The start and end of my day couldn’t have been more contrasting.
When I arrived at the oncology centre, I felt pretty flat. I’ve been feeling it all week. Actually, I left work early on Monday and spent the day in bed on Tuesday with a knotted gut. I’ve been eating a lot more iron after last week’s blood results so between that and the stress of the situation, I’ve been hunched over most of the week. The good news is my red blood count was up this week so the adjusted diet worked.
Chemo pal B was her usual effervescent self even though she’d just had an operation. Having trouble sitting down on her healing tailbone (I managed a giggle with her about it), she played social butterfly. I wasn’t in the mood and sat behind my book but she persisted in rescuer mode and so I explained the weightiness of my impending decision to stop treatment. I knew before she took it upon herself to give me the butt-kicking pep talk I “needed”, that she deemed I was “giving up”. My assumption is she’s been having chemo for so long, she knows about dogged determination. There’s much to be said for that approach but it’s not a fit for me in this case. I need to come up for breath and make an honest assessment. I let her have her say in case I was missing something. I wasn’t. After a gratefully straight forward, as usual, chemo session I skulked out of the very busy chemo suite. One more down.
I chatted with a friend this week about her late husband’s journey. He, too, endured an extended hospital stint and faced some difficult decisions only he could make. The cancer had been detected late and had metastisized so, sadly, he passed away some months later. He’d been brave in his choices and I have great admiration for the strength and wisdom I know in his wife.
A happy ending
All I needed was positive distraction, a venting session, and a 2-hour traffic jam to sort me out! I was utterly exhausted by the afternoon but I’ve created an agreement with myself for the time being. Since I am not this disease – it’s merely squatting temporarily, I’ve chosen to not pay it more attention than it takes to look after myself while my body and the drugs fight it. I always claim how strong and smart my body is. Now it’s time to trust it to do its thing while I get on with being the other facets of myself. And so the Easter weekend begins.