Happy Flu!

There’s a carpet-like pathway leading from me to the bathroom. It’s made of towels. There’s a big bowl waiting next to the toilet. I’m starting to feel good.

It’s hard to explain this, but, well, having this killer stomach flu allows me to feel strength in my body. I can feel my body attacking whatever it is that’s bothering it in my gut — and winning.

Stomach flu is better than even my best post-chemo session, despite all of the great anti-nausea drugs. Now that I’m looking back at all of this, I’m horrified at what my body has been through. My inner ear could hear every fiber in my body recoil from chemo. I could feel each cell gag on the toxins and hopelessly try to spit it all out.

My body would ooze chemo smells.

Now, I’m just sick!

I kid you not, as I was making my offerings to the porcelain God, I was giving THANKS for this experience. I took some pleasure in the effort of my body to heal itself. I would look at the clock and feel delight, knowing that in 12 hours, I would feel so much better.

OK, I am tired. But I’m at day ten past chemo — and I’m feeling that turn where my body starts getting stronger rather than weaker.

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Sober

I’ve just finished walking my last post-chemo week.

It’s been rather sobering.

The tips of my toes and the tips of three fingers on each hand have no feeling.

The nails on my fingers are separating from the skin underneath.

The rest of my eyebrows and eyelashes fell out.

My body is very tired. I can’t get up the energy to do my full swimming workout.

I feel like I’ve just finished a marathon, and I’ve discovered the finish line is out in the middle of a desert. Now I have to walk out of this desert.

Sigh.

And I’m walking by myself.

I don’t feel abandoned — I feel the presence of my friends and family. But this road I have to walk requires *me* to make keep taking one step after another…forever, really.

Taking care of my lymphedema.
Taking care of my diet.
Taking care of my weight.
Taking my hormone medications.
Taking the vitamin D and other supplements needed for the side effects from the hormone medications.

I know the landscape will change. But it feels like a desert right now, hot, uncomfortable, overwhelmingly large.

So I rebelled and overindulged in a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips.

Barfed it all up.

I honestly don’t think I’m feeling sorry for myself. I think I’m mourning. And I really want to try to allow myself time and space to mourn because I don’t want to end up in one of those post-treatment depressions other survivors and my oncologist warn me about.

I don’t even feel like sighing.

I feel like getting a massage, going to yoga, visiting a beautiful beach.