Cycle 4, day 11. No matter how you cut it, cancer is depressing, make that fucking depressing. And while battling the side effects of treatment is challenging and really hard some days, harder still are the emotional side effects and the sheer effort of getting through a day. Complicating this is the fact that I spend 85% of my time alone — hubby retires as of next week, so thankfully I’ll have some company soon, but the last five months have largely been spent alone. Not of course for the big things, like surgeries or early recovery days, or infusion or crisis days, but it’s been a solo journey for the rest, with the occasional healthy friend or family member visiting. And me alone with my thoughts can be a dangerous thing, especially now.
Days generally go something like this: How will I get through today? Do I have the energy for more than lying on the couch? Do I have the attention span for reading or TV or even adult coloring? Can I safely see anyone? Is my immunity high enough to go anywhere? Is there some small errand I can run that will get me out of the house which is starting to feel like a prison? Do I have the energy to walk and if so, is there anyone who would want to join me? And some days, it’s “how will I get through the next hour?”
I have a plan for today, will be meeting a friend for a walk and may stop off for a drive-through coffee (my go-to errand) on the way back home, and my side effects seem to be fading into the background, but the depression is never far away and I can almost feel it knocking at the door. So, on days like today, it doesn’t hurt to remind myself of what I’m grateful for:
- This is hopefully my last round of chemo, so the worst days may be behind me.
- I will have my husband at home starting in a few days.
- The next round of treatment won’t begin until January, so I get a break.
- I get to spend Christmas with family without having any treatment.
- I’m planning a short trip to see family in December, my first since just after my diagnosis.
- I have healthy and happy children.
- Christmas shopping was made possible by online shopping for those of us unable to get to stores.
I am also grateful to have this blog as an outlet. It never fails to make me feel better to come clean about how I am feeling and what is going on.