Cancer log 76: I want to…

Cancer log 76: I want to talk a little about ability, and worth, but I need to start with some medical specifics for it to make sense.

Infusion reaction this second time around seems much the same as before -- Thursday get the infusion, feel fine afterwards. Friday, mostly fine (maybe a bit tired, a bit nauseated). Saturday and Sunday, very tired, often queasy (goes away with meds, if I remember to take them). Monday, fine again, and expect to be basically back to normal for the next 2.5 weeks, until the next infusion.

I was feeling somewhat sorry for myself around midday yesterday, and oddly romantically insecure. Kevin and I were lying in bed watching Grimm, and I asked him if he loved me, which is the sort of thing I did all the time when our relationship was more rocky (given that he's not the most verbally romantic person -- his natural love language is more acts-of-service and touch-based), but which I have mostly not felt the need to do in a long time.

He asked me what was wrong, and it took me a minute to articulate it -- but I realized that I had spent much of three days not able to do very much. Not much in the way of real work, but also not much in the way of chores around the house, etc. And even though there was almost nothing that actually needed to be done, my lack of accomplishment was making me seriously stressed and even romantically insecure.

I think I have gotten used to defining myself by my self-reliance and productivity, establishing my self-worth that way. Which is fine, up to a point -- I'm a New Englander, after all. We are all about self-reliance.

But I also do believe that people deserve to be loved for themselves, for who they are, not for what they can or cannot do. I think I'm pretty good about applying that philosophy outwardly, to other people. But I am apparently terrible at applying it to myself. There are going to be more of these fallow periods with the cancer treatments -- and, as I get older, there will probably be more of them regardless. I need to learn how to live with them, and still value myself, even if my self is mostly lying on a couch.

Yes, I know none of this is new to people who study (or live with) chronic illness or disabilities. Have patience with me; I'm learning.

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