Monday, 22 August 2011

Not Just a River in Egypt

Happy Chemo Day!

Today will be treatment #7. Chemo days don't make me anxious anymore. In fact, today I'm looking forward to the nap I'm going to get. That's about all I'm looking forward to though. I was not amongst the happy 50% of people that Gabapentin works for. The joint and bone pain wasn't any worse in severity, just more constant and lasted a full week. I know what I'm in for, and I'm not looking forward to it.

I'll just go ahead and tell you that it's depressing to be in pain for that length of time. By day three of no help from the drugs I was a sorry sap of a human being. I finally felt like I was a sick person. It's a hard feeling to avoid when you're too exhausted to do anything about your appearance and you keep catching glimpses of yourself in mirrors around the house. There were a lot of, "How is this my life?!?!" moments that week. So one night I finally admitted to Corey that I felt like a cancer patient. "Oh honey, no you're not". Uh, ya actually, I am. That was the worst I've felt in a long time. I sat in bed and had a good long cry about it.

Don't worry, I got over myself pretty quickly. Any woman reading this knows how cathartic a good cry can be. Actually one time I felt my friend Susan needed a good cry, but I knew she just wasn't a cry to her friends kind of girl. I also knew she'd never seen Steel Magnolias. So I recommended it as a good chick flick and giggled to myself all night just knowing that it would get her to bawl her little head off. Wow, that sounds cruel doesn't it?? Don't start yelling at me, she loved it! I actually called her halfway through the movie and she answered the phone, "What is WRONG with you???? This is the worst movie EVER!" I couldn't help myself, I was laughing so hard, "But you love it right?" Ya she did. Best cry she'd had in a good long time. You see, Steel Magnolias is to women what Rudy is to men. If you don't tear up when Sally Field has her breakdown post funeral or when Rudy finally rushes out onto the field then I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with you. But I digress.

That little anecdote was just to remind you not to feel sorry for me for having a bad night. I needed it. I needed to get good and emotionally exhausted so I could finally have a solid night's sleep. And I suppose I also needed to come out of the denial phase of this journey. I do have cancer. That nagging little feeling I had that kept telling me I wasn't taking this seriously enough? It knew I was still at least partially in denial and that needed to change.

How could I be this far into my treatment and still be in denial, you ask? Well, the thing about "active chemotherapy" is that it can be a very passive experience. You just sit there and take it. You curl up and take the nausea. You do whatever you can to handle the pain. Plus the doctor's orders to not overdo it on anything diet wise lulled me into this place where I didn't feel like cancer had really changed my life all that much. But I know that it needs to.

I learned a long time ago that denial serves a very real purpose. When you're world gets turned upside down, first shock, then denial that anything has changed, allows you to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. So thanks Denial, it's been a slice, but I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to accept that my life has been forever changed and that I need to make some changes because of that. It's good timing really. With chemo ending soon, I can start making plans. I like making plans. I may not like the plan, but I like making it. I've got about a month before I head to the naturopath. That's probably how long it's going to take me to figure out how I'm going to make adding kale to my smoothies taste good...

Time to head to chemo. Seven down, one to go!

Much love,

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