Monday, May 20, 2013

CARRY ON

Alex Carrying Cousin Trent - Fall 2012
When I first started with chemo, I had a visit from a representative of homecare services.  Apparently I was eligible for homecare and they explained to me that someone would be in touch with me.  The homecare nurse did call me and she came over regularly, usually the week after my Thursday chemo session, and checked on me.  There was a series of tests that she would do including blood pressure, temperature, etc…as well as some interview questions to keep track of how I was feeling.  She also kept a list of upcoming appointments and so on and would follow up with me on those outcomes.  I was grateful for the fact that I knew someone would be available to answer any questions that might come up and would be keeping an eye on me.  I was very fortunate.

However, sometimes these visits also made me feel angry that I was in this position where I needed them.  I was also stubborn to the point where I would want to scream at her to go away because I was perfectly fine and I wasn’t one of those old sick people that needs a nurse.  I never did that though.  Of course I always welcomed her into my home and thanked her for what she did for me.  After all, it wasn’t her fault I had this stupid cancer wrecking havoc on my body, my mind, my emotions, and my spirit.  She even came during the Christmas holidays.

Tasza and Dziadzio (Grandpa) - Christmas 2003
On December 21 I had my sixth chemo treatment just six days after getting home from being in isolation at the hospital. Although I was able to do some Christmas preparations I had to accept the fact that I needed to sleep most afternoons and that I needed to slow down, relax, take it easy and however else you want to word it.  In fact it is not so much that I had to do it but more that I simply could not function normally anymore.  No matter how hard I tried to fight it I was done.  In November I was running a couple of times a week and now I had to sit down three or four times just to change the bedsheets.  The fatigue really does build up with each treatment.  It’s not forever it’s just for now...

Christmas 2006
We made it the best possible Christmas we could for our kids and of course they were spoiled with gifts.  However, I felt extremely crappy during this time and tried very hard to stay awake and be a part of things.  It was tough and it took a lot out of me.  I did manage to go for a walk on Christmas Day with the whole family, not far but enough to get some fresh air.  It was strange because there was not a stitch of snow anywhere that year.  I was already having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit and without snow it made it even harder.

During most of the holidays I remember thinking that all I wanted to do was keep my eyes open and keep the smile on my face as much as I could.  I often excused myself to retreat to my room to lie down.  I felt like I was ruining what is normally such a wonderful time.  I had leaned into Mike’s arms on Christmas Day and asked him if he could ever have imagined that one year ago at our happy Christmas celebration would we be where we were now as 2006 was drawing to a close.  The next question was, “Where will we be next year at this time?”

We had to just carry on and see what happens.

Carry On - FUN

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