Tomorrow marks my third chemo of six. This means that if all goes well and there are no more delays, I’ll be finished in nine weeks. A person can handle anything for nine weeks.
But the third chemo is also the one that might knock my blood counts into the perilous zone. I’m just hovering around the acceptable level as it is, and that after both a delay and a decreased dose. I’m spending a lot of time sequestered in my room, washing my hands, and obsessing over how many times I touch my face. It’s one of those things you don’t really notice until you aren’t supposed to do it and then it seems you do it all the time, and maybe you do it even more than you did before because you know you aren’t supposed to touch your face so of course your brain tells you that you must touch your face, and that wasn’t good enough, you better touch it again.
I tried to grocery shop this morning and it took me almost two hours to buy cottage cheese, bread, tomatoes, and watermelon. I wandered the aisles trying to figure out what I might want to eat — I’m already off bananas and don’t trust eggs — but nothing appealed. Anticipatory loss of appetite. I think I’ll just continue to live off croissants, apples, and goat cheese as I’ve been doing for the past two months. I wish there was a knish supplier by my house. That would be a delicious carbohydrate to add to my diet of carbohydrates. (Fact: patients undergoing chemotherapy are supposed to increase their protein intake significantly during treatment. Fact: I’ve almost entirely stopped eating foods that provide a significant amount of protein. The cottage cheese is my half-hearted attempt to remedy that.)
Nine more weeks. That’s 63 days. That’s barely any time at all.