Here's the truth: Chemo sucks. More than you can guess. It hurts physically. Every time I eat anything it hurts my stomach, but then it hurts if I don't eat. I've lost probably 30% of my hair, if not more. Balls and clumps of hair fall out. It's gross. I can't really go outside because of the cold-enduced neuropathy, so we're stuck in our NYC apartment with the heat up.
The emotional pain is even worse. My mom and a friend visited and it was all I could do to lay out on the couch and have a conversation. I worry a lot that I'm letting everyone down by not being more active or more energetic. I worry that I'm going to suffer through all this and not be able to beat cancer. I worry that everyone's going to remember me as a lump on the couch. Well here's what I do on those days: take a lot of meds and naps, send self-indulgent pouty text messages to my sister and other unsuspecting folks and wait for the phone calls to come in of friends wanting to pick me up.
And I lean on Eric. I lean a lot. He did all the cooking this weekend. (Beef burgundy, risotto twice and meatballs tonight! All yummy. If "cheese please" wasn't an already taken , I'd recommend he start his own cooking blog) Because of the side effects, I can't really do the dishes either so Eric does those. Then I cry, and he comforts me. Gives me early fabulous Christmas presents and hugs. He tells me he's going to love me bald. Eric tells me I'm going to get through it. He makes me laugh and lifts me off the metaphorical ledge. (Eric did call me a jumper this weekend).
I had a realization today looking at my engagement ring. Warning: not a deep thought. This may be ramen noodle shallow (sorry inside joke). Coal has to go through a lot to become a diamond. There's a lot of pressure and time - There's a Shawshank Redemption quote in here somewhere....I think overall, someone's just making me into a big, better diamond. All the pain and suffering, all the chemo and fatigue, all the days spent in pain feeling even more pathetic than I look, missed opportunities to hang out with my friends. It's all to make me a better, stronger version of myself. I just wish I'd hurry up and get there already.
I will say though, a lot of people say that they couldn't do what I have to do. They don't think they're strong enough or brave enough. All I do is smile and say thank you. In reality, you never know how strong you are until you have to be. I don't think I'm tougher than anyone else. It's just my turn to prove to myself that I'm a diamond. I hope all my readers never have a day that they have to prove it to themselves. Life would be a lot easier. If you are ever a jumper though, give me a text. I'd like a chance to repay the favor.