Down, but not staying downPosted: May 25, 2013
I always intended to write honestly. So here I am.
I am now half way through chemo and there has been surprisingly a full week of nausea this time. There are mouth ulcers. They come and go. Chemo really is an accumulation of detriment on the body and mind. The immune system, the digestive system, the emotional system. I have had thoughts about not being able to go the distance with this treatment. The dread of three more rounds and the unknown of a new drug Taxotere for the next cycle. Then some new days brings a more positive attitude and I get on with it.
I have lost interest in food. Lost interest in handling it, purchasing it and preparing it which makes the task of running a household interesting. I could be served cardboard or raw oats for the rest of the year and I don’t think it would phase me. Part of me wants to go to the finest restaurants and conquer this disinterest. But it might be a waste of time at the moment.
The “Depression Procession” is rapidly marching my way. Some days I feel like I’m at a blues festival in New Orleans trapped in the crowd, trying to get away from the sombre marching band that is approaching. But no matter where I turn, the music just keeps getting louder and louder. And it’s out of tune.
Something has changed in me. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Four months has passed since my life took a turn in a different direction. When I face people now and interact with them in everyday conversation there are tears welling behind my eyes but thankfully they don’t spill out.
I am sleeping longer. There are moments when I am less interested in being with my family. Yet when I am given solitude I just feel isolated. I am having loads of thoughts about this disease and about the changes in me since Christmas. There are some irrational doubts about whether I will ever get over it. It’s very easy to be swept away with the tide of chemo induced nausea. Let the negative thoughts creep in. I have found myself thinking thoughts such as … I’m such a burden, sometimes it would be easier for my family if I wasn’t here. I’m not working. I’m not productive. I’m getting left behind in life. Irrational thoughts I know. This must be the cancer experience. Four months in and the wheels have stopped moving. The survival mode of running with it has switched off and you are just left to get on with it. With reality or this ‘new normal’.
At a prep info school night I started to cry. Bam! Out of nowhere! Waves of emotion flood in like a tsunami when you least are expecting it. It occurred to me that it is possible I might not see my boys finish their primary schooling. See their sports days or see them come home exhausted from camps. I had to look at my partner and stop this train of thought. And when the prep teachers where delivering their Powerpoint Presentation of the school to new parents, I wasn’t listening to their words, I was looking at their breasts. Wondering it those breasts would always be healthy for them. The triggers are surprising.
I am lamenting all the things I have lost this year. Yet I am conscious of all the things I have gained. It’s just the mind has been wandering towards the deficits a little more often this week.
I have been thinking about these oceans of distance that have emerged with friends that were once part of my everyday life, friends I used to have weekly contact with. People I have not even received a text message from since I was diagnosed. Funny how this disease scares people so much. It is hard on everyone, friends, family, workmates. Staying away is the worst thing anyone can do to someone diagnosed with cancer. I read about this alot and I understand it now.
I’ve got a bucket load to talk about with the hospital psychologist. Four months of stuff in fact. The appointment can’t come soon enough!
All of this is part of a process. The mental perspective is taking a beating. I am acutely aware of this. I will continue to move my body through walking and running when I can and talk to people and even let myself cry when the context is right. Just not at prep info nights.
I will bounce up again. I always do. It might be tomorrow or it might be in the springtime. But bounce I will.