Cancer Chronicles VI: Being Deliberate

Chemo is rough, you guys. Really rough. I get completely overwhelmed thinking I have 9 more to go of the really bad ones. It will be summer before I’m done. So I take them one at a time.

But it’s rough.

I feel like crap pretty much all week. Sometimes I rally on Tuesdays and Wednesdays but not this week. I can’t even get out of bed on Saturdays. My bones hurt. My eyelashes hurt. I just want someone to constantly rub my back and give me Tylenol. I hate eating. I hate drinking. Everything makes my stomach hurt and I have a horrid taste in my mouth. I can’t drink coffee it tastes so bad. (And you know how much I love coffee!) I either feel like I’m going to throw up or I have diarrhea all the time. I know that’s TMI, but it is what it is. My nose hair is gone so my nose drips constantly. I’m so glad I shaved my head because my hair is coming out in patches. I have tinnitus that comes and goes and my eyesight has gotten worse. I have to wear my glasses all the time now. And I’m so tired. Tired like I’ve never been before. I’ve been managing to exercise five times a week but not like I used to. I’ve been sticking to walking and riding the bike. At least it’s something, right? I’m just so tired.

I’ve been keeping up with work pretty well. Mondays are pretty rough for me so I’ve been trying to make them “easier” teaching days, if there is such a thing. I typically never sit down at school but I’ve been trying to rest more throughout the day so I can make it through.

Emotionally I have good days and bad days. This week has been mostly bad days. I’m just pissed. I hate this. I hate the whole thing. I want it to be over and when I think that I have 11 more months to go, I just want to fall apart. So I take it one day at a time. One chemo at a time. One treatment schedule at a time. And I try and remember that, thank GOD, at the end of all of this, I will more than likely be ok. I’ll be “cured”. And that’s the goal.

But it’s really difficult.

One thing I’ve been focusing on that’s been helping me is being deliberate. Let me explain. My first Monday going back to work after my first chemo treatment, I felt just awful. I was up all night (Did I mention I don’t sleep well either?)and my stomach hurt and I was still exhausted. But I honestly felt like if I didn’t go that Monday, the first Monday, when I felt like shit and didn’t think I could do it, that I would never go back. Does that make sense? Like I just needed to go, and survive it, and do it and be strong and then I’d be ok. And I did. I came home and slept for three hours, but I did it. And last Monday too. Deliberate.

I was on Spring Break last week and the kids and Matt were not. So I had Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to myself while they were at school. What I really wanted to do was just stay in bed all day and hide under the covers, but, again, I felt like if I did that I’d never get out. So Monday I made myself put makeup and clothes on and go see a movie. Even though I felt like crap. And Tuesday I took the kids lunch and went for a walk at the park. Even though I didn’t want to. And Wednesday I felt great, finally, and went shopping and out to lunch and got a pedicure with a friend. Deliberate. I’m making sure that every day there’s a reason to get out of bed, to go on with life even though I feel like quitting and just giving in. I really still can’t believe that the whole world isn’t stopping for the next year with me. Do you know that feeling? When something tremendous happens and you feel like the world should just stop? But it doesn’t. And I just can’t quit. So I don’t. But being deliberate is tough. But I guess I’m pretty tough, huh?

Here are things that get me out of bed each morning. That help me be deliberate. That help me to keep going strong.

My family. My students. Teenagers get a bad rap. They are the sweetest, kindest, most loving kids in the world. I’m so, so thankful for my job and my students and my coworkers. They make going to work so much better. Texts from friends. Cards in the mail. Treats and gifts in the mail and left on my front porch. Dinners delivered. Seeing people in my t-shirts. Walks and bike rides with a friend or by myself. Netflix. Good books. Movies. Laying on the couch with Matt. Online shopping. New clothes. A new hat. Werther’s butterscotches.

And the one thing that helps me going the most? The love I feel from everyone in my life. I couldn’t, truly couldn’t, do this without it.

From my friend, Kelley, on a day when I really needed it.

All you need is love, right?

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3 responses to “Cancer Chronicles VI: Being Deliberate

  1. I’m praying for you. Please hang in there. One foot in front of the other. The herceptin treatments will be so much better. My mom felt better and better during that time. I’m pulling for you!

  2. I know how much this sucks, and I’m sorry you’re going through it. But you’re being so brave and wise, and YES, finding that reason to get out of bed is the key. xoxo

  3. You nailed it when you said, one day at a time. Sending you love and light, Tiffany. xo

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