Ah, the bliss of chemo week. Imagine if you will being curled up with a warm blanket and hot cup of tea passing the hours dozing the day away in your pajamas or favorite yoga pants (where have these been all my life?). You wake occasionally to indulge in stimulating daytime T.V. talk shows and soap operas. There are no expectations of you this week. Chores are left undone without guilt or judgement from family. Eating consists of only food that comforts. This is about as good as it gets! WHOAAAA! Lets try this again.
Oh, the hell of chemo week. Imagine if you will passing the long hours in a drug induced fog, barely able to lift yourself from the chair to get more fluids from the kitchen to combat dehydration. The hours seem endless as you don’t have the focus to immerse in any worthwhile intellectual or artistic activity. You lay flat on your back gazing upward at a stark white ceiling only to discover a really large cob web in the corner of the room. Guilt sets in for the chores being left undone. This pushes you to look around you, really look around you. Oh jeez, this place is a mess. You are uncertain if the tummy rumblings you feel are the onset of nausea or hunger or, more likely, both. This is tricky territory. Maybe more meds and a coke will feel good. No, no, something with more nutritional value is called for like yogurt or applesauce. yum. You again count the day of the chemo cycle calculating how many more days like today before you start coming around.
I’m running on the beach and I mean for miles! The day is perfect and I am strong. I take a trail off the beach through woods and come upon a waterfall that I ride down, down, down into a calm pool of crystal blue water. Now I am swimming effortlessly. I emerge from the pool at my office (dry and perfectly coiffed) where I am walking a corridor in my best suit, walking as tall as my 5’1″ frame will allow, full of confidence. I have a smile on my face for everyone that passes. I am competent, independent and respected. I am loving this. WHOAAA!!!! It’s just another dream eerily similar to previous ones. I wish to go back to sleep and pick up the dream again, but no such luck. I am, in my anti-nausea and anti-anxiety drugged brain, dreaming of “the me that was” before cancer barged into my life and totally upset the Apple Cart.
“Why was my apple cart upset?” is a question I often ask God. I’d like to believe I now have some purpose to fulfill as a result, but sometimes I think it’s simply punishment. Maybe the answer is both. Maybe I was just too arrogant, what with my blessed life that I didn’t always appreciate… my career, family, friends, health, fitness and God-given capabilities. I needed to be taken down a peg or two. CHECK. I needed to rearrange my priorities and develop more compassion for others. I needed to look at my family and friends anew and let love guide me. CHECK. But is that all? Is there more for me to do? I am becoming comfortable believing that this is enough. I live in a small world. I am not extroverted by any stretch of the imagination and I am not comfortable reaching beyond the borders of my small world. Publishing these posts absolutely terrify me. I’d like to positively impact those that reside in my small world, my loving and supportive family and friends and hope that is enough purpose here on earth.