I’ve never wanted so much to crawl outside my own skin until the last few days.
I feel trapped, and it’s so depressing.
I am not myself. I can’t climb two flights of stairs without exhaustion. I can’t interact with my kids the way I usually do. I just heard my three year old tell my mother that he is “going to the cancer store.” My 18 month old won’t sleep through the night anymore. I have tried so hard to be the same old mom but the chemo is doing just what I thought it would: it’s taking away my sparkle.
It’s hard to explain, how I feel. I am tired all the time. “Fatigue,” they call it, but that doesn’t explain it. Everything wears me out. I am so tired that I nap every day but when I wake, somehow I feel worse – dozy, nauseated, out of sorts. I am bored and stir crazy, but I look strange and feel worse, so I don’t want to/can’t go out. TV and books have lost their allure, which is why I’m writing – maybe it will be an outlet. Maybe it will relieve the pressure.
Food tastes and feels weird. My tongue feels fuzzy and if last cycle was any indication, the roof of my mouth will soon follow. I feel thirsty but when I drink it tastes weird and doesn’t seem to quench my thirst. My body seems incapable of doing or accepting anything properly. I feel like an alien trapped in human form. I keep trying to give this body things that will make it feel better but nothing seems to help.
We curse the little ways our bodies fail over the years, but there’s nothing like a full-system revolt to put things in perspective. And there’s no predicting how things will go. Saturday was horrible, yesterday was better, and today seems worse. How?
My doctor said he wanted to do at least 4 cycles of TC, up to 6 if I could handle it, and I don’t know if I can. And that makes me feel two things. One, like a failure. A wimp, a loser, unable to face something tough. And two, worried, because what if I get cancer – what if it comes back? Will I be left kicking myself for not doing 6 cycles? Probably.
This is a lonely time. These are dark days. Mostly I feel grateful, lucky, accepting. But sometimes I feel trapped inside this sick body and I just want to run.