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 Coalition? Y-Me? Susan G. Komen Foundation? The 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.