Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Weight

Yesterday was a full day. I crammed so much into it that I was beyond tired when I went to bed and could not sleep. Due to a temporary car shortage (4 drivers, 3 cars), I had to drive the boys to school at 7:15. Normally, my car's up for grabs since I'm usually at home. Yesterday I had places to go, people to see, two miles to run. I went to the library where I work (currently from home) to drop off copies of a grant I filed over the weekend. I made sure to stay in the non-public area. I was fortunate to see several colleagues, all of whom commented on how great I look. Then I went to play mah jongg and have lunch with a few friends. More compliments, more walking the thin line between "I'm fine" and "I'm in a black hole."

Thing is, I didn't feel so great. Nothing specific, just a sense that a weight was pushing down on my chest. I felt relapsy. Every now and then when I feel less than perfect, my mind goes to the dark place where all my fears reside. I think every person who's ever had cancer is highly familiar with this purgatorial zone. Most of the time, I keep the door barricaded, but yesterday I could not. Part of the problem was that my health was the preferred topic of conversation wherever I went. I felt pretty blah, but I didn't want to open that can of worms.

I was also thinking about what I was doing a year ago, lying limp in a hospital bed, enduring my fifth day of chemo. I was supposed to be hosting friends from New Zealand at a Memorial Day barbecue. Instead, they came to see me in the hospital. Yesterday, these friends were in town again, and this time our visit unfolded as planned, with the backyard cookout we had been forced to table a year ago. Naturally, we spoke about my illness, the transplant, my recuperation, the whole nine yards that I'd been trying to forget, especially yesterday, when I felt so listless. It was a long evening, nice to see old friends from another life, but oh so exhausting. I finally crawled into bed around 11 pm and couldn't sleep.

How would I feel today, kicking off the day with a significant sleep deficit? I'm pleased to report that I'm tired but the blahs are gone and the anxiety banished, at least for now. I don't want to add to the cacophony of complaints I hear every day about mostly silly things. I'll continue to put one foot in front of the other, and try to find something to rejoice in each day. Today, it might be something simple, like a toasted bagel with crunchy peanut butter for lunch, followed by a postprandial nap. I could use that nap.

2 comments:

Ann said...

My scary place is decorated in really bad 1970's purple paisley and white plastic. The relapse fear is one we live with everyday and are loathe to share for fear of sending our loved ones up the wall screaming in terror. It's an unfair burden that doesn't care that you've made it this far. I suppose we just need to find the balance and a way to distract ourselves from such things.
You're doing great. Take it at face value.

Ann

Sue L said...

And who doesn't love naps!!! You go take one and rejoice in feeling better today. You deserve it!