One of the blogs I read these days is the NPR Cancer Blog. Today’s post: Caring Can Be the Toughest Part.
Ahh….the worrying that goes on around me. It’s almost too much for me some days, but it’s natural, normal, and in reality can’t be any other way. It is what it is…and I worry about me too. These days it’s all I can do to get through each day: drinking my 2 liters of liquids, eating 3 – 5 times, going for a walk, doing some work to keep my job and health insurance. Making sure the house is semi-clean. Making it to my doctors appts on time. (In the past week, for the first time in my life, I’ve been late almost every time. Moving fast is just not in the vocabulary these days.) It’s all about the basics.
Returning phone calls and emails have for the most part gone to the wind. I can only do one thing at a time these days, so multitasking has gone out the window. So, if you want to talk to me, please try and try again, because I can’t keep up. And even when you do get a hold of me, if I’m actually eating, I prioiritize that. And so on….I just can’t do it all. And the thank you cards…..the backlog is about 40 cards long, I just can’t do it. Know that I love you and consider yourself thanked.
So, what are the benchmarks for a decent day? Being able to be out and about in the world a little, and not inpatient. That’s a huge one, one we’ve taken for granted so far. Let’s love it while we’ve got it. Hmmm…what else? Not throwing up. Having moments, at least a few a day, where I forget about the ickiness that is chemo. Having a little bit of joy. A little bit of distraction into the normal world.
And know that every day my very cells scream the wrongness of chemo, and so it’s pure willpower that keeps me in treatment, that, and a vision of a full head of white hair when I’m 80. I’m going to be a great 80 year old. 🙂 But in the meantime, it’s icky and hard.
So that’s why presents like Courtney’s lift the spirits SO much! She sent me a handbag of with pictures of women with cowboy hats in the wild wild west: “To carry all your various belongings/snacks/cdsto and from the doctor/yoga/etc. These ladies are so spunky and YOU ARE. You’re a swashbuckler, meeting cancer in a saloon and taking it down with a quick draw.” What a great image – except that taking it down while IN my body is not exactly ideal. Anyways, thanks Courtney!!
The light at the end of the tunnel is that this is finite – this is A/C treatment #2 of 4, so half way done. Then on to the taxol chemo, but that could be a different story all together. We hope!