Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tying a Knot

I am figuring out about now that this cancer thing isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. I knew that, but I wasn’t really living it until now. I guess in my mind I thought I would be different. Sure they know how others have reacted to this chemo thing, but I really was beginning to believe that I was going to set some new standard of ability to withstand the poison. Yeah, not true. I always think things like that. Always challenging myself to set some new standard, no matter how ridiculous.

The last two weeks have been long ones. No surprise, I took the new mammogram recommendation hard. It wasn’t just that though. That announcement happened to coincide with other events at work that really threw me for a loop. I spent about a week questioning my value in many arenas. Compound that with the fact that I had my 4th round of chemo 2 days before Thanksgiving, and it wasn’t pretty. So, I have been down for the count a good portion of that time.

The truth is that the greatest difficulty with chemo is the fatigue. I spent all this time worried about throwing up and that hasn’t happened once! They told me that the fatigue was cumulative. I heard them, but I wasn’t really listening. Then, I got through the first two rounds and believed that I wasn’t really going to feel it. I was so wrong! It’s all that I can do to get through the workday. My body aches and the smallest physical activity is exhausting. Just walking from the car to the front door at work makes my legs hurt incredibly. It’s not even far! I’ve done it hundreds of times before without a thought, taking for granted that I had the capability. Well, not anymore. Now the door kind of feels like a desert oasis that keeps inching a little further away with every step when in reality it’s maybe a 150 yards away to begin with. That's crazy and really hard to believe, even when it's happening to me. So when I make it home, it’s all that I can do to prepare for the next day. When Friday comes, I know I will have a couple of days to recover so that I can do it all again.

Another thing that wears on you over time is the bloody nose. It’s one of the things you don’t know or think about until you go through this. Before I had cancer, I never realized that when you lost your hair you lost basically all of it. That includes all of your nose hair. Guess what? You NEED nose hair. It actually serves a really good purpose. You miss it when you don’t have it! I have sinus trouble anyway because of allergies. Now that it’s time to turn on the heater in the house, that gets worse because there’s no humidity. So sinus + heater + chemo = bloody nose at any time. Sitting at my desk with a Kleenex shoved up my nose is a completely normal occurrence now. That, and a compulsive use of hand sanitizer.

For now, I'm just trying to tie a knot and hang on at the end of my rope. Fortunately, I have help. Thank you for all of the prayers and encouraging words. I need every one of them. I have always know that "The Lord is my strength.". But, it means something completely different to me now. I've never thought of it as physical strength. I guess because I've never been physically challenged before. Now I have. And, now I know that it's completely true. I just can't make it any other way.

3 comments:

Emsmommy said...

I'm so sorry dear. Please try to allow yourself to be OK with rest. I am STILL working on that. Praying for enough energy to enjoy watching your little guy enjoy Christmas - baby steps =) The bloody nose thing sounds awful - ugh.

Jennifer said...

Yvette, you will make it through this. I don't just mean live through it, I mean you will get through it and look back on this as a memory. You will have energy again and you will enjoy doing things with your son. You will have the energy to play video games with him and take him to the movies or whatever you all like to do together. For now one step in front of the other, and enjoy the moments when you are feeling good enough to enjoy the moments.

Jen

John Palmer said...

You are one of the strongest women I have ever known. I get up every day thinking of you and your strength. It is my privilege to be a member of your family. I pray for you every day.

I love you with all my heart.

Your brother,

John

 

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