Side Effects Include:

Sometimes things can get a little dark. I started Taxol, my second Chemo cocktail which is supposed to be easier than the first (Adriamycin and Cytoxan for those interested). And for all intents and purposes it was. I did not feel like I had been hit by a bus and there was barely any nausea. I could actually do things for myself like get water and eat. But there were some physical side effects.

IMG_7386Side effects included: peripheral neuropathy and myalgia and arthralgia. That means my hands blew up and were painful when I tried to do things like open jars or use a knife. That was followed by shooting pains in my joints and muscles that lasted almost a week. It took a lot out of me. A lot. My spirit took a real hit.

When things get dark I think about curling up into a ball….Or as my mom puts it-crawling under the porch. It’s just easier sometimes. I mean, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all, right?

When I think about the Zombie Apocalypse (I don’t think this is a real possibility, but I am caught up on The Walking Dead!) I wonder if I would survive. I work in the IBM Complex and I often think about how that is where I would go if the Zombie Apocalypse really did happened. The IBM Complex is confusing enough to get around that I think it would be ideal (see you there!!) plus there are many, many doors to keep the Zombies out. I think that could be an advantage.

Stay with me here, I do have a point- we are in the Zombie Apocalypse and you have a two choices-Give up or Fight. I’ve always considered that I might be a “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” kind of girl. But it’s only because I don’t think I have the mad skills it takes to actually kill Zombies. I have never wielded a machete or shot a gun or stabbed anyone in the temple. So the idea of fighting loads of Zombies at once is pretty overwhelming.

Then I think, “I would really want to protect my kids and Jim was an Applied Systems and Problem Solving Teacher so I bet he could figure some stuff out. And my neighbor is a Black Belt in Moo Gong Do. And I have bunch of other really badass people in my life that could help.” Plus, I think if I just threw in the towel I might regret it. I guess I would rather go down fighting. Side note: Jim is terrified of Zombies, so I don’t know if his problem solving prowess would be in tip top shape, but I would still take my chances on that stud.

You get the analogy I’m making?

What I’m saying is when things look really dark (i.e. Zombie Apocalypse) sometimes you have to allow other people to protect you and to walk you back to the light.

This week I became obsessed with Andra Day’s Rise Up (watch or listen to the video below, it’ll knock your socks off!). When I’m belting it out in the car, which I do on the regs, I’m picturing you all doing the same thing. (When I look around at other cars on the road, I’m often surprised that more people aren’t singing at the top of their lungs, because it is seriously one of my favorite things to do and I totally sound the same as all the rockstars on the radio.)


When the silence isn’t quiet

And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe

And I know you feel like dying

But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet

And move mountains.



11 thoughts on “Side Effects Include:

  1. My brave little warrior. I am so proud. You come from a long line of strong women (and men) who love life. I love you. Some days are better than other days. You will rise up and we all will help you soar on the good days and we will carry you on our wings and whisper sweetness on those days that aren’t so good.


  2. Stay strong, Mags……the worse you feel, the better those drugs are working. This part will be over soon. Try looking at the bigger picture….and fight, fight, fight!! Surround yourself with the people who love you and give you strength. I know there are many. Love you bunches and pray you will stay positive.
    Aunt Sue


  3. Hey Girl, I realize that this is a long process of treatments & meds, but be patient & like your friends say – look at the big picture ! You are one of the strongest people I know, so just concentrate on being positive & strong, because you can absolutely do this. You have an amazing support group of friends & family in Vt. and we are all praying for you down here in NJ. You are the best. Love you. Bobbie xoxoxoxo


  4. Maggie…you are an incredible inspiration. Reading your blog provides such a wonderful perspective on life. “Rise Up ” a favorite song and I “belt it out” in the car! I’ll look for you next time I’m singing in the car.


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