Necessary pain

I’m in bed, where I reckon I’ll be spending much of the next 6-8 weeks. I’m better than I was, but I’m not in a good way.

I wrote the other day how the chemo had knocked me around. I saw my oncologist yesterday, and she revealed it was the most intense of chemo programs they have and the most effective.

The worst effects of it have diminished some since Saturday, though not gone away. I’m still nauseous, but not so much. Some taste has returned. Common symptoms of chemo are either diarrhoea or constipation – I have the latter. And I’m dreadfully fatigued.

Overall, I’m feeling better than Saturday, but not by much. I’d be better but for the radiotherapy, which has blown up the whole right of my face as much as when I came out of surgery. I’m puffy and numb, and I have little control of voice or eating. I feel lopsided, like a Picasso painting.

If anything, this will get worse even as I recover from chemo. I had one session this morning and another this afternoon to make up for the public holiday on Friday.

I’m left with little energy or desire. Even sitting up to watch TV tires me. Doing this tires me no end. I lay in bed propped up, half the time just lying there. I fade quickly, too if I talk too much, but I find myself craving company.

What do they say? Misery craves company? I don’t need or want someone to talk to necessarily, just the sense of human company. Someone in the house doing their thing while I wallow in my bedroom. I don’t feel unsafe, as I did occasionally in the weeks past, but I feel an increasing need for support with the little things. I manage, but it’s becoming increasingly more difficult, and things are falling by the wayside.

I have a friend who is preparing a fundraiser for me. It’s necessary because I’ve had no income since the start of August, and the insurance doesn’t cut in until November – hopefully. I have rent in the meantime, as well as the other usual expenses.

I suppose it sounds rather bleak. It probably is. My attitude is that there’s a finish line, and I just need to put my head down and keep ploughing forward. This is the necessary pain.

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