I do honestly apologize for not keeping you abreast (pun actually not intended) of what it’s like to be me. Each weekend I think I will sit down and write something, but the words fail me. At any given moment you may find me in a state of extreme mental euphoria or laying in bed sobbing. It’s not due to me forgetting to take my medication either. It is just how my brain is working these days.
I started radiation treatment on October 25. I’ve completed 10 of 28. I will go until December 7. It is taking longer than typical because of days off for holidays. So far the radiation isn’t terrible. My skin is starting to turn pink, my side under my left arm is a little painful and I run out of gas at about 7:45 each night. Peeling myself off the couch at about 8:30 feels impossible some nights. The thought of walking up 2 sets of stairs to my bed and getting ready for sleep is so daunting. I do it though.
Traveling for treatments isn’t horrible. I am able to go mid-day when there is no traffic. I can get from school to SCCA and back in about an hour 15.
As far as the rest of life goes, that’s the up and down.
I go through my weekly routine. Get up, drop off the boy, teach, radiation, teach, go home, collapse. It’s on the weekend that the emotional gravity of my life takes hold. I never sleep late so on Saturday mornings I get up, make my coffee and peruse the internets. It is in this quiet time that life feels so full of possibility. Every Saturday could be anything I want. I don’t have radiation. I don’t have chemo. I don’t have to take the boy to a swim meet. They are mine. In this place of mental euphoria I feel alive.
By mid-day things oft go down hill. I start not to feel well due to lack of eating. (There are days when I run out of time to eat or food just doesn’t sound good). I may have pushed myself a little too far and I get exhausted. I get a great idea. for a project and then just the mere thought of starting the project wears me out. The day that started with so much promise ends in disaster.
Not every day is like that.
This is why I avoid talking about it. I could be in that moment of euphoria, but the thought of what will lay ahead today makes writing feel impossible.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time reflecting on this whole journey. The other day I wasn’t feeling well and laid down in my bed. It was snowing. I began thinking about all that I’d experienced from this vantage point of my bed. I watched the trees bloom and grow leaves. I listened to the birds. I saw summer come and then watched summer fade. I watched as the leaves yellowed as autumn approached. Now I was watching the snow gently and quietly fall. So long. So many seasons. Still fighting.
There are times it feels like I’ve been fighting for so long. There are days that the cherries were blooming yesterday. Where will I be when the Magnolia blooms again? Will I be laying in the bed once more? Will I be planting a garden under it’s soft white petals?
I don’t know and that uncertainty is painful.
Patience has never been one of my strong suits.
Today, right at this moment, my day is full of hope. I have treatment today, but the rest is mine. I will do with it as I please.
Keep shuffling babe, you’ll get your energy back. Finish your treatment and remember healing with this is slow. Plans are just on hold, not forgotten. And by the way… sometimes that which is most painful is impossible to share and express on paper. You owe no explanation. We love you, even in your silence. ((((Hugs))))
You will continue to fight not only because you’re stubborn and you want to continue to be there for your family and friends, but because you want to know what your garden will look like next year, dance at future weddings, and live life to the fullest.
(Did I get a smile at calling you stubborn?)
There is such beauty in your story–a sense of the universal. Despite the pain (or perhaps because of it) you strike a chord in my soul. Thank you for sharing your journey. I love you so so much.
We have Mexico trip next year. We have mega sunburns and margaritas to drink. We have lots of swimming and yummy food to eat. And…. always… the lap pool… The ups and downs are normal. Just keep pushing even if you want so badly to give up, and cry the whole way. We love you.