I’ve been wandering around (or lying down, or sitting down, or leaning against a wall) wondering why I feel this malaise that I don’t remember from the start of chemo last year. I’m noticing the movement of my body feels sludgy, there’s a lack of articulation. It wasn’t like this last time, I think, I don’t remember it being like this.
Because it wasn’t. Less than 24 hours after the first cycle of the second round (February 2011, for those of you playing along at home) I was in the hospital having tubes inserted wherever they could be inserted as I was rushed in to an emergency surgery. I don’t remember feeling like this last year because I felt so much worse. This? This malaise is tiresome (to both mind and body) but it’s tolerable.
I’ve been taking Salome — a/k/a Sal, a/k/a Sally-mae, a/k/a Skull, a/k/a Skullamina, a/k/a (most often) Dog, (most often) said in an affectionate tone — for long walks through High Park. Her 13-year-old joints give me an excuse to set the pace to meandering. Getting out for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening lets me shrug off the fact that I’ve not stayed awake past 11 p.m. since Wednesday and that I sleep until 8:30 or 9:30 a.m. and slip in an hour nap somewhere in the early afternoon. My dreams have changed since I started sleeping so much, though I won’t get into that. No one really wants to hear about dreams.
The fatigue will lift in a few days, so long as I keep feeding it with sleep and exercise and food. My neighbours — upstairs (who are also my landlords), on each side, and around the corner — have set up a schedule wherein they bring me dinner every night. It was strange and mildly uncomfortable to accept the offer — independence is, shall we say, difficult for me to give up — but I am glad I did. The delivered dinner also extends to the occasional breakfast or lunch. And snacks. I appreciate not having to think about food.
Colleen said the other day, I would be so much better at having cancer the second time around. I told her she would be. And by the third time, you’re practically professional. You settle into the rhythm. You feel less buffeted.