Friday, June 21, 2013

Terrible Terrorist

Cancer is a terrible, terrible terrorist and it’s really starting to piss me off.

I think I feel it. Everywhere. Cancer in my back and my chest, my arms and my legs, and even…in my ear.

I haven’t felt great in a few days. Besides a sore back, it's nothing but fatigue and a bit of nausea. But of course, I have spent way too much time worrying about why. Which is probably just the reason that I am tired and nauseous. Damn you, stupid cancer.

Yesterday, Teddy puked three times – once in Brian’s classroom, then in Subway, then in Brian’s ear when Brian was at the dentist. Teddy’s a really funny sick kid because aside from the puking, you’d never know he was sick (he gets that from me, not from his father). Sadly, Teddy’s puking has been a source of comfort for me these last two days. I know, what kind of mother says that?!? The terrorized kind; the kind that needs to blame aches and nausea and fatigue on something besides a recurrence of cancer.

A few nights ago, for the first time in months, I took an Ativan to get my brain to shut off from the I feel cancer thoughts. I was caught in one of those brief but horrible downward spirals – where my mind is a tornado of thoughts about my kids wondering where I went and my husband with an empty pillow next to him (although he’s such a cutie I’d bet it wouldn’t be empty for long (wink wink)).

Yep, it’s been a tough week in my crazy head which was catapulted into confusion by my minor back injury, I am sure. So tonight I’m writing about survivor mode. Not survival mode; that was before. Survivor mode. And let me say right up front, survivor mode is so much harder than I ever had anticipated.

Anticipation is a funny thing, though. Recently I found myself wondering, Why didn’t someone tell me this phase would be so hard? What, is this a little cancer secret that everyone wanted to keep? I guess I was looking for someone to blame. Then I answered my own question – Did I really want Dr. Bunnell to have warned me back in September, “You think this part is hard? Just wait for about six months after chemo when you don’t feel well. Just wait until you see how much that’s going to suck!” Yeah, I wouldn’t so much have appreciated that. It’s kind of like why few of us bother telling a tired pregnant woman, Just wait lady; it’s only downhill from here. One day at a time, right?

Anyways, I am not claiming that survival mode was easy. Diagnosis, surgery, and chemo were tough, but, like most things, their greatest weakness was their greatest strength. They required full out Battle Mode. And so I battled. But what the Hell kind of mode does this phase require? Forget-About-It Mode? Yeah, I wish it were that easy.

I know I shouldn’t complain. I know how blessed I am that Herceptin has given me the chances it’s given me. But when I can’t explain a pain or I feel carsick just sitting at my desk, I can’t help but wonder if it’s happening; the it that terrorizes me. Then what? Should I call Dr. Bunnell? What would he say? Would there be tests? I cannot even imagine how scary a CT-scan would be right now. Waiting to see if it's there. Actually, I can imagine it, which is why this is all so very hard.

(More on yesterday's Poisonwood Bible passage soon. I just had to get this off my reconstructed chest.)

1 comment: