The last week and a half has been a nutty one. After treatment on September 24, I did my usual preps for the usual side effects, and a few strange things happened. I’ve been short of breath (especially at night), and I’ve had a two-day stint of highly motivated nausea. Add in some exceptional bloating and a few nosebleeds and there was my confusing and depressing health status.
My oncologist, concerned mainly for my heart, has checked it thoroughly with a CAT and an echo-cardiogram. My ticker seems fine. I’ve had water pills for the bloating, and switched back to my old allergy med hoping that the switch was the reason for the shortness of breath. I’ve also been assured that the cancer is not to blame for the shortness of breath.
Today, I’m not nauseated, my breathing is decent (still catch on the deep breaths), I’m back to normal size (no bloating), and my spirits are OK despite the persistent rain. We’ll meet with Dr. Campbell on Monday afternoon to see the CAT results in terms of chemo efficacy and then I’ll badger him until he agrees to put off chemo for another week so that I can have a week of kind of normal.
I write all this, not just to tell you all every little detail of my health, but because I’m exhausted by it. Sick of being sick. Sick of making people worry. Sick of leaving work for another test. Sick of waking up and immediately assessing every little nuance of how I’m feeling.
But I’m also writing this in wonder, because no one else seems to be sick of it. My parents still swoop in at a moment’s notice with cold washcloths for my head and a meal for my family. My mom stays in my house while I convalesce and does my family’s laundry. Sara and Emily coax me out for tea and toast after two rough days. Colleagues call to check in, drop off apples, and pick up my ever slackening slack. Chris and Alison call and drop off food. Jane drives from Madison for the Race for the Cure for the fifth time in a row. Heather and Jane stay overnight before the race and fill my house with laughter. Mark sends me to bed early. Assures me that Zoe will be fine. Cleans up the kitchen. Gets Zoe off to school and heads to work himself. Again.
Then yesterday, here comes my sister-in-law Beth with a box of freezer meals. Vegan. She and Mark’s mom had been cooking all day for us. I now am the proud owner of a freezer full of love. Wow.
I write this because I am stumped at how all of these lovely people–and more I’ve neglected to mention–are not sick of this. That they haven’t just fallen away because this is just the old Turner family saw–Tash in bed, not sure why. That they continue to contribute to the Komen Foundation at my request. That they offer meals and mean it. That they call, and care, and pray.
It’s been YEARS, people! How do you do it?!
I am amazed. Grateful. Overwhelmed. Humbled.