A week in the life of this cancer patient

Monday’s are for blood work. We got the good news that I could continue with chemo this week because my white blood cell count was up enough. (I missed going to see MacBeth over the weekend because of a cold and trying to get these white blood cells to multiply – which I don’t have any control over.)

Miss M and I had a devastating conversation about ‘how will you know I love you if I don’t make these things for you’. (She was trying to make me a book in secret but I found out it was for me.)  This is so hard on her. Really. It gave me the idea for what I think could be a great children’s book but I keep having to explain to her that there is nothing she could do to make me love her more because I already love her so much and it doesn’t come with conditions. I appreciate the amount of artwork my children create for me but it isn’t a necessity for my affections. So of course I have to wonder if she thinks I should be making things for her to show her how much I love her? Does she not know? It’s heartbreaking the amount of things she worries about and me having cancer is really not helping right now. I bought her a Taylor Swift CD. (Maybe we should have laid off the Joy Division when she was a baby?) I hope that makes her feel more like a 7-year old and not an adult with the burdens of the world on her shoulders.

I had scheduled my cancer reading into my Passion Planner this week. I had originally bought the planner to plan out writing my novel (that sounds so cliche) but I have been avoiding it because I know what I really need to plan out is my cancer recovery. So I had booked whole sections of time off – since I spend a lot of it alone in my room – to really focus. Reading such-and-such book, here chapters 7 & 8 from 9-11 a.m. etc. This was supposed to start on Tuesday morning but instead I spent Tuesday morning at the walk-in clinic with a very sick soon-to-be 3-year-old. Mommying doesn’t stop just because mommy has cancer. (Or even a cold.)

Wednesday was chemo. I wore make-up. It’s been a big week for me. My day post-chemo is pretty much a wash as I am messed up on drugs and can barely carry on a conversation.

ChemoRound2Thursday was spent battling a chemo-induced heat rash so I managed to avoid anything previously scheduled and read The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness which is brilliant by the way – especially if you are familiar with Buffy and other teenage hero type stories. I could really use a friend right now who is three-quarters Jewish and one-quarter god who could heal all that ails me. It was time well-spent and I had been waiting for that book to come in from the library for months so I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

ChemoRashyFaceHowever, dermatologist somehow while I was resting and icing my burning face yesterday I managed to injure myself again (ribs, again)  and now I have only had 3 hours of sleep in the last 36+ hours. So I’m all hopped up on painkillers again and even that doesn’t seem to be allowing me to sleep. I think part of the problem is that I can never get my brain to turn off. There is so much conflicting information out there about what I should be doing to get better (or at least get well enough to not spend all day in bed) that I find it all overwhelming. This is all so overwhelming – even with the amazing support system that I have. My patience for myself is wearing thin – I seem to have it for other people but trying to be patient with myself and my body is hard.

I really need a nap.

  5 Replies to “A week in the life of this cancer patient”

  1. Jennifer
    January 22, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Taylor Swift! Made me scoff out loud! Glad I’m alone right now! We could loan you some kids bop…

    • January 25, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      We’ve got all the Kids Bop we could possibly need right now, thanks. 😉

  2. Stacy
    January 22, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Oh Melanie, my heart breaks for you as a parent.

    And I can only imagine how overwhelming all the information is. I’m sure it seems like one piece of great advice completely contradicts another piece of great advice. Do what makes the most sense to you and ignore (for the time being) everything else.

    Wishing that you get some sleep…

    Many “light” hugs coming your way.


  3. Lee-Anne
    January 27, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Been quietly following your blog since before it was this blog. Maybe first from Flickr when your eldest was a tiny baby. I’ve so loved the glimpses into your day, and love the humour you bring to parenting, and your reading. I’m an NCL fan too, not withstanding all the death and destruction and devastating plot twists. Wild Geese” was a required text in high school and it’s been one of my absolute favourites since then. I laughed out loud over your review of “The Clockmaker” OyVey! Sorry to hear about your health struggles. Wishing you all the best – good reading, good resting, good health and lots of love and support around you.

  4. February 4, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I’m new here, and this post is heartbreaking and brave in oh so many ways. Cheering for you, in every way.


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