Archive for July, 2012

I am frustrated. (Big surprise, huh?) I just don’t feel right and I am not myself and I hate that. I know I need to accept it for now, but I just don’t want to. But I had another reality slap yesterday that is forcing me there.

Nick and I went to visit my family briefly for my Aunt Kris’s 60th birthday (happy birthday again, Aunt Kris!) and then decided to pop over to Gillette to see some of Patriots training camp, which we try to hit each year at least once. I even had my Nikon with me, which I don’t think I’ve used at all this year. Well, to make a long story short, we made it across a field of people, found a great spot to sit, and I lasted all of about 20 minutes.

It came on so suddenly! Yes, it was hot, and Nick had even just bought me a second bottle of cold water so I’d stay hydrated, but all of the sudden I just lost my breath and my whole body went weak and knew I had to get out of there. I clutched Nick’s arm and told him I was going to pass out.

We were escorted to a tent and I insisted I would be fine, I just needed the shade and water. So we rested and left. So disappointing. It took all my energy just to make it to the car and then the couch.

So I know I need to go easy on myself. To not push. And to accept that I can’t do everything I’m used to doing. But saying the words is a lot easier than actually doing it.

Coincidentally, I had a couple of good, long talks with two friends this weekend, both who have been through cancer in the last couple of years, and they reminded me of the same thing. And they are both really strong, thriving women who look and feel fabulous now. Hearing their stories each scared me in different ways, but inspired me, too, as seeing how fabulous they are now, I know that can be me – WILL be me – in a year or two, too. I just need to be patient, and accept that I’ll probably have a few more epic fails along the way…

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Damn it all! Why does it go from extreme fatigue to unstoppable insomnia?! I had a really nice dinner with a friend tonight, first time out since Tuesday, but it was cut a bit short because I was so darn tired, as usual lately! Then I got home and fell promptly to sleep, only to be awoken by the conclusion of Olympics opening ceremonies on TV a few hours later. (Glad I DVRd it so I can just watch the highlights.) After poking around a bit online (more on that below), I tried to get back to sleep for an hour or so, but to no avail. Oh well. I’ll catch up here and then hopefully be sufficiently exhausted again!

So, chemo round 3…

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Even the nurses agree I am a very lucky girl – it never fails that we are the happiest group in the chemo quarters – or maybe it’s most delirious – I’m not really sure. But there are always plenty of laughs! Thanks to mom joining us as a sea otter, my girlfriends Tina, Tara (and her chocolate merlot frosted cupcakes) and Vanessa, and Nick putting up with us all!

Surprise, surprise – this round was different from the other two. I didn’t feel too sick the next day, but the one after that – yesterday – was worse. The nausea really set in, as did the fatigue. But I am on the up again today and am hoping that was the worst of it and I will be back to 100%, or as close as possible, to get back to work on Monday. I am crossing my fingers as the metallic taste hasn’t set in again yet – and feel like I’m jinxing myself by saying it at all! Overall I know I am lucky to not be feeling even worse and am simply thankful.

So one of the main topics at chemo – mostly after Nick left since it’s among his least favorite topics, especially where I’m concerned – was dating. It just happened that Dana-Farber posted a blog that morning about dating during cancer and therapy. I had been seeing someone, but it just didn’t work, for so many reasons. And I know I need to move on, but wasn’t sure if I really could – again, for so many reasons – but this article has given me the push I guess I need. And the ok to start something new while I’m still in the midst of this crazy ride.

I had sworn off doing the online dating thing again (had been determined to meet someone ‘organically’), but according to the article, it isn’t such a bad idea. So I polled a bunch of friends to find out: do I put it all out there in my profile? Post pics of me then and now? Long brown hair, bald, blond, hats, whatever? Or do I go minimal and then clue the person in just before we meet? Or give it a few dates or what? What IS the dating etiquette when you’re recovering from cancer and, frankly, bald???

Well, as usual, I received a plethora of fabulous advice from all – and on all sides of the debate. So tonight, before turning to write this, I did it: I put myself out there on one of the free dating sites. I did a mix – all pics from this year, many from the last couple weeks, but none so out there (like bald or blonde) that it is overtly obvious. But if someone is observant, they will see there’s no hair peeking out from the hats. If I get a good conversation going, I will probably bring it up before we go out, simply not to waste his time or mine, but for now at least it will be a good distraction. A little flirting never hurt anyone, right? And it’s usually the best push to get you (or at least me) to finally move on…

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One of my friends posted on Facebook today: Some days I just really wish I could just run away. I commented: me too. I actually woke up thinking that, as soon as I realized that tomorrow was Round 3. (I am so sick of being sick!!!!!!) I put the thought aside and went to work, immersing myself in all I had to do, and having fun watching people do double takes when they saw me as a blonde. Hey, I have to have SOME fun with this!

But when my friend Phil asked me this afternoon if I was ready for tomorrow, I deflated. I shook my head and said no, I’d rather run away and avoid it completely. He nodded and, as usual, gave me some pretty good advice. He said to think of it as after tomorrow, I’ll be 75% there. It’s like thinking about the last mile when you’re running: you can always do that final mile. And thinking about it that way, I know he’s right. I can do it – even though I really don’t want to.

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