This has probably been the worst week so far! It is now Wednesday afternoon and the first time I have really emerged from my cocoon since Monday. I haven’t even showered since Sunday. I started a new round of high dose chemo last Wednesday evening and continued through Sunday evening – 5 consecutive days and it felt like the strength of the poison was killing me as much as the cancer – maybe more so. I have had no motivation, no energy, little appetite, have been queasy…. I stayed at home (on Fire Island) and am still just sitting on the sofa after mostly being in bed, in spite of a beautiful beach being a mere 5 minute walk away and with the weather being absolutely perfect… But my body and mind just could not rally beyond the house. I had visitors on Monday (Eduardo and Marc), Tuesday (Cyrus who did a Reiki session and Eric) and today (Alex and Matt from Australia and Peter from NY). Eric, Matt and Alex were all UNAIDS colleagues/friends.
Last week, Andrea and Seth come for an overnight visit from Rome and that gave me a real boost of energy. It was the day after they left that the chemo effects hit hard.
I either slept or chatted briefly on the phone to Antonio who is in Las Vegas for work, my Dad and Katia. Rob came by to water the garden. Don was here being an amazing friend and support by doing gardening, gave me a massage, used Himalayan bowls to balance my energy field, helped me on and off the beach before the chemo really hit, cleaned the kitchen… He was simply amazing!
So I had all of the support I could have hoped for. Thanks to all of you who helped or who offered to do so.
Yesterday, I had a long conversation with Sandra who has been undergoing her own cancer treatment and she told me that what I am going through has been very much her own experience. She said that she dealt with it by telling herself that her job each day was to get a little better. This meant that she realized that her body was working so hard on the INSIDE to process the harsh chemo that her OUTSIDE needed to take a break. She would lie on her couch pretty much all day and try to keep hydrated by drinking Alkaline water and eating a bit, even if nauseous, to make sure her body had energy to fight on. She would occasionally walk to the front door to take a walk but for a number of days would just turn around and head back to the sofa, not ready to face the walk. I really know the meaning now of “one day at a time.” Even more: “one hour at a time.”
Antonio will be coming home tomorrow – he is cutting his trip short to be with me.
Hoda sent me a picture of the 2 of us dancing in Rwanda just last year. Hard to believe that was me the way I feel right now!
And on Friday, back to the city – this time by Zipcar. It will be much easier than having to take the train back to the city.