The View from halfway (or almost halfway).
I had round 6 today. 6 of 12. I went by myself, by choice. It’s really this tedious thing I have to do and for this time I wanted to fly solo. It worked just like I had planned. I went, got infused, and came home. Not very exciting. I took a bath and a nap, my usual routine for after treatment. Then I made dinner, cheeseburgers and fries, and happily ate most of my share…I might have had a burger and fries at CP before I came home… Now I’m watching Prince of Tides and looking forward to bed.
Treatment 4 was hard and dark. 5 was a little better, and I’m confident that 6 is going to go smoothly because I’ve adjusted my expectations. They’re a bitch. Gotta get rid of them for now and simply go with the flow. Live in the moment.
I’m also working on realizing or internalizing what unconditional love is or means. My people who love me, do so unconditionally, even if I’m tired, or moody, or mean, or sneezy, or farty, or I didn’t get the floor vacuumed. They just still love me. I’m sure sometimes they don’t really like being around me, but the ones I’m talking about would never leave my side. These are easy things to write, and talk about, but they aren’t so easily internally believed in my experience. That self doubt and my personal worry that they will stop loving me, isn’t what’s real. The love is more powerful and more real than the fear. So I’m working on that, letting go of a lot of fear that all of this has brought up.
I’m not so afraid now. Not so afraid that I will lose the love. Not so afraid of death. Not so afraid of being debilitated by the treatment. Not so afraid of hunger. Not so afraid of pushing myself physically, just a little, when I’m walking or hiking. I do live on a hill, so eventually I have to walk back up if I walk down! It’s hard work. I can do it. Which has given me a little perspective on some other things. Expectations again. Expect to be debilitated and see how easy it is to sit back and not do anything. On one hand it is nice, on the other it’s one of the hardest things ever. But if I’m thinking I’m sick, it likely doesn’t help me feel better. So I’m moving. And losing my fear.
The funny things.
No sex with Dan without a condom for 3 days after my infusion. I could expose him with my toxic chemo pussey I guess. Do I still want to have sex? Yep! Thankfully! Within 3 days of chemo? Nope! Not usually! Who answers these questions?! I do. Less fear. And we aren’t going to talk about how if my taco is toxic, my chemo kisses must be too…sigh. He really loves me.
Sneezing. Since treatment #1 I’ve been sneezing the biggest sneezes of my life. In the beginning it was double sneezes even. They’re huge. Twice they’ve made me pee. And not like a little pee, a big Pee. Both times in my kitchen oh thank goodness. But seriously. I put clothes in the car after the first time it happened! Can you see me back in the dairy case at Winco, and I sneeze and piss myself?!!!! Wouldn’t that be awful if I didn’t have clean clothes in the car, like a freaking baby diaper bag. Awesome. So I sneeze a lot. And sometimes pee inadvertently. But I’m prepared, so it’s okay.
And my nose hair has mostly fallen out. So I’m sniffly.
Farts! The most tremendous farts, most of the day, most days. They make me laugh. They make people around me laugh. I can’t help it, the fucking chemo is fucking attacking my fucking intestines, it makes me fart and I love beans. The magical fruit. So I’m quite proud of myself sometimes for the seeming gas mass and duration of my flatulence. It’s a great trick in the pool too. 😉 and it makes me laugh, so I treasure it.
Cringes. Cringing. Cringe. It’s autonomic. I have no control over it. I just did it even thinking about it. The chemo makes me cringe. It’s likely what I will remember the most, followed closely by the heartburn. The heartburn is fairly easy to control, if still incessant, but the cringing happens any time I think about chemo or the treatment room. I cringe if I smell antiseptic smells like some soaps and the dishwasher tablets. I cringe. It’s lame. I’ll be glad when this is over and that response fades.
My hair is falling out, on my head, my eyebrows, underarms, legs; all the hair on my body is falling out or not growing well…except for my chin hair. My very dark, I kinda try to love it, chin hair. What the fuck, Kevin, why is my chin hair still growing nonstop?!!!!!!!!!!! Why?!!!!!!!!!!!! Hormones I suppose but I was looking forward to having an effortlessly smooth chin for a few months. Ha ha ha, the jokes on me.
My hair looks good when I have it shaved close to my head, and I look like a balding sick cancer girl once it’s growing, because it’s growing and falling out. It’s lame. I’m going bald. But at least it looks nice and less “sick” with it clipped short. I get stares and double takes a lot. I think they are trying to figure out if I’m sick or just butch. It’s pretty comical and I try to smile at people. But it is close to the point where I will likely cover it in public soon. I have tons of hats and scarves, so that will be easy enough.
My skin is really dry, so I have some odd things happening like I had to buy a push button lighter because the normal one was tearing up my thumb. So now my thumb is feeling better. Think about it.
I think that’s about it. Rather, here’s a few more things.
My mind is shot, chemo brain is real. So my memory and recall are lacking. I don’t like to talk on the phone much anymore so my poor ladies are all feeling neglected. I’m sorry. I’m drawing on a regular basis and doing yoga. I’m keeping the house clean and running smoothly. I make sure Dan has dinner and lunch. I eat. A lot. Regularly. I’ve gained weight at every treatment until today, today I had lost a pound. I’m happy that the depression and darkness didn’t last long enough for that to get out of control, 20 pounds is okay for me, but gaining 40 pounds or more just doesn’t work. So I’m walking and doing yoga and eating more plants. And my goal will be to just keep it steady until I’m recovering, then I can be more proactive about losing it, again! Ahh, to be a stress not-eater instead of a stress eater. Oh well. I am who I am.
I’ve given up my expectations about the second half. I’m certain there will be fatigue and heartburn and some other stuff. I don’t have expectations about how bad it will get. We’ll just see. I don’t expect to become debilitated. Shit, that’s an expectation that I will stay functional. See how hard it is? We’ll see.
I’m tentatively planning to walk a 10k on Labor Day. I walked 3.6 miles today on a training walk, so I’m more than halfway to the 10k distance of 6.2 miles ( again, what the fuck Kevin, why don’t we have the metric system?!). It’s not really about the race, it’s about being motivated to walk regularly and for longer times. It’s about meeting other like minded folks out walking the race also. It’s symbolic man, I’ve got cancer!
I’ve got cancer. Soon I won’t anymore. That will be nice.