I have been having a hard week. The hard ones are so much more difficult to write about. I don’t want to be a downer but this Debbie had a full on pout going. The funk still lingers slightly despite an amazing visit with my oncologist today. I’ll fill you in on the negative first because sharing with you guys seems to help the weight lift.
You see… I’m very tired, physically and mentally. The physical wore off for a few days but now it feels like it’s back. It is so disappointing to watch the last few days before chemo disappear with the feeling of hibernation creeping back in. Sleep is the only thing I want. All day. Every day. If I were a betting gal, I’d guess my exhaustion is contributing to my horrible coping with the side effects.
I think we’ve covered the chemo side effects basics before but this time they held on so much tighter. It makes me fear what will happen after this next round. But for a few days now, the problem has been so much more than the physically trying symptoms. My vanity is really taking a hit. Like many, I find my confidence boosted when I feel good about how I look to the outside world. That’s not to say that I didn’t used to run around without makeup and yesterday’s hair. Because I did. All the time. But now, I’m so uncomfortable with my appearance. My eyelashes have started to go. My head looks like a diseased animal. And hardest for me… I’ve put on those 10 pounds they warned me about which means just being dressed is uncomfortable. The worst part? It all feels like it happened over night. There was no adjustment period. I find myself overcompensating every morning. Put on makeup, how about a dress? Do I look girly enough yet? I don’t want to be this person but it’s less to do with looking good and more so about still feeling like a girl.
What could fix this problem? Not much. The feeling clings and I’m tired of putting on what I’ve come to think of as the “makeup mask”. But… it’s temporary. I have a hard time remembering that. But, today I got a big old reminder in the form of six words dripping in shock, “You’re going to go into remission”.
That’s right. You hear that world? I’m on a bee line for remission! After a physical exam, the conversation with the oncologist went a little something like this… “There are no palpable lumps. How long have you been doing chemo, two rounds? Just six weeks? Wow. They are really gone. You’re going to go into remission”. His shock was clear. He may have bet me a dollar this would happen but the odds still remained at 50%. There is no doubt in my mind that this never happens this quickly based solely on the reactions of the people in the room. I thought we were going to have a party right there. Guess, I’ll just have to bottle up that enthusiasm to tackle Chemo Round 3 on Thursday.
I don’t find it at all ironic that this amazing news would come in a moment when my game had been thrown the hardest during this fight. It’s a reminder that all the dumb things that are getting me down are temporary (even if they seem like a big deal right now). It’s a reminder that I’m going through all this hardship to earn that lucky title of “survivor”. The longer this process goes on, the harder it will be to remember so I’m gearing up with a plan for this next round. Every day I’ll try to do one thing fun, one thing active, and one thing productive. With these goals, it will be much harder to disappear, and to worry about things that are better left out of my head. Let you know how it goes. We are almost half way done with this battle, guys!