In my life with “NED,” I happily embrace every milestone I can get my hands on. Birthdays, anniversaries — and yes, even my kids’ science projects — are candidates for funny hats and chocolate.
A year ago (March 24, 2011) I was unhooked from my chemo pump and set free to recover from the havoc wreaked on my body. No more hours in a sea-foam green La-Z-Boy recliner with an IV pole decorated with bags of toxic chemicals hanging over me. I had just finished three-months of post-surgery “just-in-case” chemo to kill any rogue cancer cells that might be floating around in my body after my unusually successful surgery to remove a second tumor.
During the six-months of pre-surgery chemo, I developed peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet. But during the post-surgery “just-in-case” chemo, I developed hand-foot syndrome, too. As if the numbness, tingling, burning, cold, and spiky pain of neuropathy wasn’t enough, the hand-food syndrome caused my hands and feet to become incredibly red and painful to touch. I could only hobble around, unable to put much pressure on my hands and feet. At that point, I couldn’t imagine being able to dance again.
But here I am, a year later, and my body has healed in so many ways. What better way to celebrate the “end-of-all-treatment” anniversary by going dancing at The Broken Spoke in my cowgirl boots!
It has been over two years since I have been dancing. Dancing to that first song with my husband brought tears to my eyes as the sweetness of the moment hit me. An exra treat was dancing to the music of our good friend, Bruce Robison.
Yes, I still have some peripheral neuropathy in my feet and toes but it is a small price to pay for being alive and dancing again.