadness, tough days and self-doubting thoughts I’m going to have to squash. But there will be good days, laughter, creativity, and more opportunities for growth than I could possibly imagine.

Fingers crossed.

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