Friday, April 15, 2016

Feeling Good. Getting Nervous.

I have my second chemo session on Monday and I am starting to get very nervous about it.

Here's the thing. Chemotherapy goes completely against the natural order of the world. In the normal, sane world, one does not see calamity coming. Ailments and accidents and maladies of every variety typically come as a surprise. It's not like you get in your car in the morning and know that you are going to get in a car wreck on your way to work. It's not like you step outside your door and realize ahead of time that you are going to slip on a patch of ice and land like a clumsy giraffe--all lanky limbs and tangled parts--in a heap with a broken ankle. You do not feel a concussion coming. You do not sense a splinter waiting to embed itself in your unsuspecting thumb. Most disasters, big and small, come as a surprise.

Because we don't see it coming, our brains go into survival and recovery mode when disaster strikes. You don't have time to contemplate the possible repercussions. You don't have time to dwell on what you will miss. What you will lose. You just sigh a hearty "dammit" and move on. Time to heal.

Chemotherapy, on the other hand, spits in the face of the natural order of the world.

I feel great today. I've felt amazing all week. Almost normal. It's easy, when I feel so incredibly, deliciously ordinary, to forget that I even have cancer. It becomes easy to pretend that everything is fine. All is well. But it's Friday now and I can clearly see the catastrophe looming on the horizon.

And frankly, it sucks.

It sucks to know that, in a few days, I will be completely incapacitated. It sucks to know that there is probably a little vomit and heaping doses of nausea in my very near future. It sucks to know that I will be exhausted to the point of absolute uselessness. That I will not be taking my daughter to karate next week. I will not be dropping the kids off at school. I will be not be facing a bright, shiny sky as I happily head to Caribou Coffee for my morning cold press. It just really sucks to know these things in advance.

And I am also painfully aware that this Monday is the chemo session that will kill my hair. I am not an incredibly vain person. Not by any means. And frankly, I'm really not all that devastated by the idea of losing my hair. It's the least of my worries, obviously. But there is something about knowing that this will be THE DAY that makes it somehow worse. The red drug that gets pumped into my port on Monday will kill every hair follicle on my body. Within days of my second chemo session, my hair will begin to fall out in droves as my follicles give up the ghost. I will lose the hair on my head. On my legs. In private places no one wants to hear about. I will lose my nose hairs. Those tiny hairs that keep all the vile smorgasbord of dust and pollen and infinitesimal critters from one's nasal passages.

That's really a little nugget of knowledge no one should be burdened with knowing in advanced.

So yeah, I feel great today.

But I am getting nervous.


Sharon Crist said...

Here for you, My Friend!!

Madge Woods said...

You are such a great writer and I am so glad you can put your feelings into words. Focus on a year from now when you have kicked csncer's butt.

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