"It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes." Psalm 119:71

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back and Forth

I'm betting that if you talked to an oncology psychotherapist, I'm right on track with the other thousands of people living with dormant cancer. What are those phases of acceptance? Denial, anger, depression, etc, etc.

Is there a phase called schizophrenic or bi-polar? Cause that's me right now. Up and down, happy and sad, joyful and mad.

I pulled out my pink ribbon coffee mug a few days ago and I felt like it was a huge step for me. It was a good morning, I was embracing my "survivor status." Later that day I decided to venture into my On Demand videos of breast cancer (they are offering a lot of special tv shows on bc in honor of bc awareness month) and I'd eventually turned the tv off feeling depressed. I fumed and daydreamed of burning all of my cancer books in a huge bonfire.

The next morning I thought I'd conquer a left-over effect of chemo- I ordered a green tea smoothie. I used to order them all the time, until I got one the morning of a chemo treatment and from then on couldn't stomach the idea it.

So I walk into Smoothie King and the girl who sees me every morning says, "You want your usual?" And on impulse, I say, "No, give me a green tea smoothie, please!" This may sound like nothing to you, but small things like this are helpful for me. I felt empowered to order this drink I associated with chemotherapy. But three minutes later I was sick to my stomach as I walked to my car with the green drink. And I kept getting more and more nauseous.. and I never coul take even one sip of the smoothie.

Chemotherpay is still with me, even though it's been over a month since my last infusion. My hair is growing back. I look like a chia pet right now. But, my eyebrows are completely gone except for about nine little pathetic hairs on either side. It's weird that my eyebrows didn't fall out until the rest of my hair started growing back.

I still get tingly and numb feet at least once a day, too. Which is also a side effect that didn't really hit me until after chemo. But none of the physical ailments of chemo are as bad as the mental issues I'm still facing from Chemo-Coma or "Chemo brain."

Example: I've always been a fan of Iron Chef. Terry and I used to watch the Japanese version of the tv show in college. And I've seen the American version several times. Earlier this week I was surfing some of the shows On Demand and saw that they had all the episodes of The Next Iron Chef in which they put cooks to the test to see who will be the next competitive star of Iron Chef. I watched 6 episodes of The Next Iron Chef and was watching the finale when it suddenly occured to me that I was watching an old season. And that I had, in fact, seen the winner of Next Iron Chef compete on Iron Chef several times.

Did all that make sense? Simply put, I spent 6 hours of my life watching a competition when I already knew who the winner would be. I just couldn't remember it.

Those of you who are survivors of chemo--- how long does all of this last?

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