When you’re feeling bad, how do you tell you’re getting better? For me, it’s when I start to get crabby. You know, the way you get when you’re feeling good enough to want to do things, but not quite good enough to actually do them? Or, at least, do them as well as you want to. That’s where I am right now. I want to go and do all sorts of things and I try. Sometimes, I actually do what I set out to do; sometimes not. Either way, a couple of hours later, it’s all I can to hold my head up and if I’m still for more than 2 minutes, I’m asleep. It’s very irritating and I find myself lashing out at inanimate objects, drivers of what I perceive as limited ability and, once in a while, those closest to me. The first two don’t bother me all that much, but the last one is a little unsettling. So far, it’s mostly been my daughters catching it and, to a degree, I consider it payback for the crap they’ve put me through over the years. Fortunately for us all, I take out most of my ire on appliances and stupid drivers, so it’s not too bad for them.
I know that I can’t expect to recover from major surgery in the blink of an eye. I also know that major abdominal surgery is even worse, because the anesthesia is deeper and, in gutting you like a fish, they absolutely wreck your core. I know I should be patient, that I will be back to my old self in no time. Well, that’s not exactly the case. Just about the time things get all sorted out (April 23), I start chemotherapy. If the last time I did this is any indicator, it will be 6 months of unmitigated hell. 12 cycles, every two weeks, of poisoning myself enough to kill the cancer, but not enough to kill me. Evidently, it’s a fine line because, last go-round, there were times when I either thought I was going to die or wished I would die just get it over with. While I’m on this subject, I want to address anyone whose loved ones are undergoing (or about to undergo) chemotherapy. There will be times when the person you’re with will not want to do their chemo. They may break down in tears, get angry, or even refuse to do it. Bear with them. If you haven’t experienced the hell that chemo, you have no idea how hard it is to subject yourself to something that you know is going to make you feel so bad that, in its throes, death seems an acceptable alternative. Support them, assist them and love them. But, in the end, respect their decision about whether they continue or not.
I had originally intended this to be a light-hearted psuedo-rant about not being able to do what I want to, when I want to do it. As usual, though, whenever I start talking about chemotherapy, it turned a bit dark. It’s really hard to be light-hearted where cancer is involved and I’m not a good enough comedy writer to make it funny. But, it’s not all darkness; in the past, there were usually several days (sometimes all in a row!) where I didn’t feel like hammered shit. That should be the case this time, too. On those days, I plan to make the most of it. God knows I’ll need something to look forward to.