All days with cancer and chemo treatments aren’t all rainbows and unicorns. Some days it all just sucks. While I try to take each day that I’ve gotten past another day or month of treatment in stride, I do have my down days. Actually, I had several last week. When I got a virus and my temp was all over the place and Tylenol wasn’t doing anything for it, it was a lot easier to walk around the house grumping that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired than it was to see the brighter side. I mean, let’s get real. I’ve had some sort of cold or cold virus for over 4 months. Enough already!!
But in the grand scheme of things, those were a few miserable days that I would have been miserable cancer or not. When people ask me why I’m not just curling up into a ball and giving up because of chemo or cancer, it’s an easy question for me to answer. This is all temporary. The virus will go away and I’ll feel better. The chemo I’m supposed to start this week will be different from the last one, and from what I’m hearing, easier for my system to tolerate. Three more months and I’ll be done with chemo for a bit. Check! A few months after that, I will be healed from the surgery and through the radiation and on the home stretch to hearing about 9 months from now that I’m free to live my, albeit very changed, life again. Check! Check! Check!
On top of the fact that this is all temporary, it could be a lot worse. I’m not laying on my bathroom floor for days on end. I’m not really bedridden. I take more naps than I’ve ever taken in my life, but that’s more of a bonus than a downside. The medications to keep me from feeling completely miserable for the week of chemo work pretty well. For the most part, the side effects of chemo are not all that bad. The taste in my mouth will go away. My hair will eventually grow back. The exceptions are things that I’m finding out will be longer lasting, and no one told me ahead of time, and I wasn’t as prepared to experience. For 99% of these things, there are preventive measures and/or workarounds. Again, it boils down to the fact that this is all temporary.
So, like everything else, the down days, too, shall pass. Right now I’m just frustrated between the cold and the effects of chemo brain. I know that so far, chemo brain isn’t as bad for me as I’ve heard it is for some other people, but it’s still a rough adjustment to rewire my brain so that I can remember things better. It’s hard to do training when you’re struggling hard to focus and you can’t remember the important things you’ve just read. I’m thankful that I’m able to do most of this from home where there are a lot fewer distractions – you know, the usual office noise makers: people walking by my desk, people stopping by to talk while I’m in the middle of something else, someone’s phone ringing across the room, and loud conversations from the lunch room. It’s normally pretty quiet at home when I’m working.
One thing at a time. One day at a time. Still my daily motto.