Cancer log 80: Came up…

Cancer log 80: Came up against a hard limit the other day, unexpectedly. Friday, I'd been asked to be on a 10:30 p.m. panel, and I said I'd try, if I was feeling up to it. I'd been going to bed around 11, 11:30, so it seemed likely to be okay. 9:30, 10, 10:30 -- felt fine, so I joined the panel. The first 30-45 minutes of it were fine, but then I started feeling bad. Mostly just super-tired, which honestly, is not so uncommon for a late-night panel for me, since I'm a morning person. I figured I'd just power through. I forgot that powering through is not so much an option for me at the moment, not in the few days right after an infusion.

By the time the panel ended at 11:45, I was ready to fall down. I made it back to my room, really shaky and shivering, fell into bed. Thankfully, Jed was there, able to bring me water and help get me tucked in. I then proceeded to sleep, off and on, until pretty much 3 p.m. the next day. I staggered out of bed at some point and went downstairs to get some food, then came back to bed. I managed to do my 4 p.m. reading (and I think it even went well), but didn't feel normal until after dinner. Most of the day was a total loss (spent either sleeping or watching Gilmore Girls re-runs), and I'm afraid I have to put the blame on my badly mis-estimating my ability to do that late night panel.

I should've just excused myself when I started feeling bad, but that would've been rude, and I am over-socialized not to be rude. I need to learn how to redefine politeness so that it also includes taking proper care of my health. I'm quite sure that no one on the panel, no one in the audience, would've wanted me to stay up there, feeling so terrible. But I couldn't figure out a graceful way to indicate that I needed to leave. Sometimes I think I prioritize social gracefulness a little too much.

I'm doing better now. I took the evening easy -- I went to the dance, but only danced half a dozen songs, just the ones I really loved, and at half my usual energy level. Much less bouncing than normal! Mostly I hung out in the hallway and talked to people, and when I *started* feeling tired, I dutifully said my goodnights and rolled off to bed. Which means that I slept plenty last night, was able to revise a scene already this morning, and feel much more up to talking to people than I did for much of yesterday.

I sent Kevin a note and said I was feeling terrible; he wrote back and said he hoped I was still getting something out of the convention. I am, but I will get more out of it if I am careful and smart with my energy and exertion. Really glad I didn't sign up for my usual 3+ panels / day this year; I would not have been able to get through them. Conserving energy -- that needs to be my watchword, at least until the not-chemo effects dissipate. All right, then.

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