3 Good days.
14 day cycles of chemo, every two weeks, and I got 3 good days this time around. So tomorrow I go for treatment #8, and then I will feel sick and depressed for the next 11-12 days. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Sick and depressed. My current descriptors.
Sick; my digestive tract is upset, my sleep is messed up, my mouth is sensitive and prone to sores, my heart and lungs feel stressed in strange ways. Food is a daily struggle, what I want and what tastes good and what’s available rarely line up. I’m so tired. Every day. for nearly two weeks. I’m sure there are other things too, but I the list is too long.
Depressed; it’s clinical. Apparently we make serotonin in our intestines. The chemo is damaging my intestines, so they don’t produce enough serotonin. Which manifests in me in various ways. I cry a lot. Most days have some tears. No wonder my sodium level was a little low last treatment, all those damn tears leaving salt tracks on my face and neck! I feel tired with very little energy or motivation. I sit and stare pretty regularly. I have 25 things I could be doing and I sit and do nothing for hours. Watching the days pass and waiting for this to be over. Wishing I felt like doing something. When we try to do the things that we know make me happy, it doesn’t work, I don’t feel happy, I feel tired and sad and angry and all the negative things. So the beach doesn’t work and walking doesn’t work and I cried throughout my last yoga class. I am having a hard time reading books, as my “chemo brain” doesn’t want to settle in and focus. I don’t feel like myself. Who are you if you don’t feel like yourself? I’m crabby and negative and quick to anger. I’m self obsessed and impatient with others. All the worst parts of me, that normally are in the background, are now in the forefront. It feels awful. Vulnerable. There is a lot of self doubt and criticism. I think I should be choosing to do better. My counselor says I actually don’t have much choice. That part of the depression is being so hard on myself while not being able to find the positives. It fucking hurts.
I know others are having a hard time too, that my journey is easy when compared. The struggle is real for each of us. But mostly I am focused on me. Probably if you are one of those people who are going through something very difficult and painful right now, you feel pretty self focused too. I get that now. Know that I think of you often, I’m just not able to do much to reach out and lift you up. I am sorry about that. Normal Kelly wants to be there for you, but she’s currently on vacation and can’t be reached. I’m very hopeful she will return as early as November, but more likely she will be home to ring in the New Year. It’s right around the corner but it’s also 116 days away…
Yesterday was a good day. I felt like myself, even though some of the physical stuff never goes away. My mind and mood were my own. I went crabbing near Lincoln City with friends. I paddled in the kayak, I pulled crab pots, I got pinched by a lady crab I was trying to return to the river. It was a good day. It wasn’t the best day or the most fun, but it was better than sitting at home. It felt so good to be doing something.
Today I am going for a hike with a friend and having a manicure. What a treat. Trying not to think too much about tomorrow, it makes me cringe.
Tomorrow it starts again. Dan has taken this week off to hunt, and hang out with me, so he will be with me for treatment. (And there is the cringe as I’m typing, gross). I don’t want to go, hahahahahahahahahafuckingha.
I have a PET scan scheduled for the 16th, Mom is taking me and then she and I are headed to Tutu’s. Girls weekend here we come. The scan will tell us if the chemo is working, if my masses have shrunk. There was one in my neck I could feel with my fingers, it is gone, so I am feeling confident about the results being a positive milestone. I will let you know as soon as I do what those results are. If the chemo isn’t working, they change the regimen and we move forward. I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about a lot of stuff but being cured isn’t one of them. In that I feel blessed.