I haven't been up to writing much lately for a lot of reasons. First, I'm always tired and the thought of walking all the way downstairs to sit on a computer chair and hold my head up while I type is exhausting. So my thoughtful husband solved that problem by getting me a laptop to use for the next few weeks. Now I can stay in bed and get some ideas down. Second, it's been really hard adjusting to this "new life". I've been sad, really sad and feeling completely overwhelmed and feeling like quitting. For a few days, I completely shut out the world and everyone in it. I stayed in bed for close to 48 hours wishing my life away. My girls would come into my room every few hours to give me an update. Darryl would check in and ask if I needed anything. Then they let me be. Maybe they knew I had to work through the muck....it's like grieving. I am grieving. I'm missing my old life. I'm missing feeling good. I miss being able to accomplish something each day. I'm already tired of going to the hospital everyday. I'm tired of being paranoid of side effects from treatments, I miss looking healthy. And in a lot of ways I'm saying good bye to the old me. I will never be Melanie - I will always be Melanie/cancer survivor. There will be a new piece of me that will worry and wonder if I have cancer in my body in a very real and harsh way. But after several days of grieving, I knew I had to change my focus because being down low for too long was sucking the joy, hope and love right out of me. And my family needs me to be filled with these right now. So I went on the Internet and started searching for hope. (Maybe not the best place to search, but I had my phone beside me in bed and it was handy). I came across a blog that took my breath away (Dealing with my Diagnosis, by Stephanie): it is by a young woman dealing with cervical cancer and the post I came across was called, "The Question of Depression". I read it and could relate to every single word she said. The part that really hit me was she talked about letting emotions from our circumstances control our reactions, responses, and direction. Most importantly these emotions hinder us from feeling, hearing and experiencing God's hope, peace and promises. She ended her post with the challenge: "Let's stand above our emotions, and let His promises, His goodness, and His power reign". It was as if my little phone screen was yelling: "Get out of bed and fight this fight! You've got a lot to fight for!" So I did. First, I got out my Bible and read 1 Peter 4:8-11 "Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You're not the only one plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ - eternal and glorious plans they are! - will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word, yes He does!" Second, I called my mom. I admitted that I wasn't doing well (which is hard for me to do!). She came the next day and has been staying with us since. Having mom here has helped me feel so much better. Lastly, I started reading and responding to e-mails and texts. I made the decision to welcome people back into my life because it's the people around me that are helping me cope. It's hard for me to let people see me tired and sick and somewhat helpless - this is not who I really am - but it's who I am for now. A very wise friend told me, "No one is judging you on how you are coping - they just want to help you." She's right.
So I started my second round of treatments on Tuesday with a much better outlook. And I have been feeling a lot better then last week so far. My new meds seem to be helping keep my nausea at a minimum so far. The next 2 days will indicate their true effectiveness, I was most sick on Friday and Saturday last week. But already this week, I have been able to eat full meals and lots of snacks each day. In fact, I may have gained some weight this week!! Yeah! I'm done day 8 and have 20 left. Going to the hospital is becoming "normal" for me, which is good. And this week has gone a lot faster then last week. Next week is a short week for me because of Christmas, so everything feels so much more manageable and conquerable then it did last week.
One struggle for me right now is getting enough sleep. I'm exhausted all the time, but often can't fall asleep. My body is tired, but my mind cannot turn off. It's so frustrating. The doctors have said it's the medication I was on. So the last 2 nights I've slept a little bit better (5-6 hours), and I'm hoping as I use my new meds this will continue to improve. I really need sleep right now.
Darryl's surgery has been confirmed for Jan. 2 so far. It feels like a good date right now. I will only have 1 more chemo treatment left. The girls will be settled at home without the worry of school. We'll have family around helping take care of us. So we're hopeful it will happen that day.
I have lots more to write, but I also need to rest. So until another day....