I'm receiving my fourth Taxol treatment today, which is my eighth total chemotherapy treatment. That means I've reached the halfway point, and I have only 8 more treatments left.
It's funny how time seems to simultaneously fly by, yet stand still, as I've gone through this process. My week centers around Thursdays, when I have my treatments. Thursdays seem to come quickly, but the rest of the days of the week are a haze of fatigue, chemo brain, and lately, diminished sight. I'm not going blind, but I've noticed that my eyesight is a bit off, making it difficult to read things; not that I've been doing much reading - chemo brain has affected my concentration to the point where I can't read more than a few words at a time without going back over them. Writing these blog entries has become an hours-long commitment to going back and correcting my grammar and typos after compulsively re-reading my words to ensure that what I'm writing makes sense. You're not getting my best work to be sure, but at least I can articulate my points without sounding like "Mama June" Shannon as she attempts to deny that she's dating a registered sex offender who once molested one of her daughters. Talk about a case of chemo brain...
The realization that the remaining number of treatments is down to the single digits has lifted my spirits. There is a clear end in sight to this, and that is a positive. My mood, however, has been pretty low of late. I detest not being able to work, and hate the fact that I have very real physical and mental limitations. True, they could be much worse, but they still take their toll on my psyche. My biggest fear is that I will remain in a fog of befuddlement, unable to string together the words necessary to form coherent sentences. I have images of days spent prone in a recliner, watching hours of bad reality television and home shopping channels. I know that won't be the case, but when you can't remember your phone number, or whether or not you've flushed the toilet, it can be pretty unnerving.
I'm going to keep it short today, mainly because I'm not feeling up to writing more. I leave you with this thought: Despite all the side effects and various other things I bitch about, there are cancer patients who have it much worse than I do. I feel for those people, and wish that their journeys could be easier. I show up at the chemo ward every week with my laptop and my lunch, like I'll be spending a few hours in my local Starbucks posing as a tortured writer. The truth is, I schlep my laptop and my lunch because it makes me feel "normal". We could all use a little more normal, whatever that might be for each of us. Sitting around while poison drips into your body is definitely not fun. Anything we can do to distract ourselves from that is time well spent.