Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beauty and the Beast

"Fatigue associated with chemotherapy is like a bad battery for your device... it takes a long time to charge, it depletes for seemingly no reason and no matter how long you charge it at night it just can't hold its charge all day. About mid-day you must power it down to re-charge it, if even for a little bit or it will slow down, freeze up, crash and power itself down on its own."

Fatigue is a very different beast than simply being tired. I cannot describe the feeling of fatigue that I feel on varying degrees every day. When they warned me and I read about the fatigue associated with chemotherapy in all the reading material provided to me on my first visit to the cancer centre, it does nothing to prepare you for how it actually feels. Many people exclaim to me "how good I look" often in surprise. While on the outside, I can function and carry on with simple tasks for short periods of time, only those who truly live with me have seen how quickly fatigue can come on and overtake me. It can come on so suddenly that I could be out enjoying myself one moment and then this deadweight feeling comes that is like trying to walk under water and I need to sit, and go home NOW. There are times where the simple act of climbing the stairs fills me with dread.

I have been relatively fortunate with the side effects I am facing with each treatment, annoyances continue i.e. metallic taste, mild nausea, mouth sores, dry skin, hair loss, but the fatigue seems to be increasing and lasting longer during my off week between treatments. I am trying to rest and sleep when my body dictates and am exercising in small amounts going for walks with Jason, often at times dragging myself around the block. I haven been cautioned that the fatigue will accumulate with each treatment and will continue for months after my chemotherapy treatment is completed.

In my moments of darkness, I become quite emotional, mourning the loss of my energy levels, remembering what Michelle used to be able to accomplish in a day. Our busy busy lives often had us driving each night, rushing to complete errands, going to hockey games, working until 5:30 often many nights. I am sad for the Michelle before cancer and hate the changes that cancer has forced me to accept. I know that my strength will come back, but it is hard not to be frustrated with what I used to be able to do, compared to how hard it is to accomplish small tasks now. One cannot possibly understand this unless you have lived this similar journey. Thank you to those who understand how fatigue is affecting me daily. While I may look "amazing" on the outside, there are days where I am struggling and I certainly have a long way to go in my recovery still.

There are so many wonderful beautiful moments to share with you from this past week.

After some considerable prayers and rest, I was so grateful that I was able to attend the full day festivities for my cousin Darcy's wedding. Darcy was born a decade+ after me and she was my first experience "babysitting" and taking care of a little baby. I loved carrying Darcy around, playing with her and taking care of her. One of my favourite pictures is Darcy and I sound asleep cuddled on the couch after a full afternoon of Cabbage Patch kids and babies. This would be the last wedding of our cousins and it was so important to me that I was able to attend and see my relatives. Particularly since I had not seen many of them face to face since my diagnosis, there were quite a few tears and hugs, relief of my good news and seeing that I am doing "ok". I am so happy I was there. Words can't describe it. I can only hope and wish that I am as blessed as my grandma, Gigi who has been able to attend and see all 6 of her grandchildren marry and find happiness. We had a great time at the wedding, and I was able to stay right until the dance floor was packed and the cousins were having a great time.

Sunday afternoon, my best friend Jenn and her daughter Rosie were home from Calgary and we had a bbq at K and K's reuniting not only a close knit group of adult friends but a group of "yurting" kids who have known each other their whole lives. Heart warming to see them pick up where they left off, Jenn and I were able to have a great visit Sunday night, Monday hanging out and a market trip Tuesday. How I have missed her so. I am so happy to she has found true happiness as well and her blended family is together and complete. Despite the distance, our friendship will stand the test of time. Jordan is looking forward to a 10 day trip to Calgary in August with her "sisters" Maggie and Rosie. 

I am able to travel up to Southampton beach for a stay with my parents this week, Jason will be joining me and we can't wait to have a short getaway at Ben Miller Inn this weekend. A fantastic musician Matthew Hussey is playing at Ben Miller again Saturday night, we loved seeing him a few years back. A great way to spend the weekend before treatment #8, the end of cycle 4 this coming Monday. 

Love to you all, thank you for the visits, had a great catch up with a wonderful hockey mom this week. The week of July 28, there are no kids at the Low house and I would love a chance to catch up with anyone is around. Call or text me, I welcome the company with Jason working now.

1 comment:

  1. Time just flies by when we are together. No matter if we have big plans (Oktoberfest), little plans (can you pick my kid up for me), or no plans (it's a long day to be without peeps), we seem to be able to have multiple conversations that gobble up our time. Just the right amount of laughter, contemplation, and honesty. All plans are good plans. Thanks for letting me spend the day :)