I am exactly the wrong person to have cancer.
Since I've been diagnosed with cancer, I've been specifically told to
take it easy, especially after my surgeries. I've tried. Instead of my usual
routine, I've crocheted four hundred and fifty-seven hats, give or
take. I've read more books than Amazon allows on a single
Kindle, if their emails to me have been any indication. I've seen entire movies without once getting up to check on laundry or put things away. I've tried this lazy thing, and it just is
not working out. I need a reason to get up in the morning and get dressed.
I'm not someone who does well with lots of downtime. I intensely dislike feeling bored. Oh, I do just fine
for a couple of days, lazing about, catching up on my sleep. But then
I'll start contemplating my nemesis, the laundry, for instance. I'll start worrying about whether that huge pile of dirty clothes is plotting to smother me in my
sleep. I'll consider how I might skirt the letter of my doctor's
"nothing heavier than five pounds" rule, just so I can get a couple of
loads into the machine. Anything to be doing something. I think part of the reason I've been frustrated about my diagnosis is that I've had to wait and do nothing for so much of the past four months.
I suck at this invalid thing. I know that some
people love having lots of time off to sleep and relax and eat bonbons
their Netflix. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. My surgeon
calls me "self-sufficient". I like to think he was giving me a
compliment, but maybe not. He seemed shocked when I got out of
mastectomy surgery and asked
about returning to work. I was supposed to be out four to six weeks; I
made it to two before I was begging my doctor to let me return to work.
I just couldn't hack it. It's not that I had to go back to work to
work on reports and attend meetings; my coworkers have been great at
helping me. I just needed something to do.
They tell me that chemo is going to make me want to sit around and not do much of anything except sleep and not throw up. The nausea hasn't been bad so far, but the sleeping thing? Yeah, that's definitely been a problem. They tell me that my brain will be foggy, and I won't remember things, and I may not be able to think very clearly. If that does happen, it may be that yes, I will need to actually slow down and take it easy. At that point, maybe I will be okay with sitting still and not trying to do things around the house. Maybe I'll be able to stay home from work without thinking about all of the things that I need to do.
Maybe the laundry will win on some days.
I'm not a hero just because I have cancer, but I am a fighter. I want to get back to my life. I feel as though I am missing things, that events are passing me by. There are lessons here that I need to learn during this time, however, and I need to focus on that. I need to listen to my body, for example, and try to help it heal as it needs to. My brain may grow foggy now, but one day the fog will clear and I'll be cancer free.