I don't usually write while in the midst of chemo because the drugs make it hard for me to string a sentence together. I don't know-- I get distracted, lost, uninspired, and my tone takes on a, shall we say, pissy quality. Writing (or talking) are some of the last things I feel like doing. (This coming from ME. You know the drugs must be strong).
But I just wanted to tell you, as I lie in my bed, nauseous, and swollen in the face, that I did not have a great time yesterday at chemo. No backflips were turned. And I wanted to tell you this because I think my blog tends to skew towards the "chipper", and the reality is, often this cancer world skews towards the "crapper". And I don't tell you about that side as often as I maybe should.
The night before chemo, I dreamt all these anxiety dreams. I was working in a restaurant (never done that in my life) and I was messing up everything-- customers were mad! Then, we were living in our old home, and there was tons of crime and danger happening right outside, and it made me so anxious and scared! Stuff like that. I rarely have bad dreams, so I figure it was happening because I was dreading chemo in the morning.
The next day, as I got ready, I was dragging my feet. Doing unnecessary things, like flossing. (sorry, mom). I didn't want to go in. I wore a bright pink shirt (HELLO, OPTIMISM. IF YOU CAN'T FEEL IT, JUST WEAR IT!). I met with my doc but our usual cheerful, happy banter was replaced with me just sitting there with nothing to say. My eyes had that perpetual wetness along the lower rims, you know, the kind where if someone said just the wrong thing, they'd turn into tears in .0004 seconds. I dragged my feet up to the chemo floor and slowly made my way to my room. I just COULDN'T muster an optimistic perspective. I just felt blue. Sick of it all. SO SICK OF THIS. 9 months of this so far. Enough! I dug deep, but I came up dry.
Please don't give me a hard time about this next part. I actually told my oncologist, when he asked me why I was blue, that I felt like I was being herded off to a concentration camp. (I KNOW, I KNOW, THIS IS A VERY LOADED COMPARISON AND I MEAN NO DISRESPECT TO ANYONE BY THIS). But here's my logic. As cancer patients, we are forced to be part of this unfortunate select group by utterly random criteria that defy logic. We are a mishmash of people in various stages of thinness, baldness, weakness, and sickness. We often can't eat. Death is a very real possibility for all of us, we just don't know when or how, but we think about it daily. Even hourly. People around us die every week. We see it happen. We are submitted to painful, toxic medicines and treatments that cause us to become wretchedly ill. And though it all, the world around us marches merrily onward, filling its members' time with coffee runs and trips to Ikea and dry cleaning and Facebook and camping trips. I look out the waiting room window and see it all happening, the people plugging away at their days, oblivious to what's going on with us inside these walls. It's not their fault, of course. Why should they be aware of the intricacies of this bleak parallel world? This other dimension. The 12th dimension. (Wait, how many dimensions are there? String theory, anyone?)
(I should add here that even in my toxic, Screw-the-Fates! state, I am now feeling a bit of guilt and nervousness: Someone is surely going to hurl a pie at me for comparing cancer treatment to a concentration camp. Nothing is as bad as a camp. In my world, the doctors and nurses are loving and caring. And we do get to go home at intervals to be with our family, in our comfortable surroundings. So no, it is certainly not the same thing. But there are certain similar sinister elements that link the two more closely than any other two situations I can readily imagine. So let's just say that both are very, very bad places to find oneself, and let's move on.)
On that happy note, look forward to my next blog entry, where I'll tackle the topic of the child-slave trade, or something equally inspiring!
Thanks for reading, and sorry for... everything I've said. This is why I don't write when I'm on chemo.