The on-going, first-hand tale of a journey through medical oncology... and what happens after.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A rough day...

What does a "rough day" feel like when you are in chemo-world? I just KNEW you were gonna ask that question. And boy does it feel not great. I have written at some length (or at least several times now) about the quantum physical aspects of chemotherapy. And those effects are slowly magnifying due to the cumulative effect of adding more chemical toxins to my system before my healthy liver and kidneys can eliminate the entire previous dose. Old story - not really worth repeating - except that I am beginning to think that the physical and the emotional aspects of fighting cancer are pretty closely-linked.

Some of you are probably thinking, "well, duh!" OK, I too have said that out loud before, and sometimes even in the context of learning something about myself. ;-) Here is a wonderful opportunity, then, for you all to feel smarter than the cancer patient. Sometimes it is fun to be smug, isn't it?

... Which leads me to describing a different kind of rough day. Sunday morning this week was a very difficult time for me. (Lots of crappy stuff is going on in our extended family and friends support network, including a grandma who broke her hip as a result of a fall, and a great uncle dealing with recurrent cancer that has metastasized, and a dear young friend in hospice care.) Then my wife and I got into an argument about something rather small, right before she was trying to leave the house to drive her Mom to the airport... and it exploded into angst and frustration and not-nice words. To be candid, though, I was pretty crushed by the words. Maybe if my physical self was stronger, and if I wasn't so unsure of my medium-term and longer future, it would have been an easier thing to look past. But in my weaker physical state, and in part because I am already feeling a little fearful about the post-chemo landscape of living, I pretty much fell apart. And only moments later was alone to deal with it - daughter at a friend's house and wife on the road... and unsure of who to talk to (if anyone). For distraction, I went to a friend's house to help with some simple drywall and computer problems that he was having, and helping someone else really helped me.

By the end of the day, tempers had eased and a heart-to-heart talk made everything well. And it's more than likely that this event was closely tied to chemo-brain, which to me is somewhat encouraging. But I am beginning to mistrust my memory and emotions... and I really, REALLY hope that post-chemo will be a MUCH more normal place than chemo is.

Thanks for your continued support, and for reminding me that chemo-world is a not-real place.


Anonymous said...

We've all been there - when the stress and frustration make you say or do something unpleasant. Try not to be so hard on yourself. You are definitely living in an alternative reality... and we have not all been there, but we want to do all we can to help you get back to a "normal" life with normal days.


Megan said...

Keep taking it one day at a time. And remember there is an end date. One day soon you won't feel like this, you will feel warm and strong and like you just slayed the dragon.

Also had a chemo-brain related misunderstanding with my sig other. Funny! Must be the week for it...