Saturday, April 23, 2011

Patience and patients

I am so tired of being treated for cancer.  I know I'm almost done with all of the hardest stuff, but I'm finding it hard to be patient with being a patient.  It's a lot like senior-itis.  You know, the condition of senior-level students near the end of the semester when they just stop caring because in they're head they're already graduated.  Yep, I'm fighting the cancer-itis.  I go to radiation with a weary yet impatient sort of attitude, I often forget to put soothing ointment on my skin, and I'm doing my physical therapy half as often as I should.  In my mind I've already crossed the cancer finish-line, when in actuality I still have at least 6 months to go (1.5 weeks of radiation, possible right mastectomy, herceptin through October).

What is UP with THAT?  I should be doing a better job of taking care of myself.

Part of the problem is that I have had a horrific cold this week.  The magnitude of the cold is certainly related to the cancer treatment.  I'm usually the person who neither misses work nor medicates for a cold.  This was soooo not true this time.  The cold knocked me down and stomped on my head.  I asked Dr. Radiation Oncologist if I was more susceptible to the cold because of the radiation, and he said yes, plus my white counts are still low from chemo, plus I have two little kids, plus I'm working.  I was sheepish then and promised to go get some rest.  Thank you, Ian, for enabling some epic sleeping for this mom-scientist this week.

Also, the sun has not made an appearance in...2 weeks?  I've lost track.  My mood is not usually affected by prolonged cloud-cover, but in light of my patient-related difficulties I think the lack of sunshine is contributing to my cancer-itis.  I've lost patience with the gloom.

But at last the tables have turned!  I am delighted to report that 1) I have the upper hand on the cold, 2) the sun is out today, and 3) the Easter bunny is ready to dazzle and delight some special ladies this weekend!  I think I'll pack up my impatience, slip it in the Easter bunny's basket, and watch it hop away.  I have no use for it.  

Last night I had a dream that Azalea was wearing a light blue dress as she left the house, headed to prom.  Eleanor and I were standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the doorway, beaming at the grown princess, our heads touching.  Both girls, incidentally, were taller than me, which is to say Quite tall.  Despite the obvious connection between this vision and the home movie in my previous post, I say huzzah for visions of myself living for another 15 years.  Hopefully this vision will help remind me of the importance of staying focused throughout the remainder of my treatment regardless of the cancer-itis.  


  1. How wonderful to have that vision! No surprise that the ladies are taller! Keep in mind those fifteen years will happen in a blink of an eye! I love you!

  2. This post made me miss your company. Terribly. I loved the video of the girls and the images your dream imparts.

    Enjoy your Easter Celebrations!

  3. So glad you're rockin some heavy duty rest - it's the only cure for colds. I froze my arse off working outside, but progress is being made . . . . enjoyed the help from the girls this morning. Oh, and your vision - was I anywhere taking pictures or something ?? - hope so :-)

  4. I love the vision, Heather. It is magnificent. I also loved the video. I wasn't sure though if Cinderella was leaving the ball at midnight or if she had to go to the bathroom! Hard to tell in fairy tales. Have a great bunny day. Love, the Aunt...

  5. Heather,
    I've had the exact same thought. I'm glad you were able to express it. Sometimes when people ask me how i'm doing, i'll just shorten my response with "I'm just tired". (Which is quite out of character for myself, and i'm guessing for you, as well.) I can also relate to, and appreciate your decision for turn around by the end of your post.
    I'll be tagging along with you on this very long, arduous, and beyond technical trail. Emily H

  6. You could always split a bunch of wood and then the radiation won't be so bad :)