As for interesting, newsy things to tell you from the meantime, I’ve got very little. Chemo is – while hopefully nearing its end – getting more punishing as it pushes on; the cumulative effect of constant treatment since September last year finally taking its toll. That’s a contributor, I’m sure, to my increasing ability to spend most of my time asleep – though of course the old ‘black dog’ has more than its fair share to answer for on that front. The antidepressants are, I think, doing their bit: within a couple of weeks of taking them, I felt somehow more able to, y’know, deal – though it’s become clear to me that there are things the pills can’t fix, such as the mounting number of panic attacks I’ve been having – which lately have, rather charmingly, been resulting in a sudden, projectile vomit (the last of which were at 7.45 this morning, when my husband left for work, and then at 9.07, when I wrote this sentence).
Where those attacks are concerned, we’re back to that old problem of me not feeling comfortable when left on my own. I can’t begin to tell you how much this frustrates me, having always been the kind of person who’s more than happy in their own company; and I don’t know where along the line it became such a gigantic problem: when P had to go back to work part-time, perhaps, or maybe when I realised that the end of chemo isn’t going to magically mean a whole new freedom, given that The Bullshit has rather put paid to me being able to get out and about on my own anyway?
That, of course, is even if this next cycle of two chemos over the next two weeks will indeed be my last for a while… As it did back in February, that all rather depends on the results of an MRI and my latest bloods: if all goes to plan, I’ll have a treatment break until such a time as the cancer comes back (which it will, whether in three weeks or three months), and if all doesn’t go to plan… well, I guess we’ll see about that.
If you think those four paragraphs are the sum total of my worries, however, you’d be sorely mistaken; for everything I’ve whinged about on here in the last few months – what’s going to happen next?, how long have I got?, can I find a purpose in the meantime? – still remains… all at the same time as normal life is continuing, time is moving on, seasons are changing, children are being born, work is getting done, reality shows are multiplying, and the younger residents of Coronation Street are becoming ever more orange.
Amidst all this, then – and regardless of the answers to the questions above – I’ve still got to (because I still haven’t) find a way to live. Today I’ve tried getting up early instead of sleeping til whenever, adhering to the ‘write blog post, hang washing out, get hair done’ to-do list I drew up in my mind last night. Yes, being on my own means I’m pretty much confined to my flat (given that the bone disease means I can’t walk too far, and the brain disease means I’m no longer allowed to drive) but I’ve somehow got to find a way to make the days when there’s no option but to be on my own worthwhile. Otherwise, what’s the point in going through so bloody much to stay alive?
If you’re still with me by this point, you deserve a hefty pat on the back. See, I appreciate that you’ve been hearing this same sentiment, one way or another, for months… and yet I’ve still not cracked the fact of, quite simply, knowing how to live when you’re in a situation such as this.
I’m trying though, whenever I can. Please believe that I’m trying. I’ve booked a small European holiday with P and my folks. I’m making plans to re-do the bathroom and sort out the kitchen floor. I’ve started trying to do some work again – but only a small amount; only what I can reasonably manage – and it’s felt good to be doing something for a purpose. I spent last week in Derby getting a much-needed change of scenery and spending lovely, quality time with the family I miss so much. And over the Easter weekend P and I saw friends, went for dinner, hung out like a normal couple – and loved it. And who knows? Maybe if all the right results end up with me not having to go back for yet more chemo in three weeks’ time, life will look a bit more like this, because I’ll be feeling well enough – hopefully of both body and mind – to maintain it.
The time until that decision is made, however, is going to be inevitably grim. And I think I am – we are – as prepared as we can be for it. I’ve learned not to second-guess these kind of tests, and so instead I’m just hoping – praying, even (and I’m not even sure who to) – for a decent outcome. Because, by gawd, I’d like a break. I’d like people to worry about me less. I’d like to worry about myself less. I’d like – if only just for the summer – to blog about the nicer things I’ve been doing, and I’d like to spend less time juggling – and fretting about, and being panicked into vomiting about – my problems. And, given the circumstances, I don’t think that’s a lot to ask. I just want to make my days good.