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Gratitude Practice 10 of 12

Image of an arm in a black long-sleeved shirt, with IV lines taped to the shirt, IV port into the back of the hand.
So grateful to be having my last chemotherapy infusion.

Gratitude Practice: first week of forth and final chemo cycle.

So much gratitude that my bloods were fine and I could go ahead with my final chemo. I understood some of the worst was possibly yet to come, but you know that old quote: “if you’re going through hell, keep going!”

The feeling of freedom is hard to explain. I knew I still had to get through three or more awful weeks and that my recovery might be slow, but.. No more infusions.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week One, Day One (Day 64 of 85).

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Last home injection to stimulate white blood cell growth; which also caused bone pain. I was counting every single ‘last’ as we ticked them off.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week One, Day Two (Day 65 of 85).

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.”

Lionel Hampton

Last dose of steroids!

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week One, Day Three (Day 66 of 85).

“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.”

Eileen Caddy

Things don’t stop with the last chemo; my toenails actually got worse, and I lost more of my eyebrows and eyelashes.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week One, Day Four (Day 67 of 85).

“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.”

Mary Davis

This is *so* important.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week One, Day Five (Day 68 of 85).

1. Not going to lie, Gentle Creatures, I’m pretty miserable (weakness, fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus, stomach cramps, bowel issues, nausea, aching breasts / armpits, muscle / joint / bone pain + pain in my hands and feet), and I’m fragile physically, mentally, emotionally. But… that’s not unexpected, and I just have to persist, with patience, for another 2 – 3 weeks and things should start to pick up, and I’m so grateful for that – I’m really hanging on to the fact that this is the last shitty fortnight post chemo that I have to manage. And there is always the possibility that tomorrow will be a better day.

So grateful for the cleaners who could finally come due to lockdown ending.

2. The cleaners came! Lovely couple, so kind, running their own Jim’s Cleaning franchise.

They were able to come precisely once before surgery and then lockdown started, and I explained to them at that time what was happening for me, and they asked my permission to pray for me at their church. I was really touched by that.

I know they were shocked today by my appearance, but they took it in their stride and have such a quiet, gentle, efficient presence, I really appreciate them and their work.

My house is properly clean, yay!

And their products don’t make me sneeze, and the house smells fresh and we don’t have to struggle to do it.

My housemate, bless their heart, has a much more relaxed approach to housework than I do, and after all they have done, and continues to do for me, I’m not busting their chops on anything for at least 12 months.

Gratitude for a quiet back yard.

3. I used their presence to force me to sit outside; this morning was rough, I didn’t sleep well, and I wasn’t sitting in the sun because my temperature regulation is all over the place… but sitting out in the fresh air probably did me the world of good.

4. I’ve managed to pick back up on my brain training apps over the last few days, and I’m grateful for that – I keep telling myself that it’s going to help in the long run, and the data supports that.

5. I managed to force myself through half an hour of stretches today – it took me an hour, but I’m pleased I managed, and I’m hoping it will help with the aches and pains.

6. 16 weeks post surgery…  I had a section in one of my scars break down and get irritated and crusty again yesterday, but it seems to have calmed down again today, and I am thankful for that. As I have said, my skin is fragile, my scars are still healing, and I have to be careful. But I am healing, and I am grateful.

Be kind, Gentle Creatures – soft eyes, clear vision, open heart, walk gently where you can and harness your rage mindfully when you can’t.

Check your breasts, check your testicles, check your poop / pee / period.

“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.”

Ralph H. Blum

16 weeks post-surgery: still doing wound care. Chemo slows if not outright halts healing.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week One, Day Six (Day 69 of 85).

“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.” 

Jacques Maritain

Chemo brain is real! So much therapy; cognitive therapy, fine motor skills, speech, physio, and gait correction.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week One, Day Seven (Day 70 of 85).

“The root of joy is gratefulness.”

David Steindl-Rast

We finally got out of lock down and I was too sick and fatigued to consider seeing anyone or doing anything. I didn’t even want people to visit, I was so unwell. I basically stayed in touch with people via social media and messages; I couldn’t even handle phone calls because it was so triggering to the vestibular issues I was having.


Ensure that you are vigilant around your self-examination. Train yourself to check your breasts/testicles routinely, and monitor your bowel habits and your urine output. These are our body’s early warning signs, and we don’t have a lot of awareness of them.


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