Why does it constantly surprise me that I am fighting cancer? Why does it take getting sick to slow me down? Why do I insist on trying to be normal and keep up with everyone else and pretend nothing is wrong? Why can’t I remember that I am bald? Yes, those are all rhetorical questions – I don’t expect anyone to answer them. I just get mad at myself and mad at the whole situation. I am mad.
When I returned to work Thursday following the port, I was asked “does it hurt?” Yes, I replied, but it’s not much different from every day – something always hurts. I’m used to something constantly hurting, whether it’s my arm, my boobs, my fingernails, my feet, my mouth, whatever – at least they usually take turns and don’t all hurt at once. I ignore it and plow through.
But yesterday I started feeling… different. It was really strange how it washed over me and suddenly I was concerned. I’ve been congested and blowing my slightly bloody nose day and night that I’ve gotten used to the constant sight of blood (sorry for those that this grosses out – but it’s reality). When I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, my doctor told me not to worry about it, but I wondered if it was at all connected to how I am now feeling. Each time I take a deep breath, my chest, back and back of my neck get really tight, and my head feels… full, I guess, too. And if I bend down, my head feels like it might explode. Add that to how tired I am and how just walking to my car makes me winded, I figured something could be wrong.
So I spent much of today back at Dana-Farber. Blood clot? Pneumonia? An EKG, CT Scan and a bunch of blood work later and the prognosis is basically that I have a viral infection and that the build up of the taxol is catching up to me, and that I need to slow down. Basically, a reality slap of I’m not invincible. That I am being poisoned each week and it is a cumulative drug and it’s going to keep getting worse for four more weeks and I better slow down or I’ll only make it worse. I better wake up and realize that I can’t just ignore the fact that I am fighting cancer.
So I canceled all my weekend plans. Rest and Robituson. Those are the doctor’s orders. And even though I’m mad at the whole situation (being sick, cancer in general, and missing dinner with a friend tonight, my eldest Goddaughter’s birthday party tomorrow, book club Sat night, etc. ), I will follow them. Both because I feel horrible and don’t want to move from my couch anyway, but also because I am not ready to sacrifice work or the CMAs and I want to be ready for both next week. So I will sleep the weekend away and hopefully build up enough energy to pick the pace back up again on Monday…