Limping home

Since Thursday, I’ve been asleep more than I’ve been awake. This is not an exaggeration. It is, perhaps, a generous definition of what it is to sleep, but if we’re looking at a spectrum between sleep and wakefulness, I’ve been hovering on the sleep end of things.

I wake sometimes to be reminded of how tired I am. Honestly. I will lie in bed and think about all the things I am too tired to do — I think about cancelling plans four weeks in the future because of how tired I am at the moment when I wake up. Sometimes I am so tired I can’t sleep; it’s like my body is humming with a current of electricity that fails to energize.

There is something extremely counterintuitive to treating cancer (or at least treating my cancer). I started out a year ago feeling healthy and strong, and now I am weakened, a little bit broken, and spent. And this — this feeling of being spent — is the indication that I’m on my way back to the land of the healthy.

It’s strange, too, that the reality of being unwell only sinks in as this state comes to a close. It’s only now that I’m nearing the end of treatment that I feel the physical manifestations of illness. It is, to put none too fine a point on it, a bit of a mindfuck. Part of me wants to celebrate the end of this marathon, but I feel so physically beaten down I don’t know if my brain will accept that the race is done.

It’s funny how patterns play out, though. When I finished treatment for the first time, I went back to BC almost immediately following the completion of chemo. And here I am, eight years later, with plans to go back to BC almost as soon as treatment is done. Maybe the trip will jog some memory and my head will accept that, despite what my body feels, this part is finally over.

(18 days)


About Alicia Louise

I'm a writer, editor, fact checker, storyteller, events organizer, chronically busy yet endlessly lazy, mildly neurotic (though I keep the neuroses well-hidden, one hopes) 32-year-old with recurrent ovarian cancer. I like people and good writing and straight talk. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people, including myself, but the people that I love, I love passionately; one may even say creepily. I try to keep that mostly to myself. I'd like to be charming, but I'm usually just a mess. I'm like a gull slamming into your windshield.
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4 Responses to Limping home

  1. Linda says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I have been so fatigued at times that I cannot even look at a computer monitor, so I really appreciate the effort it takes to blog. I hope you get real rest and some measure of energy soon.

  2. Alicia says:

    Thank you, Linda.

  3. Samara says:

    You’re coming to BC and this time I’ll be here to do anything you need me to do. If that doesn’t work, three crazy wonderful toddlers will distract you from some of it!

  4. Kara says:

    Hi Alicia,

    I’m glad to read that you are approaching the end of your chemotherapy treatments. For some reason, I’ve only found your blog now and I went back through your archive and read your first post. I was shocked that a) you are battling cancer and b) you’ve had cancer before. I’ve always enjoyed your writing, and I will be reading all your posts between your first post and this post.


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