Friday, June 29, 2007

Cancer Half-Way House

I was warned that there is a post-treatment malady. That it's psychological not physical, but nonetheless prevalent. I've head it called "The Void" and I think that's a pretty accurate description.

When all the treatments are over and you are no longer talking to your doctors and nurses every week there is this void. I spent all my time and energy fighting - fighting cancer, fighting chemo side effects - and now I wake up every day, still feeling a bit crappy from lingering chemo in my body, and I think. I think about whether we've done enough to fight the cancer, I think about my job (Is it really what I want to do? If not, what do I want to do next?), I think about my now completely depleted savings account (which usually brings me back to my job), I think about my relationships and where I live and how I live and if I've made the right decisions with my life....

And through it all there is a sadness. I can't really explain what the cause is, but I feel like I've lost something. Some sort of innocence or naivete. I look at the photo I have posted on my blog and I feel like I'm looking at a photo of someone else. Someone who hasn't gone to war. Perhaps we should bring cancer survivors and soldiers returning from Iraq together. I bet we'd have a lot to teach each other and a lot to share.

I now know the power of my strength as well as the depth of my despair. It's all yin and yang - I experienced both extremes. The point is, maybe I didn't want to know. But I didn't choose and I can't go back.

All I can hope for is that the Emerald City is up there ahead. And that these stupid flying monkeys leave me alone. The only thing worse that evil, trained monkeys are evil, trained monkeys with wings.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Lately I've been missing pants. I can't wear them for very long because my surgical incision is still healing and gets red and angry at zippers and buttons. Skirts are great and all, but sometimes you just want pants.

Oh, pants.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Watch out, Carol Brady!

My hair is beginning to fill out again. I was lucky in that I didn't lose all my hair, but it certainly thinned out. So now that it's growing back, it's thicker near the roots than at the ends. This has caused me to have a hairstyle that would have been all the rage in the late 60's. Kind of like a bouffant with a flip at the end, but with more frizz and less superfly style. My hair is about shoulder length now, but if I cut it a bit shorter and did the shag thing I could totally pull off the Carol Brady. It's kind of tempting....

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Last night I was trying to get my puppy's attention. His name is Murphy, but due to a brain fart, I yelled out "Murpy". Then they started. For some unknown reason I found the sound of "Murpy" really funny and I got the giggles. You know - laughing so hard you don't even make any noise, tears streaming down your cheeks, sides hurting from laughing for so long - the giggles.

Haven't had the giggles in *while*. While I've cracked macabre jokes through this whole cancer bullshit, and I've snickered a time or two, I haven't had the giggles once. Things were not really that funny.

So, I take this attack of giggles to be a sign that I am moving on, getting better, and able to let go in a way I haven't for many months.

Hee Hee.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

getting better all the time

Three weeks out from Chemo. Withe the exception of my neuropathy (numbness and tingling in fingers, feet and mouth) I'm feeling a little better every day. The oncologist said that the neuropathy would get worse before it got better, so I was expecting it. It's frustrating, though. Chemo isn't something that ends and then your done with it. You finish taking the drugs and then have to wait for your body to do it's thang and rid itself of all the toxicity. I've been told that some of the side effects can last for up to a year and some could even be permanent. I just want to be done. I know that I will get better and better every day but somehow it feels like a raw deal to not just be done and have it all be gone. Hrumph.

In other, non-cancer news I started a part-time summer job today. Meeting high school exchange students at SFO and helping them get to where they need to go. I think it will be kinda fun. It's gotta be better than the job I've had for the last nine months: sitting in a chair about to barf. I really have to say that I don't recommend that job. Also - doesn't pay well enough.

In other, sort of cancer related news, Scout needs your love. Specifically in the form of leg massage. He went to see my acupuncturist today and she said she hadn't felt such tight muscles in years, it felt like he'd just run 20 miles. She recommended he get massages regularly to deal with the tension. So, if anyone wants to volunteer or buy him a gift certificate, I'm sure he would be mighty grateful. Poor Scouty - it's like he's a cancer vortex.

Okay, cyberkids, I gotta sign off. It's been a blast kvetching to you.

You are all superstars.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. It's been a week since the last chemo and the chemicals are starting to leave my body. Only this time, I don't have that good feeling followed immediately by a feeling of dread that in a few short days I'll have to feel crappy again. It's such a relief!

I've also realized how much the decadron affected my mood. Steroids are no fun! Down with steroids! I felt grumpy and slightly psychotic for 6 months and now that I'm back to normal I've realized how much of it was the drugs and not just cancer emotions.

Well, it can only go up from here, as they say.