Monday, August 3, 2009

Body Backlash

It's been a rough few days on my bod. The port has been much sorer than I expected it to be and I've been popping Ibuprofen like candy. It's very tender and the skin is very stretched, especially at night when I'm not conscious of my body movements and writhe the wrong way in my sleep. Let's just say I've been waking myself up a lot, frantic that I yanked the sucker right out of my skin in an unconscious stupor. I know this is an unrealistic thought. The doctor told me that unless I am pitching fast balls for the major leagues there is no way that thing is coming out. But the doctor doesn't know how vivid my imagination is ... . As a result of not really sleeping through the night I've been extra tired since last Wednesday's chemo treatment. It's hard to know what's a result of my body recovering from the port insertion and what's a result of the chemo slam in general. 

I slept, a lot, this weekend and couldn't quite shake the fatigue. We got out Saturday night and ran lots of errands Sunday, which was good, but each time we got home I was rocked -- to the couch, to the bed, to the couch was how I rolled. Today is much improved on the fatigue front, but the body aches are back in full swing. It feels like that familiar flogging of my first chemo experience. All of my joints are incredibly swollen and stiff and my muscles are knotted into pretzels. I feel like the Tin Man when they found him rusted in a metal heap on the side of the Yellow Brick Road. So what's a girl to do but find an oil can?

For me, the rejuvenating oil is lots of water, lots of good food and moving as much as possible. In between work projects I am sure to get up and stretch. I graze on something nutritious every couple of hours. I'm truly surprised that I do not way 500 pounds because I literally eat all the time. I'm always so hungry and so drained that the food fuel is the only thing that helps. Luckily, I just keep burning it off in the death match that is my cancer fight. 

Tonight Craig and I took Sammy for a long walk to the Farmington River so she could go for a swim. We covered almost two miles and besides the infestation of swarming mosquitos it felt great. Now I know I'm starting to climb back out of the chemo trenches. I'm starting to get used to my new lady lump. I don't shudder when I look in the mirror at my bulging bionic chest anymore. I don't know that I'll ever get used to it--in fact, I don't want to. This is only temporary, as is all of this. The superglue that's holding the incision together will be there for another two weeks so it will be a while before it's the "thin white line" that the scars will supposedly be. I have started having some fun with it though. When I wanted out of Lowe's and the uncomfortable situation we were stuck in with a hopeless retail clerk who had no idea what she was talking about I whispered to Craig: "Abort. Abort" as I tapped my lump and whispered into its "speaker" like a secret agent. I also ordered a tank top online that says: "Go ahead, poke my port." This makes me laugh very hard and I cannot wait for it to arrive. 

As far as my emotional side goes, it's just as weak as the physical side. I'm trying my very, very hardest to be positive, but sometimes I just can't fight the bitterness and anger that boils within me and I don't like those feelings - they are very foreign to me. Others have told me that this can be the most difficult point. There's so much behind me yet so much more still to go. I do get very tired of it all. Tired of living with cancer's ramifications. Tired of talking about cancer. Tired of people's sympathetic looks or watching them struggle for the "right" words to say. Tired of reaching my limitations much sooner than I would want to. I'm tired of being bald. I'm tired of my anal fissures. I'm tired of my achey hips. I'm tired of worrying about dying. I'm tired of seeing healthy people and getting angry at them. I'm tired of crying for no reason. I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself. Sometimes I'm just plain tired of being strong. Over the first three months Hodgkin's was almost a novelty of sorts. It was: okay, I can do this. I will beat this. Bring it on. Hear me roar. Now it's been brought on and on again and on again and on again ... . The novelty has worn off. 

Don't get me wrong - I still know I will beat this. I've still got a fire under my ass to fight it, it's just that I'm ready for it to be over. How many times can I get knocked down and keep getting back up? I try not to consider the answer. 

1 comment:

  1. Karin ... please post a picture of the t-shirt you ordered. That is pretty funny.