I was diagnosed with breast cancer the end of July. My course of treatment includes chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy and radiation.

There are so many lessons but I want to share what I refer to as the “tunnel.” This is the name that I have given for the period following chemotherapy. It is everything and more that you have heard or read about it.

My biggest frustration is the weakness. I know others might say nausea, but it is important to “stay ahead of it,” so you may find me making toast and taking my nausea medication at 4 a.m. If it is during the day, I will send a message to possible callers that I am taking a “Phenergan nap.”

As far as the weakness, I was somebody who traveled every week. Anybody who travels knows you have to have a certain amount of stamina, whether it is trying to catch a flight connection or managing your luggage and briefcase through travel obstacles.

Post chemotherapy, I don’t even have the strength to go upstairs (luckily our master bedroom is downstairs) or to walk to the mailbox.

However, another lesson I have learned is to take advantage of the period between visits to the chemo tunnel.

My “to do” list may include laundry, paying bills, grocery store or anything I know takes some strength.

The tunnel is part of this journey, so embrace it as part of being cancer-free!

Carol Holt