Two steps forward, one step back

Linsey, a new friend of mine from the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, just wrote a great post about what we should do in the face of cancer.  Linsey is a cancer survivor.  And a mom.  And so much more — she has moved on beyond the immediacy of active treatment (where I’m currently stuck) and found so much more in life.  She’s a good read, and she makes excellent points in her article for Silicon Valley Moms this week.  Go read it if you can.  Then follow her advice — do your self-exam, know what to look for, and take action if you feel so moved.

I’m moved.  I want to take action.  I want to keep talking about cancer and what to look for, and find a group to support monetarily (Young Survival CoalitionY-Me? Susan G. Komen FoundationThe Wellness Community?), register for a cancer survivor race, and really throw myself into it.

But I’m so tired.

This week was an amazingly good week.  From playdates to errands, and a trip to the beach, I did it all.  I took Widget and Little Bear to playdate at Stimey’s (have you READ about little Jack being taken home to the WRONG HOUSE after his first day of school?  Go read it if you haven’t yet.  They even made the news this week!).  We all went to the beach with friends.  I went to yoga for people with cancer.  I even drove myself(!).  Later, I went to a support group at the hospital for young women with cancer (although I didn’t drive there or many other places this week).  We all played with Grandma and Grandpa and built tall houses out of cardboard bricks together.  WonderDaddy and I took Widget with us for my weekly checkup and then out for ice cream.  I took Little Bear with me to the local Land’s End store at Sears, and I managed to shop, check out, and amuse him all in the same go.  Grandma and I took Widget to Target and did the most mundane shopping.  This was big news, actually.  For the first time since my diagnosis in June, I was well enough to both drive and walk around the store a bit collecting necessities like paper towels and play-doh.  I met nice people, caring people, people who helped hold doors and such for me, as well as people who stared at my bald head bluntly, as if I were a circus freak instead of just another mom, talking to her toddler and buying diapers.  There were ups and downs, but I thought I had made it through a very successful week.

But today, oh, today was a bad one.  The chest pain is intense.  The body aches are everywhere.  And my mood is sinking.  I’m just so d*mn tired of being sick.  I don’t want to be an activist today.  I don’t want to reflect on the lessons that cancer has taught me.  I don’t even want to research what comes next, or read too terribly much about inspirational people like Jane Tomlinson.  I just want to feel better.  Like a normal human again.  I want to hold my baby and bounce him up in the air with both arms.  I want to read books to my toddler without concern over whether the book is too heavy to hold up in the air with my right arm or not (oh, those Richard Scarrey treasuries are heavy!).  I want to go out on dates with my husband and smile — not smile through the pain.

I’m so tired of being sick.  And I have so much left to go.  Next week I’ll have my 4th chemo treatment.  Which makes this round of chemo halfway done.  But at the end of chemo, I don’t get to go on vacation.  I get to have my breasts removed.  Then weeks of recovery and pain (they’ll take the skin from my abdomen, so there’s an additional bit to recover from, with additional drains and pain and such) will be rewarded with … 6 weeks of daily radiation therapy.  And then possibly more chemotherapy to get any bits of cancer that have migrated elsewhere in my body.  I likely won’t be done with this set of treatments until early summer.  Next summer. 

And that’s if all goes well, and the chemo shrinks the cancer enough for me to be able to have the surgery.  I can’t even think about what happens if it doesn’t shrink enough.

Like I said, I’m so tired of being sick.

26 Responses to Two steps forward, one step back

  1. Rest, Whymommy, you’ve MORE than earned it. You ARE beating cancer, which to me, makes you one of the most incredible, powerful women in the world.

    Lots and lots of love– praying and thinking of you every day xo CGF

  2. Kim says:

    Oh, I know. I know how tired you are of this. There are days when it seems like it is relentless and all-encompassing.

    But you are going to get through it and win with the same strength and spirit that you have shown from the beginning, and then you’ll have time to do something. Right now, you’re doing the most important things–loving your babies and fighting.

  3. ohamanda says:

    I wish I had something brilliant and encouraging to say. I don’t like to leave a trite comment. But I have to say that the first thing that popped into my mind was this song. I hope it ministers to you. Always praying.

    And this is how I’ll be praying.

  4. I wish I could say something that could take all your pain away.
    I am glad you had a good week.
    God Bless You.

  5. Stimey says:

    I’d be tired of being sick too. It sucks that this had to happen to you. It’s a long road, but you’ll get there. Just take baby steps. You’re amazing, and an inspiration to me. Your playdate at my house was the high point of my week (except maybe for the day Jack finally came home on time). Keep on, friend.

  6. kgirl says:

    Here’s the thing that I learned from dealing with my dad’s illness – the bad days suck, but it is what you do with the good days that count. What you do with the good days is what keeps you alive.

    I can’t think of how your good days could possibly be any better.

  7. I’d be shocked if you weren’t tired of being sick. I am happy that you had the week you had, but sad that today was hard.

    Tomorrow’s gonna be better — I can feel it.

  8. MammaLoves says:

    This is one of those days that you need us to fight for you. And we will. I will. You rest. You leave the fighting to us right now. By resting you are saving your strength for future battles.

    Tell me what you want done. We’ll do it.

  9. Left my comment for this post under Jane Tomlinson post by mistake. Sorry.

  10. Joanna says:

    It. will. shrink. All of this effort, all of this emotional and physical pain WILL be worth it, because you will prevail. Big hugs, and hoping tomorrow is a good day for you…

  11. canape says:

    Of course you are tired of being sick. You are an active, energetic, goal achieving person who just done being laid up while being pregnant. This is just another whammy. And not just any whammy. Cancer whammy.

    You don’t have to be an activist everyday, but you do have to fight cancer everyday. It’s not fair. So complain and hate it all you want to.

    Just keep doing it anyway. Please.

    Because I don’t want you to be sick either, and there isn’t anything I can do about it. Except keep reminding you of how much there is to do after next summer.

  12. WorksForMom says:

    How could you not be tired. Peaks and valleys my friend. Peaks and valleys. Please rest as much as possible and know we’re all sending positive thoughts your way.

    Day by day WhyMommy. Hope tomorrow is better.

  13. Imstell says:

    WhyMommy – As I shared with LawMom the other day… I think that the third round must be the “breakdown” round of chemo. I had it roughest just about then. Mentally, emotionally, physically… it just all seemed too much to bear. That’s when I had my biggest meltdown. Then things looked better. Trust me that you’ll feel better once the AC treatments are behind you. It’s a long and arduous journey, my IBC sister… you will earn that title “Survivor” and wear it proudly.

  14. Robin says:

    This is the week when you let your friends and family do the heavy lifting, not just physically but mentally as well.

    This sucks right now, and I’m sure it sucks beyond anything I can imagine, but there is a whole lifetime of tomorrows with unimaginable potential just waiting to be lived afterwards.

  15. BetteJo says:

    Who says you have to be brave and “Cancer Woman” complete with the tights and cape every single day? No one expects that of you. Do what you can, accept it when you don’t feel like it – and remember – you will have plenty of time to be an activist later!

  16. Nancy says:

    I’m glad you have the good days, though I’m sure they make the bad days that much worse.

    I’m thinking of you, Whymommy, and of course not too far away if there’s anything I can do.

  17. Kristin says:

    You remind me of how I always wonder (when I’m sick) at the way I forget to appreciate being healthy. Is everyone like that?

    Here’s to more good days than bad.

  18. ella says:

    I’m sorry it seems like such a long journey to next summer, but every day you are closer to beating this.

    Hoping tomorrow is a better day.

  19. whymommy says:

    The cape … the cape … you remind me, there is a post I need to write ….

  20. Oh, how I wish I could bottle some energy… I’d send it your way (like I have any, myself!!!). Sweetie, I really don’t know what to say… I wish there was something we could do to help you.

    I’m thinking of you each and every day… praying that you find the strength you need. And when you don’t have it, it’s ok… You’re in my thoughts.


  21. maggie says:

    I am sorry that you’re sick. I hope that the prospect of a fine vacation next summer helps get you through the next months.

  22. amanda says:

    Rest your head sweet one. You’ve got the rest of us for activism. I’m talking to people out here, talking to people back home on the west coast. They’re talking to people. I’ll tell you, one thing that isn’t shrinking is the impact you’ve had. So you just worry about that little rat-b*st*rd needling around in there. Squelch it, we’ll keep up our end of the bargain.

    I promise you.

  23. I remember a post on Kelly Corrigan’s blog where she felt her husband certainly didn’t deserve this “life lesson” that her cancer had brought them both. I’m sure there are days when you feel the same way – when you gladly give up an “enlightenment” this “life lesson” might bring. All I can say is keep on keeping on. Your friend, GOG

  24. Deb says:

    Big, big hugs to you. I hope you know that there are lots of people pulling for you, sending waves of good thoughts and best wishes your way.

    Don’t worry about “fighting the activist fight” today — you fight breast cancer by taking wonderful care of you. So, make yourself some hot tea, or hot chocolate or coffee; curl up with a favorite blanket and the TV remote or a good book, and you just cuddle up. Hugs!

  25. magnetobold says:

    I read your post and felt the tiredness in your writing. Stop. Take a break and let us fight the activism fight for you for a little while. Sit back with your blanket, watch your little one zoom around with your WM cape and just be. You have many of us from around the world thinking of you and shouting your story from the rooftops so we don’t have to see someone else go through your fight.
    You have got the word out there better than anyone else before you. That in itself is amazing. Right now you have to gather your strength.


  26. […] bone pain.  No neuropathy.  No chest pain.  Not even any side […]

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