The time is fast approaching. Chemo. Three more sleeps. Two full days and a few hours. Although my life has already been limited since my energy took a nose dive a few weeks ago, my life will officially grind to a near halt starting on Wednesday morning. I feel like I need to rush around and get in all the fun I can before then, but there's just no time and I can only handle so much. And what more can I do? I think I've eaten all the foods I won't be allowed for a while. I've been to the movies. I'm too tired to do much else.
I've heard it said that having cancer is a full time job, and it's so true. With all the research, phone calls, reviewing notes, talking to my supportive friends, writing this blog and responding to the comments, and going to appointments, I'm constantly doing something that has to do with cancer. I feel like it's all I do or think about. But I still have my writing work, and while I'm trying to hand some of that off, it requires work so my replacements are well set up for the job. Then, in the midst of it all, I had to move. And I have to manage it all while I don't feel well and require several rest breaks/naps throughout the day. It's a little overwhelming. I feel like a broken record, but without Michael I don't know how I'd manage. Having all of you lifting my spirits every day is definitely a help as well!
So today I went to see my friend Andee star in Next to Normal, a rock musical about a woman struggling with bi-polar disorder and the effect it has on her family. It was incredibly well done and affected me profoundly. While it was about mental illness, there were a few messages that hit home with my situation. One is that while life might be a little shitty right now, I can get next to normal and be as happy as I can with what I've got. Another is that there is a light, a beacon of hope at the end of this tunnel I'm in. I keep saying it's only a few months, in a year this will all be behind me, but I need reminders of that.
And another thing I got from the show was some much-needed perspective: While what I'm going through isn't a cake walk, it could be worse. My disease can be cured. Women beat it and go on to have normal lives every day. The doctors know what's wrong and how to fix it. I've watched friends struggle with chronic illness--either something incurable or going through years of tests to try to figure out what it is--and I do not have that. I have a visible illness people understand and don't brush off as a case of the blues or being a hypochondriac. I have a cancer that has received a lot of funding for research. If I'm going to get horribly sick, this is the one to get.
On the way home, Michael asked what time I need to stop eating and drinking tonight in preparation for my surgery tomorrow. That made it hit home that PORT SURGERY IS TOMORROW. Every step closer to treatment beginning makes it that much more real. I keep thinking it feels pretty real, and then I get one more step closer. There's always a little rush of panic that goes with the realization, then eventually acceptance. Tomorrow night at this time, I'll have a big plastic thing in my neck that will live there until probably November. My friend Kim wanted me to bling it, but it will be under the skin. We considered Bedazzling the area around it...think the doctors will allow it?
So I had my little bout of feeling sorry for myself but I think I'm OK now. Writing this blog is definitely cathartic!
I'll report tomorrow after my procedure when I'm coherent to let you know how it went.