Chemo #4

I’ve read other people’s experiences with chemo, and it sounds awful. I am sure my experience is shaped by the way I manage my expectations, and also by the fact that my chemo is only four months. Four months is nothing, and now I’m halfway through.


It’s still not fun. I hurt all over, and it’s that uncomfortableness that feels like hangover. It’s debilitating weakness. It’s feeling helpless and miserable. But it’s not impossible to cope. Last chemo, I slept a ton more, like all day for four days after my infusion. Last chemo, I had headaches that kept be laying down. Last chemo, I was in a hard emotional/psychological space because of work and family drama, and I think that made it way harder to bounce back. This chemo was better. I was in my happiest place for my job since I got the diagnosis. I don’t feel like I am on top of everything, but I feel like my work is manageable again. I feel like I can work through this cancer treatment and be a resource for my lab. I feel like I can be a productive employee.


This time, I slept all afternoon Friday, mostly awake on Saturday, and Sunday I’m feeling good enough to go for a mile walk to food, and hopefully good enough to walk back. Two miles of walking will help work the poison through my system, and I can call an uber if necessary. I’m trying to walk the line between listening to my body and letting it heal but also pushing myself to do what I can. I think I am doing ok on that front, but it’s hard to tell. How much is too much, either for sleeping or exercise. I honestly don’t know, so I just do what I feel like doing, and that’s listening to my body, right? I am my body, right, so that’s all I can listen to.


My team at the hospital is a ton of fun. I make my medical oncologist give me Mardi Gras beads before I’ll take off my shirt and let her feel me up.  She thinks it’s a riot. I also had a technician this time who told me she loves me. I don’t know if it was my awesome turban or my stories or just that I am freaking adorable. In any situation, you can make yourself miserable or you can see what you can do to make it fun. I have plenty of miserable. After chemo, I am drowning in physically miserable. So whenever I feel good, I’m embracing the good.


My boyfriend is also a great caretaker. He is super attentive and concerned and supportive. I need someone here because although chemo is not exclusively horrific, I cannot make myself food and clean up after. That is too much. I’m weak and tired and I need someone else to do all that for me. He made me slow cooker short ribs on Friday, and it was AMAZING. I got home from chemo at 1pm on Friday and slept until 9pm when he woke me up for short ribs. I will always wake up for food.


Sleeping feels like such a waste of time to me. I hate not being able to concentrate enough to write or crochet or anything. This time, I only had two useless days instead of four. Maybe only 1.5 useless days. I was good for half of Friday before the chemo pulled me down. I guess the moral of my story is that I am listening to my body for healing, and that you can make yourself miserable or you can endure/ignore the shitty parts and focus on the good. I am getting Moby Dick’s for dinner, and that is my “focusing on the good” for today.



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