As I move into my 6th month of chemo this year I am getting pretty exhausted. Each one compounds over the last. I am missing about 50% of my fingernails, my skin on my hands is peeling off, I can’t feel half my feet. I wake up in puddles of sweat when I do manage to fall asleep after getting my back pain under control (cancer is a blast).
I am also discovering that I am living life as 50% of myself. I am 50% of myself at work. 50% of myself at home. I am never quite all of the way up because I am exhausted. I am pushing myself too hard to be the person I was rather than embracing the person I am.
I don’t want to be chemo Mandi… I want to be healthy Mandi. Grrrrr.
Chemo is beating back the cancer. Tumor counts move down. Cancer is held at bay. For how long? No one knows, but as long as the treatment is working I need to embrace the success, the forward momentum and piece together the crumbles of what was my old life around me into some semblance of a really great life.
I am not giving work everything I used to. I am too tired to think straight. Sitting in a chair at work hurts my back so much I also don’t know what to do with myself. When I am in pain I am grouchy, but I can’t exactly gork myself out on pain meds at the office. When I come home I need a nap or an extended rest period to be able to do anything functional at all the rest of the evening. I am cranky to my husband and friends because I am tired and in pain.
Every time I go see a doctor about ways to improve my life they give me a list of things to do… I then respond and tell them I don’t have time for them because of work I kind of get “that look.” That you have an incurable cancer, why are you working look? That you need to take care of yourself and your health look… What usually follows is tears, frustration…
I knew when I went down the chemo path that I was going to have a less normal life. That there were routes that would give me a more normal life, but the first two failed me and we were scared. Things are looking better right now. Hopefully we move back to a less topsy turvy option that gives me an extended reprieve after we finish what we started.
I am going on full time disability, starting Thursday.
I intend on trying to go back to work in a few months should everything go well. I am trying to get through what should hopefully be the last part of Taxotere. I am going to focus my energy on physical therapy and exercise programs to get my strength back up (I am winded from a few stairs these days). I am refocusing, healing. Taking a deep breath and reassembling.