Have you ever been sick and couldn't remember what it was like to be well? Or perhaps the reverse of that...healthy and not able to remember how it feels to be ill. I do that all the time. When I am feeling good (the majority of my life), I honestly cannot recall the feelings I had with the flu or stomach virus or whatever. I know it was bad, but I really can't remember the way it felt. On the other hand, when I have the flu, I feel as if that's the way I'll feel for the rest of my life. Healthy and energetic people become a mystery to me.
This week has been like that in more ways than one. Was it just last week that I had the energy to take my favorite four legged girl, Cleo, for brisk moonlit walks? This was after teaching all day, stopping to visit my dad, going to the grocery store, doing a bit of laundry, cleaning a bathtub (or whatever), and cooking dinner. This week those tasks seem unreachable. All except the teaching part...I'm making that happen.
It seems chemo has a somewhat residual effect, in that I am weaker and slower to get back to normal following each round. Yuck and blech. That's how the physical has been going this week. I know I'll feel good in a few days, but a part of me can't imagine it. When I'm feeling good (like last week) I'm pretty sure the sick chemo feeling is not really that bad...surely I'll be able to deal with life after chemo in a mostly normal fashion. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Now I am finding that my lack of memory for feeling also applies to my emotional side. For the most part, I've been pretty darn upbeat during this whole cancer episode. There have been times that I've actually enjoyed the experiences and have often given thanks for the same. I've wondered at my thick skinned demeanor. Was I normal? Why have I not been breaking down on occasion? Yet, in the back of my mind I knew that toughness could not last. This week has proven that correct. I have been a pathetic and erratic basket case.
I attribute much of this to the weakness I have felt following last week's chemo treatment. Pathetic is the perfect word for poor, pitiful me. Pathetic. (This is best said with rolling eyes and a slowly shaking head.) My emotions have been floating right at the surface. I've reached the point of wanting to avoid conversation with anyone older than 12, and have even become somewhat apprehesive when reading email at work. A kind word or comment can suddenly set me off, and I keep forgetting to wear waterproof mascara.
I know the after effects of chemo has a great deal to do with this overabundance of emotion. But it also has to do with the fact that I'm feeling a bit like it's July again and I am back at square one. Why is that? Well, from what I am seeing and can feel, my tumor is larger than ever. This is not what was promised. With my type of breast cancer (ER/PR Positive, HER Negative) the regimen of chemo I am on should be knocking it. Originally we were told there could be a change within 10 days. It's been 6 weeks and the only change I've noticed is that this tumor seems to love the chemo. So tomorrow morning I go for another MRI to determine what is going on inside of me. I thought the worst part of this whole ordeal was early on when I didn't know how bad things were, what to expect, or what could be done about it. Deja vu all over again.
Of course, I ask for your prayers concerning this. I know whatever they determine, I will be able to beat it, but dark thoughts and fear do tend to creep in, so please help pray those negatives away. I need peace of mind...lightness, not dark. I do not want to give room to negatives and worry. That is not who I am.
If you are one of those who witnessed a blubbering breakdown from me this week, thanks for the hugs and love and understanding. I really don't mind you seeing me like that, it's just not ideal right before teaching an elementary art class. Love to you all, my dear friends and fellow teachers. What would I do without you?