- my cancer was caught early, and is of a type that is well-treatable, with a high survival rate
- we were well-insured, so we didn't have money worries on top of everything else
- I have an extensive support system, of family, local friends, and both friends and strangers on the internet (that's y'all! thanks!)
- I was relatively young and in reasonably good physical shape when it happened
- I have a baseline cheerful temperament; I am not particularly prone to worrying, depression, etc. I tend to roll with the punches, as it were.
- we could afford frequent small treats to cheer me up as needed (usually food, occasionally other things)
That said, there are a lot of punches with any cancer treatment, from the initial terror of the diagnosis, to the tense anticipation of the treatments, to the actual physical discomfort, to the time lost, to the aggravation of dealing with the medical complex (most of the actual people have been great, but there is nonetheless, a lot of hassle involved even in the best circumstances), to the unrelenting length of it all.
That last is where I am now -- I've finished three weeks of radiation, with four more to go. I was diagnosed in February, and will be finishing around Christmas -- although not really finishing, because Herceptin continues once every three weeks until next November. It's a long, long haul, and there are definitely times when I feel like I'm at the end of my tether, when I want to rail against the unfairness of it all. Sometimes I do rail, a bit, or weep. I am tired, people. I want this to be done.
But that said -- the meds are so much better than they were; I didn't have to endure the vomiting and other intense sicknesses that many cancer patients suffered in the past. It's all been reasonably manageable. Mostly, I don't have been weeks or bad days -- I have a bad half hour, here or here. I rail, I weep, I eat some sushi or some chocolate, I collect hugs and watch tv and remind myself that this too shall pass. As it turns out, it's really not so bad as all that.