Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Life in Slow Motion

It has been a week since I blogged, and I have had good intentions (a lot of them) but lethargy or something has set in. I move slowly, accomplish little and the day goes by. I have been having radiation since the beginning of November (the day after my biopsy surgery last week) and that has gone pretty well. It is at the same time every day (2:45 PM) and is a smooth process, managed well by the radiation oncology folks. What a difference in that clinic! They should train others at Duke on the art of making eye contact with people, little things like that. It doesn't hurt, so far I don't seem to be having much in the way of side effects (likely to be, yep, you guessed it, nausea and fatigue). How will I be able to tell the new fatigue from the old? Who knows?

I am supposed to have 15 sessions (three weeks), but the holidays might cut out a day or two, unless, as they are planning, they do some on the weekend before Thanksgiving. Personally, I would be happy to be done right before. I get on a plane to Chicago to visit my brother and his family on the 21st, the Wednesday before. I am likely to be pretty fatigued, but otherwise, should be fine if the visit is kid centric and gently paced. I can sit and watch them play.

But back to the slo mo thing. Is it lethargy? Depression? Sadness? All of the above? I do know I still must (and by must I mean it is not really negotiable) have at least one nap a day to survive life as I know it these days. I am experimenting, sometimes I come back after dropping her off and go to sleep for another 90 minutes. That seems to help. I don't sleep well these nights, getting up due to all sorts of things (cats, having to pee frequently due to pressure on my bladder from the tumor, Sofie waking and needing me to find her missing blankie, you name it). And sometimes when I wake up, the pain is back so another pill, and then the wait of 20-30 minutes while it kicks in. Last night it was 1:51 when Sofie came into my room to "snuggle" and then an hour later before I was back to sleep, due to pain and general discomfort. I certainly hope the radiation does help the pain, that will be a great plus.

I have considered sleep aids, but they all say something like "allow seven to eight hours for sleep". As if!!! Who's life is that anyway? Not mine. I would have to sequester the cats and the kid and overdose on the pain pills to get 7 hours of continuous sleep. Oh, yeah, and not drink much.

Speaking of not much, my appetite has just about disappeared. Eating holds no interest for me anymore. This is in a way, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream: to not care about food. But I am now dropping a pound to 1.5 pounds a week and the doctors are not happy. They gave me samples of Boost and Carnation Instant Breakfast the other day. And Ensure. How did this happen to me? I have struggled my whole life with overweight and now, not eating is frowned upon. I get hungry sometimes, I eat four crackers and that covers it. But last night, one piece of pizza caused so much abdominal pain it wasn't worth it. So what am I to do? Drink the Ensure goo, I guess. I have a bunch of samples to try before investing in a particular flavor.

Life in Slo Mo means projects take days, not hours. This is very frustrating, but I am learning that this is also my life. People are stepping forward to help, will write about the past weekend in a separate post. I know and feel loved and cared for. But sometimes, this whole process is lonely. Or something like that.

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