Site icon Fabienne S. Morgana

Gratitude Practice 12 of 12

Graffiti: I'm fucking fed up and tired and I want to die but living is the most punk shit I've ever fucking done.
This really resonated by the end of chemo. I felt like death.

Gratitude Practice: final week of final chemo cycle.

My final chemo week, third week after my final chemo. So much gratitude that I didn’t have another cycle of this to face.

Week 3, Day One (Day 78 of 85) Thursday

1. And… we are down to single digits in terms of the countdown! Fuck yeah!

As I have said before, I will finish up the daily gratitude on the day that my next chemo would be due if I was having another cycle.

I will continue with the cancer journal as inspiration strikes or when I have information that I want to share.

Again, I’m very grateful to everyone’s commitment in helping me hold steady through chemo – it hasn’t matched some of the heartbreak I have been through, but it’s pretty much the hardest physical thing I have undergone.

New shoes – larger size for chemo feet: lymphodema, nails lifting from the nail bed 😬

2. I did, in fact, treat myself to some new shoes and they arrived. I have gone up a size because it seems chemo has impacted on my feet and all my shoes feel too tight, too small – to the point of discomfort. The size up fits, and I’m not sure if this is permanent or something that will change or a warmer weather thing. Link to shoes below!

3. My housemate came home with some soft savory bakery treats; I’m very appreciative!

4. I had the energy and the wherewithal to have an hour long chat to a friend on the phone. It has been easily 6 months since we have caught up via phone, longer since we have seen each other and it was great – spur of the moment, and they were free, and we have made loose plans to catch up in a couple of weeks.

5. I am now through the week where my immune system completely bottoms out (2nd week post chemo); now my immune system gets to build again, and with no more chemo to knock it sideways. Apparently, that takes up to 18 months to fully repair, from what I have read.

6. Grocery delivery – I would have been so screwed without it since July, truly. I am still chemo snacking as opposed to planning meals, and it may take me a little while to get back into preparing meals – that takes a lot of energy actually! But … that’s ok.

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.

“We learned about gratitude and humility—that so many people had a hand in our success.”

Michelle Obama

I was sleeping a lot at this stage. That continued through until February, at least.

Ouff.. I’m sleeping and napping a fair bit, and the heat and high pollen days have knocked me around, so here is the gratitude practice for the last two days.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week 3;
Day Two (Day 79 of 85) Friday
Day Three (Day 80 of 85) Saturday

“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” 

Maya Angelou

1. I am grateful for care packages that arrive in the mail.

2. Woolworths gift cards from Wicked Sister simply because I wrote to them and told them how their rice pudding has been a staple through my chemo treatment.

3. Naps; I get *so* fatigued and over the last couple of days I have just thought.. why am I resisting this? I actually don’t have a timetable to keep and I was stuffed! So I have been going back to bed and having naps. It has been amazing.

My sleeping is a bit out of whack currently, so I usually end up sleeping past noon, but it doesn’t really matter, as long as I am getting enough sleep at this stage, which I am and I am grateful. And… this is without sleeping medication!

I will concern myself with realignment to a more “normal” time frame after this week.

4. Fingernails and toenails still holding on even though pretty much all are tender / painful / ache – with the exception of the nails on my little fingers and toes.

It’s hard to explain really, but it feels how nails feel when you have dropped something heavy on them and you are going to lose them! So that means opening anything like a ring pull can or a box or a seal is actually painful and I have to use tools or get my housemate to do it for me. Like so many things, it is somewhat tedious, honestly!

5. I feel like the combination of the roller and the spikey ball is certainly helping with the weird sensations in my feet – at least when I am not standing on them. Standing and walking is weird because it constantly feels like I am stepping on / in something pliable or that I have something stuck to the underneath of my foot. The feeling of hair or cotton thread wrapped around my toes on the right foot persists; that is probably the most really annoying sensation!

The relief

6. The relief.. hitting yesterday which was the start of Week 3 post chemo; normally I have to start to psych myself up to deal with the crappy weeks post chemo, but not this time!

On Friday, I celebrated the fact that my housemate won’t be needing to give me the Pegfilgastrum injection this time in a week.

Today  being Saturday, I am celebrating that in a week I won’t be coming out of my radioactive days… because I don’t have chemo on Thursday.

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.

“The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” 

Charles Schwab

Physio was *hard*: we worked out later, once I started to go to a private physio intensively, that chemo had impacted upon all my connective tissue, which meant that my hips, pelvis, spine, and neck were all twisted, and I was sublaxing through my ribs, hips, feet, and hands. Because everything was twisted and destabilised, all my movement was impaired. It’s taken a year to stabilize everything and work on correction, it is probably going to take m another two years to recover.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week 3;
Day Four (Day 81 of 85) Sunday

“No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”

Alfred North Whitehead

Posting this before I vague out again for the day… I have about 1 – 2 hours of actual cognitive functioning time at the moment, it’s appalling!

Chemo brain was a definite thing. By this stage, I was blue screening in the middle of a sentence, and could only really hold a half-hour lucid conversation.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week 3; Day Five (Day 82 of 85) Monday

“In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day–or to celebrate each special day.” 

Rasheed Ogunlaru

*deep breath* 18 weeks post-surgery.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week 3; Day Six (Day 83 of 85) Tuesday

1. I asked a friend to make a padded apron for me so that when I can cook again, I don’t have to worry about any spatter hitting the parts of my chest / abdomen with fresh scars or altered sensation. I will probably wear it for the washing up too as it will give me that sense of security; I’m very protective of my new breasts and my abdomen.

2. I realised today that the irrational evisceraphobia I had post-surgery seems to have faded – which is awesome because I can’t even begin to explain how unsettling that was!
Having said that, I googled it today and the wiki article for disembowelment made me feel somewhat queasy!

3. Yesterday was sunny, not too hot, and only a moderate grass pollen day so I sat out in the sun for about 45 mins, and it was lovely.

4. Normally, the Tuesday before chemo, I would be going for a covid test..  not today! Whoo hooo!

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.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” 

A.A. Milne

So much gratitude for my household carers, feline and human.

Chemo Round Four of Four, Week 3;
Day Seven (Day 84 of 85) Wednesday

“I truly believe we can either see the connections, celebrate them, and express gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection. For me, I’m going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the views of eternity, and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect in the lives of others. This is my choice.”

Mike Ericksen

This. So much this. Chronic illness requires an ability to constantly adjust to new information and variable capacity.

Gratitude Practice Chemo Edition
First day post chemo..
Last day of daily gratitude posts
(Day 85 of 85) Thursday

1.  I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me through this last 6 months, but especially the last 85 days of chemo treatment.

I won’t be doing daily gratitude posts anymore, but I will still do the Cancer Journals when I have something to share.

I’m not magically better, and there’s still some way to go, and I have a whole other treatment plan to deal with, as well as the distinct possibility of further surgeries as preventative measures depending upon the genetic results.

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.

“They both seemed to understand that describing it was beyond their powers, the gratitude that spreads through your body when a burden gets lifted, and the sense of homecoming that follows, when you suddenly remember what it feels like to be yourself.”

Tom Perrotta


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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