Chemo ages you.
I’m convinced of that.
Just over one year ago I was walking a mile every day to work, and sometimes another mile between offices during the day.
Yesterday, I had done one load of laundry, one load of dishes, made lunch for Michaela and Ken, and then lunch and tea for myself, and after than my legs were heavy and my feet were in pain.
It amazes me to think that a mere 14 years ago I was stomping all over London and the British countryside for 10 weeks, and I was rarely as tired as I am right now.
When I was receiving the chemo dose of taxol at the halfway point, my oncology nurse commented, “You’re at the top of the mountain!” Looking back on that, I can see now that she meant we were at the zenith, so to speak, of my chemotherapy regimen with taxol, and I could begin the countdown to the last one. Which is something to celebrate, even though I still had 6 more weeks to go, and nothing had changed about my situation at that moment.
At the time, I was thinking “Yay! All down hill from here!” Never having climbed to the top of a mountain, I of course knew nothing about what it actually might take to come down off the mountain. I was all about “Yes! We made it to the top!” Little did I consider that coming down the mountain is just as hard and treacherous as climbing up. Perhaps more treacherous, as you are moving in the same direction as gravity coming down, and your chances of falling on your ass increase as a result. Still, I’m no quitter, so I’ll just keep on truckin’ cause I sure do want to get off this freaking mountain. I didn’t want to climb it in the first place, but I got chased up here by that damn tumor, so it was climb or perish and here we are. Now I get to pick my way down, oh-so-carefully, and I already know I will not reach the bottom unscathed. I have quite a collection of bumps, bruises, and boo-boos already, and the big finale still to come.
Just when I learned to take certain things for granted, like putting on or taking off a shirt over my head.
One week out from the port removal procedure, and things seem to be healing just fine. I had a good cry last week after I had it done. I don’t know if it was left over from the sedative they give you, but that whole next day I was a bundle of tears. First I cried because I couldn’t believe the chemo was over. Then I cried because the radiation was done. I cried because for the most part, the heavy stuff is over with, and it’s all recovery from here (which we know is heavy stuff all on its own). I cried over Ken’s procedure, and volunteered to have my own baby making equipment put out of commission. I told him I would do it because I was used to it. He just laughed, of course. And of course he was fine on Friday, and every day afterwards.
This morning he’s picking up the school auction catalogue and taking the kid to school. I’m home looking for socks to wash, which is a treasure hunt/obstacle course, as Ken hides them from me. Not really, but I’m not kidding, it’s like an Easter egg hunt looking for peoples socks in this house. Especially if they’re dirty, and the wearer is out of clean socks.
So I’ve been looking for his dirty socks to wash, as I have no idea how long he’s been running without a clean pair – he doesn’t tell me, he just finds a pair of not-too-dirty socks and wears those. He mentioned he took his shoes off at the doctors office on Friday, and put them right back on again, because his socks were not clean. I felt bad about that, sending him out the door with dirty socks. He works hard, and has been running around like a crazy person for weeks chasing down content for that auction catalogue. The least I could do is keep him in clean socks and underwear, right?
Which is why I’m poking around here this morning, on a mission to find socks. I found a few, and I’m not sure they all match one another, but into the wash they go. He’s got a big day today, and the man deserves clean socks to wear why he goes out to conquer the world.
But now I’m exhausted from hobbling around here, and all of the stooping over, and looking in hampers and under dirty clothes on the floor. And it’s not even 9am.