Friday, October 24, 2008

On the Journey, II

My sleep has gotten more regular, thank you Jebus!

Really having ups and downs though--feeling a hundred different things. Sometimes I feel so needy, and I hate that, but part of me says, "Hey you have cancer, you have a right to be needy," and another part of me says, "No, I can't give in to the weakness and wimpiness..." and then yet another part of me just gets tired of my life being about cancer, but then I think I need to know something else, or I have tests scheduled...etc.

So at the moment (8:20 pm on October 24, 2008), I'm trying to strike a balance between sucking it up and pushing it down on the one hand and on the other hand, knowing my limits, knowing what I need and asking for help. Tough times. I'm the sort who doesn't like to ask for help, who thinks I shouldn't need help, that it's a sign of failure or weakness--I don't want to look needy, above all. I know--of all times, this is when I should ask for help, and it's not because I've failed or because I'm weak. It's simply how life is right now--I have cancer, I'm going to have chemotherapy and be fatigued and have mouth sores and probably lose my hair and need help with stuff (from getting groceries to cleaning the house to running Board meetings to preaching). But as Strong Heart keeps reminding me, this isn't forever, it's a sabbatical, it's a time out to kick cancer's butt the hell out of my life, and then get back to pastoring the way I want to. I know life will be different after treatment--I don't know how, exactly, but it will--but there will be life after treatment. This is temporary, and I want to find the juice in it, like any other experience. There is good in this--I've seen some of it already, and I need to remind myself of that sometimes.

I've felt frustrated recently that Strong Heart and I always seem to be doing thing around the church or my cancer. So Monday (we both have a day off) we're declaring a cancer-free zone (in spite of a mammogram I have in the morning--that's the only cancer thing that will happen or be spoken of that day). Shopping, a movie, lunch...but no cancer. Just she and I and our relationship and a day off.

Today was a clinic day. I had an EKG and then a MUGA scan--a heart test in which radioactive material was injected into my vein, then my heart was scanned to test for function, to see how well it's working. It's meant as a baseline, because some of the chemo drugs are hard on the heart. I also had a "chemo class," in which I learned a lot more about possible side effects and how to deal with them, as well as nutrition and diet while on chemo--which I found very helpful. Monday is mammogram (baseline for the clinical trial), then on Thursday the port placement. The week after. Monday I see the oncologist again and Wednesday (the 5th) is my first chemo.

Wonderful Social Worker thinks she's located a spiritual director for me. I'm supposed to speak with her (the SD) next week. We'll see--I hope so!

I'll keep you posted...

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