Cancer log 82: Do ALL…

Cancer log 82: Do ALL the things.

Tomorrow is chemo, so yesterday and today have been given over to running around trying to get as much done as possible before chemo knocks me out.

I had a small meltdown last night (brief), which had to do with time, and the lack thereof. Let me preface this by saying that I am SO lucky that I am an academic, and that the timing of the treatment worked out such that I could just not be working for the bulk of it. I don't teach from May - mid-August, and my chemo runs from early April - end of August. So that's a huge help. (The start of the fall semester is going to be rough, though.)

But even if I'm not teaching, I normally get a lot done over the summer. It's the bulk of my writing time -- when things are going well, I can draft or re-draft a book in 3-4 months of solid writing time, and it's much, much harder to write well during the constant labor (prep / teaching / grading) of the semester. Summer is also when I put my house in order, catch up on long-neglected craft projects, clear my e-mail inbox, do serious work in the garden (mostly weeding), etc. I don't usually spend those months lying on the couch eating bonbons.

The first few chemo infusions weren't so bad, but the time I'm debilitated after them is increasing. The first one knocked me out for 3 days, the next for 5, the next for about 7. I'm planning on budgeting a full 10 days for recovering from tomorrow's. When I'm knocked out like this, pretty much all I can do is lie on the couch and watch tv and try not to think about how yucky I feel. It's even hard to concentrate on reading.

I can get up an do a small task or two, but they tire me inordinately, and then I have to lie down again. I also lose energy and muscle tone, so even when the direct effects of the infusion have passed, it takes me a few days of slowly and deliberately working back up to normal activity levels before I feel fit and like myself again.

And I RESENT it. I am normally a very accomplishment-oriented person; it's a lot of where I get my sense of self-worth and a lot of my daily pleasure. I LOVE knocking things off the to-do list. The first few infusions weren't so bad, but I was so cranky by the end of the last one. And they're just going to get worse from here -- tomorrow is the last dose of the lighter experimental drugs; in July, I start the standard heavier chemo drugs. I don't know exactly how my body will react to those, but I doubt it'll be good.

This is really just an extended whine; I have nothing useful to say. This would be a good time to work on my meditation, I suppose. Mindfulness. Acceptance of that which we can't change. Focusing on all the people in the world who have it so much worse than I do. Trying to deal with this without a supportive partner and a stable financial situation would be just hideous, and I'm very aware of that.

This is just very, very irritating. Very.

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