Did everybody get the invite to the pity party? It should have arrived today. Let me know if you want to attend, because it’s always a good time (note to reader: I get very sarcastic at these parties). I woke up feeling cranky that it was Monday (which I promised myself I wouldn’t do, no more dreading Mondays), and sad to see the weekend go. Friday night was complete with nourishment for the soul, having a slumber party with my camp girlfriends that I’ve known since I was 10 years old… We didn’t even get to our 80’s movies; we just sat on my couch and talked and ate and laughed until 2:30am! In the morning I made french toast and the snow started. Later in the day a great friend came over to make dinner for us, we played a new game (will be perfect for Thanksgiving next year!) and Sunday Sean and I totally just chilled out at home and had a lazy, snowy day. Why oh why couldn’t Mondays still be part of the weekend?
But Monday isn’t really why I am throwing myself this pity-party. On Saturday I started to not feel well again, and while I promised myself not to get in a funk about it, 2 days in, and here I am. I paged my oncologist, as I was instructed to do if this happened, and he said that if it got any worse than I may have to go back to the hospital for another IV. I think that was what put me over the edge; thinking about having to go back there, stuck with needles and IV’s, being monitored every 20 minutes, not sleeping, not eating, not going to work (OK, so that puts Mondays in perspective. Would rather be here than there).
Thankfully, knock on wood, it hasn’t gotten worse, but I am back to eating bananas, toast, crackers, pasta, and rice. The lovely dinner that our friend made for us on Saturday night looked delicious, as did Sean’s leftover pizza on Sunday, and the hash brown western omelet that I made for him (he has a cold so I wanted to give him a little TLC, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have been in the kitchen). So while everybody is out enjoying their festive eggnog and holiday cookies, I’m back to having no idea what I can eat, sticking to plain chicken, pasta, and crackers until I can figure out exactly what’s going on with my body. The doctors said that as they wean me off of the steroid (part of me wishes that I could stay on it forever, but the part of me that has to look at my puffy/bloated face every day is also kind of anxious to get off of it!), but there are too many side effects (see above as just one, not sleeping through the night 4 + weeks now as another), that they really don’t like to keep people on it for very long.
I think that one of the hardest parts of all of this is that they just don’t know if I’ll get sick again, and if so, for how long. So I need to keep the big picture in mind, which in my opinion is that if I’m sick it’s because the medicine is working so hard in my body. And if it’s working on my stomach, then it’s hopefully working on the cancer, too. When I think about it that way, missing out on some holiday meals doesn’t seem like the end of the world.
I ran out to the grocery store today during my lunch break to stock up on the plain stuff, and when I returned I saw the box in our work kitchen of donated items such as cans of food and things that one of my colleagues is taking to a shelter sometime this week. I had seen it on Friday and made a mental note to myself to grab some stuff to donate. But when I went to the grocery store today the pity-party just completely took over as I bought my bananas and plain white pasta shells (no more whole wheat anything for a while, it seems), and I didn’t pick up anything to donate. I felt like such a jerk.
And then I didn’t, and that may sound strange, but I give in lots of ways to others, whether in my work, donating to charities, or volunteering for the Cancer Hope Network. And I’m not clueless: I know how fortunate I am for everything that I have, this time of year or not.
Today is just going to be one of those days, I think. A day when the positive side of my brain needs a little rest, a day when maybe I will go home and get into sweats and feel badly that I can’t enjoy the dinner that I had planned on making Sean and I tonight. A day when I can’t seem to distract myself from the stomach aches, a day when the unknown feels bigger than me, when the anger and the sadness bubble up, and I just can’t keep it at bay. Perhaps I shouldn’t. Maybe if I give in to this pity-party today (or even for the next couple of days), I can then let it go and invite you all to a much brighter, happier, party. But it won’t be today.