Tuesday, November 9, 2010

make you smile and break your heart

Scott & I at the retreat
Tonight should be my 5th chemo eve.............but unfortunately it is not.  I spent the weekend at Harmony Hill at an ayurvedic retreat with Scott.  I went into it a little worried..........we all know I am hard to handle at times............but it was brilliant.  It was a place of healing, something I haven't experienced before.  Many people think that hospitals are a place of healing..........I won't even go into that.......but after my stays in the hospital I needed this.  Not only was the setting healing, but the people who I spent the weekend with were amazing--each individual story and experience brought together under one roof, all concentrated on wellness was astonishing.  I got much needed, uninterrupted rest.........and Scott won the game of musical chairs.
Harmony Hill

I packed my diet coke and skittles for this wellness weekend, knowing that the food was mostly vegetarian and good for you (so my naughty habits would be frowned upon, and definitely not catered to).  I like candy just like the average person, but since I have been diagnosed with cancer I crave skittles and jelly bellies........I know the 'sugar feeds cancer' research and that these may not be the most healthy decisions for me.  But I already have cancer and skittles make me happy, done and done.  I have promised myself that once chemo is done I will taper down my skittle intake.  It's not like I am eating bags and bags, just a bag every other day or so on my good weeks--perfectly innocent.  Or at least that is what I am telling myself.  Just give me my fix and no one gets hurt.

Life has a funny way of holding up a mirror and forcing you to look at yourself.  Apparently I wasn't looking hard enough before and it had to throw cancer in the mix so I would pay attention.  I ran myself ragged and piled on commitments.  I thrive on being busy and jam packed, but my health was suffering.  I would mow people and relationships over with other commitments and never fully commit to anything.  On the scale of bad things to do to yourself that make skittles look innocent.  Now I have been forced to slow down, my commitments are few and far between--I am unable to make plans because I don't know how I will feel when I wake up in the morning.  For the first time I am not in school, not working and with all this free time I have been forced to look in the mirror.  I have learned the hard way that as fiercely independent as I am, it is important to rely on others and ask for help at times................you can't do everything alone.

There is no eloquent way to be a cancer patient.  I am thankful for my sense of humor and the relationship I have with friends and family.  I am not an angry cancer patient, I am not bitter, and I don't think I am being punished.  But I will tell you what I think, I am raw and write what I experience--and it isn't always kittens and rainbows.  Your life is turned upside down.  Nothing I do is simple, including cancer and my treatment....I am in and out of the hospital, I get extreme side effects, random infections, etc....today I told my oncologist that I just "like to make things complicated" he giggled, probably because he agrees and wishes I would cut that shit out.........I wish I could, but my body now has a mind of its own...no one talked to me before I got cancer.

I was hoping that the wellness weekend would help get rid of the infection in my boob--kind of hold hands with the antibiotics, no such luck.  I am now on IV antibiotics everyday this week.  That means that I go into the oncologist and sit for 45 minutes while the antibiotics go into my port.  My port is accessed and will remain that way all week........so I have the tubing all taped up........I definitely got more looks than normal at dinner tonight...... So chemo gets pushed back to next Tuesday (if all goes well), not what I was hoping for but shit happens.  If I have learned anything it is that I have control of nothing when it comes to cancer...........free like a weed.

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