The burden of a cold on a chemo girl
One day last week I started the day just fine, but then I felt a cold coming on. My spidey-senses were all tingling: I could feel it in my chest, head, face, nose, eyes–it just felt like it was going to be a doozie.
I leaned heavily on the cart as I went to the grocery store in what felt like a last stand: I got chicken noodle soup, apple sauce, crackers, and tea. I did not even get the rest of the things on the grocery list, I just got my sick-y supplies and left… that’s how bad I was feeling.
I crawled into bed and have been keeping only-the-barest-of-essentials afloat since then. Greta’s birthday happened so I — of course — rallied for all of that awesomeness. Brad and the girls also gave me a splendid Mother’s Day. I think my favorite moment from this year’s Mother’s Day was our homemade pancake breakfast. They came to take my order, and I was prepared for blueberry, chocolate chip, plain, etc. However, the interactive hand-written menu they created wanted me to choose my pancake shape; I had about a dozen choices! All three really went out of their way to make me feel loved and special all day.
Aside from these super-moments, I have been quiet. I resorted to getting a box to put on my desk so that the leaning pile of “Jen’s stuff to deal with” does not spew off onto the floor. That box is now full and I am on the fence today about whether to get another box or whether to devote energy to finding out what happened last week via the box’s contents. I’ve waved at friends across the yonder instead of going to talk because I just can’t. I’ve cancelled stuff. Next-to-no-one is hearing from me. Even my inner-circle people are hearing only echoes coming from my direction; sorry folks! And yesterday I had twenty texts pop through at the same time; I have no idea what that is about or if I have been missing messages.
So, here I am nine days after my cold started, and I am still not back to normal. On the bright side once this cold is over, “chemo normal” is going to feel pretty good. Perspective, right?
I had a mini-meltdown somewhere in the middle. The house was a wreck, I am so out of shape, I found Greta’s undone homework from March in her bedroom, Maren asked me for the seventeenth time to sign her up for that thing I keep forgetting to sign her up for, and the list of things that I want to do and need to do can feel like it is crushing me. And that’s just the stuff: the bigger weight is that there are so many of my people whom I feel I am not loving well these days and I am operating at such a minimal capacity I feel I may be hurting feelings on the other side. I feel so very small and — even when I have thoughts about/for someone, I can’t get the traction to share it energy-wise. Small is a good way to describe how I’m feeling. It’s not a great feeling.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m still the same Do Today Well girl. My game is the same and I have a strong sense of grace and trust in the process. But when I look outside my own head to what I’m engaged in outside of myself, it’s all very small.
I’ve tried hard to operate such that Maren and Greta haven’t been significantly impacted by my lower-than-normal participation, but they are probably the only ones. Brad has helped me rally for the moments that matter and has — as usual — taken on a disproportionate balance of our “stuff” to enable me. He’s awesome.
I typed this during Greta’s gymnastics class today, and I also managed to watch her first vault. I call that a win. I’m going to publish it now, before I even read it over because I want
the world my people you to know I’m not ignoring you. If you messaged me and you hoped to hear back, please try me again — it’s not you, it’s me. This is — as much as anything — a quick update just to let you know where I am and what I’m up to…