Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cancer Holiday Required

Hi everyone,

Well this week has been a bit of a non event for me as I still suffering at the hands of this annoying cold which has now settled in my lungs and shows little sign of moving on. As a result, I am forced to actually take it easy and not do any of things I normally do to fill my week up. No cancercise, no Norwegian class and minimal socializing. It is so frustrating because I find nothing more boring than resting!!! Yet there is no choice now as my body needs it so I comply.

Over the past few weeks, I (and my family) have been feeling slightly suffocated by “cancer” and I think my idleness could be one part to blame. It is also nearly October which means Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I am starting to see that little pink ribbon everywhere I go. Of course I am totally behind this effort and have my own little ribbon to wear, but it does serve to constantly remind me of my current situation. This combined with my lack of activity has allowed me to stew in my own “cancerness” and possibly become slightly too self involved with every ache, pain, worry, anxiety…And as we get closer and closer to the end, all of these feelings are magnified simply by my body’s sheer mental and physical exhaustion. I am drowning in this cancer business right now and have decided I need to do something about it. I mean frankly in a few months there won’t be the weekly trips to the C-spa, the endless blood tests, or cancercise groups to attend so I might as well start thinking like a normal person again. So how exactly do I do that?

Well the first thing I have done is join a book club. It is not a book club for cancer patients and we are not reading about cancer. It is for other mothers from abroad with young children and we just read fun and interesting books to discuss. I am looking forward to it and don’t plan on letting anyone know my story until I feel it is the right time. And the right time may never come. I want to feel normal for awhile and just be a mom who complains about the elevating tantrums or the fact my child has decided she is a vegetarian at 21 months of age! Normal feels good.
The other thing I want to do is impose a Cancer free time each day. I can’t take credit for this idea as it was the brainchild of my sister. She has been so great at giving me advice throughout this process and she is much better than me at keeping the crazies at bay! Not to mention the fact I can call her with any medical question and she has the answer plus five more things I didn’t know. So I have done it already one night this week and the mood in our house was distinctly cheerier. It is good for everyone including myself to stop self narrating my cancer experience to those around me. We don’t need to know every ugly detail nor do I need to obsess about them. I am not cancer nor is it me so I must remember that and this practice may help me redefine myself as OBB – post cancer.

So that is all from me today. I am back to the C-spa tomorrow for round 8 and the only thing on my mind is the vein hunting. My doctor joked to me this week when I expressed to him my concerns over viable veins left – well they haven’t even tried your legs or feet yet, he said! Nice! Then we will be down to 4 weeks which sounds completely manageable and those weeks will be broken up with two visits from some lovely friends. I remember when I sat in the doctor’s office all those months ago and heard him say “24 months of chemo” and remember being in total shock and having no idea how I would get through it. So fast forward nearly 20 weeks later and here I am – eyebrows and eyelashes somewhat intact, peach fuzz growing at rocket speed on my head and still having the ability to see that tiny sliver of light breaking through over yonder where I can just make out the finish line. Glorious!!


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