Go read this. Please.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Oh, this old thing?
Thank you all for hanging in with me. Nothing’s really been happening that’s worth writing about. I’ve been doing well on the shots—so well that my oncologist suggested doubling the dose, yesterday. (I was only complaining about fatigue, and my numbers are fine.) I did it last night, and I feel yucky today. That also may be because I couldn’t sleep, and am just plain exhausted. I’m not nauseous; just tired, cranky, and sore.
Spent about an hour at the DMV today, and I now have a California driver’s license. Hurrah. My Washington license expires in three weeks, so I had to take care of it finally.
Starting back to school next week. I’m only going half time, which is good because I don’t quite know how it’s all going to work. I’m doing my field ed at the San Francisco Night Ministry. Very excited about that. But healthwise, I don’t know what will happen. School and the Night Ministry are aware of my medical needs. We’ll all just see.
Went to Berkeley yesterday because I had to get stuff out of storage (friends’ dorm rooms), and find my birth certificate for the DMV. It was good to see friends. Apparently I look wonderful, if pale. I had a good time, but tired very easily. I’m not used to throwing boxes around.
Note to classmates: I know we haven’t seen each other since the height of my crisis. But please don’t look at me with instant sympathy. Treat me like what I am: a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. Let me find my own feet socially, again.
I’m doing my best to survive this. Don’t perceive me as an automatic victim.
Oh, and another thing: “Did you have a good summer?” is a really silly question. The two weeks of genuine summer I had, treatment-free, were great. Being chemically sick is anything but fun.
“How was your summer?” is a perfectly legitimate question. “Was it good,” well, only in parts. The Monterey aquarium was fabulous. So was the Ranch. The infusion room sucked. Giving myself shots is matter-of-fact now, but was ooky in the beginning. Being sore and tired the next day: equally yuck. Being supported through this: a very good thing.
Was I well cared for? Did I move through any of the shock? Am I doing okay on treatment? Yes, so in those senses it was successful. But those aren’t really casual answers.
I’m back in the Valley now, through the weekend. Thinking about my friends in New Orleans, and keeping an eye on Gustav.
Again, thank you.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I don’t know if or when I will.
I’m trying to claw my way out of inertia. “Depression” isn’t the right word; I have more of an emotional-exhaustion hangover. I don’t feel down, or numb; just tired. I really just want to stay in bed—and I have, some days—but that’s horribly unhealthy. I need to keep my toes in the world.
I need to find a way to catch up with myself, rest, and still stay among the living.
I went to the farmer’s market today around lunchtime. It was the best thing I’ve done in weeks; it got me up, dressed, and out of the house. Interacting with people. Feeling happy again.
Thank you all for dropping by, leaving me hugs, and suchlike. Noticed and very much appreciated. I just haven’t had it in me to respond.
I’m working on coming back to life.
Friday, August 01, 2008
I took a whirlwind trip to Berkeley yesterday, to keep an appointment at school. It felt so good to get out of the sick ward, even for a day. A. is fantastic—but I associate being out here with the reason I’m here. This would be a summer full of sickness and treatment; I couldn’t take care of myself. It’s good to get a change of scene.
I’m feeling, physically, better than I have in awhile. The shots don’t affect me nearly as much as the infusions did. I do them at night; when I wake up, stiff, sore, and nauseous, I take more Tylenol and Zofran. The soreness at least goes away. And it’s three times a week, not daily.
Emotionally, though, I'm not there yet. I keep thinking I’m out of the “oh my holy f*ck” stage. I’m really not. I bumped into two of my faculty, besides the one I’d planned to see, plus the admissions director and the dean of the School for Deacons. So I had the same conversation, five times:
“How are you?” (Very well-meaning, all of them.)
“I have no earthly idea… Physically better; I’m done with the infusions. I’m just shooting myself now.”
“How does that work?”
And I’d explain it—getting more creeped out by the second, as I did so. It’s not so much that the shots are creepy; diabetics do this every day, for life. It’s the reason. I keep going back to the “cancer!” headspace. I’m not free of it. I still feel like I’ll exhale in five years.
The field ed director got it: “All of us recognize… your reality has changed.”
Oh, yes it has.
I’ve been awful about responding to comments, or answering e-mails. I genuinely appreciate the attention. I’m glad that you all are in this with me. It’s just that I have no idea what to say. I’m in a holding pattern, between serious illness and the rest of life. I’m still scared witless. And I know I’ve survived, so far.
Thank you, all, for cheering me on.