The fact that I blogged about cheese yesterday is hysterical. Since around 8pm last night, I have been MISERABLE.
Cheese…? Those were the days.
Worst aspects: leg pain. Constant and debilitating. At times I can barely walk from the bed to the bathroom without feeling like my trunks are going to buckle. The sensation is best described as what shingles feels like (get vaccinated for shingles please; I’ve had it and it sucks).
Picture a newborn flamingo trying to navigate a rocky beach. So cute, but so pathetic.
Along with leg pain comes restless leg syndrome. It’s like my legs have Tourette’s syndrome. They cannot be controlled with my logical brain.
Nausea: pretty basic side effect. I’m switching off anti-nausea meds every 5 hours.
Taste/appetite: gone. Here is what I’ve eaten today: small cup of Rice Krispies, handful of fruit, small cup of yogurt, handful of Wheat Thins, small cup of applesauce. All of it tasted lame.
I want to sugar coat this for you all, especially women with breast cancer who will follow me, but I can’t. This is rough. Like, the worst flu you’ve ever had.
It feels claustrophobic to know that the poison is in my system and there is nothing I can do to rid myself of it. I feel like a genie in a bottle, except instead of plush decor and Barbara Eden, what’s inside is a gang of scrappy murder cells in a West Side Story back alley.
I want this to be over so badly. I want my facilities back.
People keep asking me, ‘Now that you have cancer, what kinds of things would you like, in terms of support/presents/food?’
I could give you a long, detailed list but what it breaks down to is simple. I want your compassion.
The food and the play dates for our kids are stunningly important, but what hits me deeper, is sentiment. Listen to me. Ask questions about my disease and how it affects me. Allow me to answer you.
The next time someone I know is diagnosed, what I want to offer to them immediately is my attention. They need to know who will be a stable part of the safety net.
Some of the most powerful connections that I have made since diagnosis are messages from people I barely even know. They have some deep resonance to me. They express themselves generously, and in a way that is so genuine that it almost knocks me over.
Thank you to all of you who have reached out to me in meaningful ways. Those connections help me so much on days like today, when I wonder if I can do this again. For another month, day, minute…