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Am I stupid to even try?


Jenah

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My daughter and I have been in our local production of Nutcracker several years now. I had to miss last year for a random surgery. Auditions are right in the middle of my radiation treatments (I start 8/23). This would involve rehearsals every weekend starting in October & performances every weekend in December. It also means being around approximately 200+ people, mostly children, during cold and flu season.

I’m 3a adenocarcinoma (kras), left lower lobectomy was May 17.

Should I skip this year? The idea of staying home and doing nothing is depressing to me.

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This can only be answered by our opinions but I would. I stayed home other than docs and treatments during my chemo and I think it was the right choice. Managed to avoid pneumonia or an infection that involved a hospital stay. Didn't even see my grandchildren except on my good week. On the other hand if you're only having radiation the only problem I had with that was a little extra tiredness toward the end. Radiation doesn't run down your immune system like chemo. I'm one who tends to err on the safe side. But I did continue to exercise through both radiation and chemo and was no problem through radiation. But we're all different. Radiation makes some very tired. Not sure any of this helps in your decision, but hope so. 

Judy M. 

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I'm not sure dancing will be in the cards by then.  Is there maybe something else you can do to stay involved without committing to performances?  (It sounds as if you are one of the dancers--maybe I misunderstood.)  Maybe helping with publicity or one of the other gazillion tasks involved in supporting a production like this?  If it turns out you feel better by then, you can offer to take on some additional responsibilities.  I'm sure if you are used to performing it will be disappointing to sit this one out, but if you take on something else you can stay connected and busy and be supporting something that's important to your daughter.

Just a thought.

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Jeneh,

If auditions are right in the middle of six weeks of fractional conventional radiation, then you will be on the cusps of a rapid decline in energy level. My first two weeks of conventional radiation were a piece of cake. The third was not. The fourth, fifth and last week, I could hardly get into the car and walk to the treatment room. 

While it is true that everyone reacts differently to treatment, conventional radiation almost always hits hard during the last half of treatment. 

You can expect dramatic loss of energy and you will feel very tired. You may have sunburn-like skin pain and for lung cancer folks, a near constant non productive cough is typical. 

So, with your treatment ending the 1st week of October and debilitating effects lasting at least a week, your first 2, perhaps 3, rehearsals will be difficult. You might make auditions, but if dancing is in the cards, you’ll likely find the deck stacked against you. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Cancer can steal our dreams if we let it.  While you may not be able to dance a full production schedule- there may be things that you can still do to be a part of this production that you love.  

Have a frank conversation with the coordinators/producers and find an area that would be a good fit- maybe partner with someone so that if you have to miss a rehersal or deadline they can cover when you are not there.

It's about adjusting to your current situation while still holding onto the things you love to do.

Keep us posted on what you decide.

Hugs.

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