Uncharted Territory

So I’ve finally gotten to uncharted territory. I don’t want to talk. Me. I’ve been going a mile a minute since I was born and I just don’t have it in me anymore. My mental game is WAY off. I saw my doctor yesterday and we talked about anxiety induced vomiting and she assured me that it was a very real thing. Apparently I’ve reached that place. She gave me some Ativan and today has been better. I lost 6.5 pounds last week. I don’t recommend that diet plan. Thinking about things makes me very nauseous. Thinking about all the crap in my chest. I’m constantly thinking about the tissue expanders because they hurt. I have zero desire to get fills. I’d be fine taking them out and just quitting. Even the thought of my port, the mechanized access to a central line in my body makes me want to vomit. I am set up like some kind of freak science experiment. I can’t even drive my car to the grocery store without paying for it for three days with major pain along the stitch line in my chest. My head is in a bad place. I keep thinking – the first two cocktails didn’t work. What is the point in putting myself through this? I could say no. I could walk into the doctors office and say I quit. But I can’t. I know I can’t. I have to figure out a way to get my head around it. I go see the therapist on Friday and am trying to reach out to others who have done reconstruction with tissue expanders. Anyone who has been though chemo multiple times. How do you do it? How do you do it? How do you get back on that horse?

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8 Responses to Uncharted Territory

  1. Harris says:

    Oh, my friend – I love you and am still cheering for you!

  2. If it helps, my fiance wanted to quit his chemo treatments several times. He hated it. He hated how run down and battered it made him. Just when he started to feel a little better it was time for the next cycle. I gave him space to be angry. Be fed up. I told him, it’s his decision… I have my opinions, but its his decisions. We cannot ask and should not ask for a person to suffer when there is no guarantee. It’s just something you have to come to terms with. You have to figure out what it is you what, what will make you happy and weight the risks of what your willing to do endure and not endure.

    With my fiance, we talked to his therapist. We talked together. And we said eff it. He started the next cycle.

  3. Brandi says:

    The ativan will help. I wrote a comment to you when started the AC about the ativan. I didn’t realize until my 3rd round, but I was dreading going back for my chemo. Thinking about the room, my port, just drinking water or taking a pill made me vomit and want to vomit. Just thinking about those things, not actually doing them. When I told them about it at the oncologist’s office they were not surprised at all and prescribed ativan. It made a WORLD of difference. It took a few days, but gradually some of that anticipatory nausea went away. It did get better. Hang in there.

  4. Christina Cullinane says:

    This sucks and its not like anyone can tell you it is going to be better soon. Maybe if it helps, think of it like hitting the wall when you run. You push through it and find something in you that moves you forward in spite of yourself. This is a long distance marathon Jenn… and you did not even have a chance to train and prepare for it. Therapy will help, holding onto your children, husband and family will help. Let everyone in your life support you now, but unfortunately, it is all up you to make the hard decisions to go another round or not. Having our autonomy is a good thing and a bad thing – used to be we just did what our docs said and we had no choice but to move forward, there was an outward force moving us along… now we know it is up to us and sometimes, you just want someone else to make the decisions. You have incredible coping skills, you’ve been through more than any person has any business going through and no surprise, you are struggling. Its ok to be lost for a while, it sounds like the processing is finally here… the stuff you were wondering about. It here, it is natural, it is ok. You will get beyond this point. This too shall pass. For now, love, hugs and all positive thoughts and vibes to you, my precious friend.

  5. Amy Cardinal says:

    Sweet Jenn,

    I didn’t have your chemo issues but I did the reconstruction. As I e said, everyone’s journey is different. You need to take the time you need to get to the place you can handle. Nobody can tell you when that should be. If you don’t feel like getting your fills right now, don’t. You need to feel some control after all you’ve been through when you haven’t had any. You’ve slayed a horrible beast that wanted to take you from your loved ones and it takes time to process that. It’s damn scary as shit! (Pardon my language).

    Don’t let any give you a schedule for your recovery! It’s not their journey, not their life, not their fear and anger. You have had to go a million miles an hour for months; fueled by fear and now that you are alive, a whole new set of emotions will take over. I don’t know about you but I was furious! And 10 years later I’m still pissed. We all handle things differently. I’m one who is sick of the pretty pink ribbon crap that hasn’t done anything for a cure but has instead just lined the pockets ofany with treatments. Don’t get me wrong I am grateful for the treatments Ive received but angered by the number of people who still have to travel this road.

    I’ve never met you but through this journey I feel a kinship that I only share with other people that have been there. Some are survivors, some are not. I would be happy to share any part ofy journey that you would find helpful.

    Other than that, please take this huge hug for you and your precious family. None of you asked for this but you have to deal with it nonetheless. It’s not one day at a time. Right now it’s one moment at a time. Take ALL the time YOU need to do what you choose.

  6. bigusfickes says:

    Being down is no fun for anybody. When you feel yourself getting negative, quickly think of something positive. Rinse and repeat until this is habit. My happy place used to be picturing us walking into the front gates of Epcot and/or Magic Kingdom.

    At Epcot we’d walk in, check out our photo on the marble pillars, then walk up to Spaceship Earth.

    At Magic Kingdom we’d start at the TTC, hop a monorail, through the gates, and just walk toward Cinderalla Castle.

    Of course this was my pre-kids happy place. These days I don’t have a single happy place other than our backyard really. It’s definitely going to get better, I promise.

  7. bigusfickes says:

    Oh yeah, and TOE-PER-RARRIES. Magic Kingdom has some sweet sweet TOE-PER-RARRIES.

    Most parks have nice topiaries, ( topiarys? ), but not Disney World. They spare no expense for their guests and went all the way to TOE-PER-RARRY.

  8. Adam Portner says:


    My name is Adam Portner and I am a friend and co-worker of Jonathan Durkee. He reached out to me and indicated you two went to school together several years ago. Two yrs ago I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer and subsequently lost my entire left lung and had to endure several rounds of chemo. NOT FUN!! All I can tell you is there is light at the end of the tunnel and please do NOT GIVE UP & DO NOT GIVE IN!! YOU GOT THIS!! Think positive thoughts (as difficult as it may be) and what you will be when the treatment is complete. Consider it a metamorphosis. You are on your own timeline and get as much rest as you feel you need. Also drinking Ensure or some other supplement will help keep your strength and weight up. Mash potatoes and lentils were also pretty easy to keep down. Everyone experiences chemo differently. I know you have gone through a couple of rounds already but please keep the faith!! You have so many people pulling for you, including me!!

    I’ve attached 2 websites that, when you are up for it, you should take a look at. One is “Imerman Angels” which connects Cancer Fighters with Survivors and Caregivers: http://www.imermanangels.org/index.php. Jonny Imerman is an incredible guy and they offer incredible support. The other site is “Stupid Cancer” created by Matthew Zachary and was set up for younger individuals fighting this battle against STUPID CANCER: http://stupidcancer.org/. Both sites offer a wealth of insight and tools to help navigate this battle you are courageously fighting! Both organizations also have Facebook pages as well, where you can connect with others that have fought a similar battle. Never, Ever GIVE UP, Never GIVE IN! You will be in my thoughts and prayers. If you ever want to chat or have a conversation off-line, please feel free to reach out any time. Wishing you all the BEST!


    Adam Portner

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