Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Oh, look. A glimpse of me!

My One Treatment Done present--a European
charm bracelet, the heart charm, and some
spacers. I'll add a charm after each treatment.
Today is day 7 of the first chemo cycle, and it's the first day that I actually feel pretty good. Yesterday wasn't bad, but I had a headache all day that wouldn't go away. Sunday, I thought I was good. I got cheeky and put away a laundry basket full of clothes. It took me probably 2-3 hours because I'd take a break every couple minutes, sat down while I folded, etc. Then I had a friend over for an hour or so, and the whole time I was sitting in bed, just talking. However, shortly after she left I crashed and was ruined for the rest of the day (so good to visit and talk and laugh, though).

Today, though, I'm doing well. I went downstairs and got my own breakfast and coffee and everything. I feel almost like myself again. I've been on the computer for a couple hours and still have focusing power. We're going to try to go for a short walk later...I'm supposed to be getting exercise, but it's literally not been possible.

I still have all my hair, although I expect to start seeing it rain any time now. Last night, everyone went out to dinner and I stayed home to nurse my headache. I lay in the dark, hoping that would help (it did, a little), and just started running my fingers through my hair and couldn't seem to stop. Thinking about how I won't be able to do that much longer. Oh, I know...it'll grow back. But it will be many months before it's long again. I've made peace with it and will find ways to have fun with being bald, wearing scarves, hats, wigs, etc. But it is sad to know that MY hair will be gone for a while. Plus, losing it will be another reminder that this really is all happening. It's real. And I'm getting ever closer to the hard part.

People tell me not to be hard on myself or beat myself up when I have a breakdown, can't physically do what I want to do, etc. While that's a nice thing to say, I thought I'd clarify: just because I'm expressing frustration doesn't mean I'm beating myself up. It means I'm frustrated. Just because I'm telling myself to snap out of my funk doesn't mean I'm being hard on myself. It means I need to not wallow in self pity.

People to say to own your feelings and allow yourself those crying jags, etc. Frustration is an emotion, just like sadness. I'm allowed to feel frustrated. Telling me not to won't change it. I am normally a strong, high energy person, and I get forcefully reminded every day by my own body that I can't do even a fraction of what I normally would. It's a huge life change. Being frustrated about it doesn't mean I'm somehow blaming myself...I didn't give myself cancer. It's something that happened to me. I'm just processing my emotions about it all. Facing an illness is one thing, but having my whole life turned upside down and inside out for months? That sucks.

And yeah, I have my break downs. I cry...in the shower, in bed, on Michael's shoulder. Sometimes the littlest things set me off. I cry it out, or I vent here on my blog or to a friend. But then I need to get past it. I can't sit around complaining forever or it will just make me miserable. I think I have the generally positive attitude I have because I'll have those moments, own them, then say "enough" and get back to living my life. I think I have a pretty good balance.

Anyway, that's the update for today. Working on getting an appointment at the local American Cancer Society for a wig fitting (plus a couple friends are giving me some--might as well have some fun, right?). Makeup/scarf class next Monday. Have a good day, all!


  1. Very pretty bracelet!

    It is very frustrating not being able to do the things you did without thinking. I can still remember squatting down to get something out of a bottom cabinet and getting stuck. It was just my son there so he had to push over a chair from the table so I could lift with my arms and get it. Totally sucked.

    I wish I had gone to a scarf class. That would have been fun.

  2. I don't have cancer, but I do have chronic illnesses and I'm sure Michy and others in the same boat know your frustration. It is hard to find out you can't do what you used to be able to do. It is very frustrating to still have the want and desire, but just not the energy. If you are like me, most of the crying is because you are mad instead of sad. I am keeping you in my prayers.