On Mondays we talk about cancer: back on chemotherapy.

Foothills Hospital ugly tile bathroom selfie.

On Monday’s we talk about cancer. Which of course, is already a lie because it is Tuesday and I talk about cancer every day. I wish I could not talk about cancer but it is always there reminding me that my body is failing me right now. Of course there are many parts about living with cancer that I don’t talk about because they are too hard so no matter what I say/write it is never the full picture.

Anyway. I have been brainstorming – or as I like to call it, blogstorming , things I would like to write about thanks to Kerry Clare’s Blog School that launched yesterday and which she invited me to participate in. I thought Mondays would be a good day to talk about cancer and get it off my chest for the rest of the week leaving me open to write about other things. Like books. Or sustainable fashion. Or how much I love soup. Currently Friday is chemo day – so by Monday I am somewhat able to put a coherent sentence together. This past Friday was chemo #4 so I have two more treatments before a break and then three more after that. Hopefully that will be the end. Hopefully that will mean that my bones are trying to knit themselves back together and every moment of the day won’t be filled with pain and opioids.

For now my days are heavily on the pain and opioids side. I can’t walk without taking pain medication and even that “walking” is tricky at best. Around four months ago I was limping and uncomfortable but still out there doing things. Now I am relying heavily on my cane. Yesterday my mum and I went out and rented me a wheelchair. I’m of two minds about the wheelchair. On the one hand it will mean maybe I can go out more and not aggravate my hip. On the other hand it means my body is still deteriorating and I am even more reliant on other people to go out and do basic things. Each step away from independence seems to be a dagger in my children’s hearts (and my own). First they were worried about the cane. Now they are upset about the wheelchair. Last night after Moira went to bed she came into my room with tears and asked me if my getting a wheelchair means that I will have to be moved to a nursing home soon. I said no. Of course I said no. I also said I don’t really want to think about that. But what if I’m lying?

I did five sessions of radiation to my hips on my last break from chemo to encourage bone growth. This is what we are holding on to – that the chemo and radiation together will save me again. There is talk of hip surgery later if things don’t improve but I try not to think about that too. I can only think about things so much without spiraling into a depression. But that doesn’t mean I am incapable of holding on to hope and making plans for the future and dreaming dreams. I always hear about people who were calm and peaceful when “their time had come.” I’m so far from calm and peaceful I can only hope that means I am not near the end, right?

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