Day 66: burden

I feel like a burden.

When people see me, I feel like they feel bad about being happy around me.

When I feel alone and ache to text with or call a friend, I imagine my texts/calls being ignored on the other end because they just can’t deal with my reality today.

When I can’t eat the food I just asked PB to make for me, I’m filled with guilt–all that work, for nothing.

The people in my life are wonderful people. They have supported and encouraged me & our little family in so many ways. But. I feel like people in my life are just barely in my life now, staying a safe distance away to guard their hearts and mine, their time and mine.

I miss being normal girl. Just a regular friend.

I long for genuine laughter with friends and being able to freely talk about petty, silly, insignificant things unrelated to cancer–because nothing in my life is unrelated to cancer these days. I can still laugh about it at times–but to them, it’s just awkward and uncomfortable.

I hate that I feel bad about sending a simple text to a friend in fear of it being a burden for her to reply. Even if it’s not to ask her for anything at all.

I am uninvited, left to “rest and recover” when all I want is inclusion and invitation. Even if I have to say “no.” I just want to not be left behind.

Day 65: MIA

I’ve had two rounds of chemo since my last appearance here, hence my absence–because the world stops on chemo weeks.

Here I go again, being all dramatic. I blame the chemo!

In all seriousness, things have not been easy. This last round in particular was just the pits. The nausea was so intense, right from the get-go, that I just wanted to stop breathing. Water tasted like liquid wasabi and breathing singed my nostrils.

Don’t let the smile deceive you—my nose & throat are on fire

Which is why today, Day 5 post-chemo, I am celebrating all I accomplished today:

  • gym!
  • Target run!
  • I ATE BREAKFAST! (chick fil-a scrambled egg and a few tater tots)
  • cleaned my art room!
  • made lunch!: toast, rice with spinach soup (reheat), then a few hours later, scrambled eggs with beans (simplified huevos rancheros?)
  • ATE lunch! (all of it tasted yucky but I forced it all down like a big girl)
  • TOOK A SHOWER! (this one is huge. I haven’t washed my hair in days because it’s my least favorite thing to do these days, with my hair falling out everywhere)

It’s truly amazing, all that I was able to do, considering how miserable I’ve been feeling. I feel like I haven’t been this productive in ages…and it’s only been five days.

A funny thing I’ve discovered about chemo is that as terrible as the week of chemo is, when two weeks have past, those hard details can be hard to remember. Is it because chemo is frying my brain cells? Is it my body’s coping mechanism, to block out all that ugly to help me move on? Is it the power of prayer and the grace of God?

I think it’s a combination of all three. And I’m thankful. (Well, except for the frying brain cells piece. I’d like to keep all of mine for a bit longer, please.)

Day 62: she’s gone

My mom has been with us for two months.

Mama and me. And a cheesy loaf of bread.

She’s been our cook, our cleaner, our son’s driver and lunch-maker; our yard-raker; our dog-feeder, our laundry-washer-and-folder, my encourager, our prayer warrior and my constant companion. She did it all with a smile (most days…some days were hard) and never uttered a single complaint.

And today, she got on an airplane to go back home. She’s gone.

I miss her.

Day 38: the shed

It started this weekend, maybe Saturday or Sunday.

I run my hand ever so gently over my hair and wisps just float off my head and fall to the ground.  I can’t do messy buns anymore, let alone pony tails.  Showers have become slightly traumatic at the sight of seaweed-like strands coating the bathtub floor, tangling around my toes.

PB took me to see Crazy Rich Asians last night.  I loved it on so many levels, and it was a welcomed opportunity to laugh and forget reality for a few hours.  I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t just a flick filled with silly and sappy…there were some pretty thought-provoking dialogues in there as well.

There was a line in it that referenced how people who lose card games lose not because they don’t think they can win but because they’re too preoccupied with their fear of losing.  Something along those lines. I’ve been chewing on that thought and trying it on for size.  Is my fear of losing so great that it is eclipsing my abilities?

Must ponder this a bit more to flesh it out.

Day 37: not again

This morning, I geared up for round 2 of chemo.

    did my nails last night: confetti mix of pinks, blues and silver
    packed my chemo bag, which included my beautiful new quilt handmade by my dear friend
    prepped my chemo mouthwash mix of salt and baking soda
    showered
    put on my next-in-line chemo shirt

Ready!

We really didn’t anticipate chemo not happening today, in light of last week’s stellar neutrophil count. But, alas.

ANC: .6

No chemo.

The team is baffled. The normal behavior of WBCs for a chemo patient is for it to dip down after chemo, then start to come back up. Mine behave more like a rollercoaster: up and down, up and down, without apparent reason.

Why?

It’s hard not to let fear grip me when these strange mysteries happen within my body that the professionals cannot understand. I choose to cling to the one who does understand. I choose to find joy in these trials, knowing that they’re helping me grow in faith and steadfastness as a sinner saved by grace.

A shift in every story

I feel like writing something to express the purpose of this blog.  I keep battling between wanting to be hidden and anonymous, and wanting to be seen and heard and not alone.  Honestly, what have I got to hide?

Memorializing things in print is a scary thing.  Words have so much power.  I have—I always have had—this immense fear of saying the wrong thing; saying too much; saying honest things that are dark and ugly.  These are all the kinds of things I long to dump into this space.

But I have hope for my story and the words that will build it.  Right now, there is a lot of ugly in my mind and my world.  I’m not proud of my attitude and the many weak moments of faith that have inundated this season of my life.  But my story is not finished, and I’m so hopeful.

My story is evolving.  

I look forward to witnessing how God shifts my story towards more faith, grace and joy—regardless of which direction my circumstances turn.