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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wednesday, Oct. 14 = Round 4 and for the record...

... I'm over this shit. If you aren't up to whining, bitching, and moaning, skip this entry. Fair warning.

Early in the semester, before getting to the point where grading and commenting on essays becomes a nearly daily task, it wasn't bad. In fact, I've really had a great time teaching this semester. I enjoy my time in the classroom, and find teaching, especially my 9:30 group, very energizing. My early morning, 8:00 a.m., class isn't so energizing...they are low key and I'm not a great morning person. Then there are days where I'm pretty wiped out by the time I teach my 11:30 class....after teaching at 8:00 and 9:30 and holding an office hour....but in general, my students are all nice, I have quite good attendance....only 1/60 of my students has flakey attendance (one other might be working on entering that category, but even those two come to class weekly) and only one missed turning in the last essay (and he comes to every class...go figure). But so far, I've only had good attitudes from students and I don't dread walking into any class (which is a change from some other semesters when I've had classes that simply have seemed to hate the very air I breathe and have seemed on a mission to bring me down and be confrontational).

Teaching is going great to the point that, while my original plan was to use all assignments I'd used in the past, I've developed 2.5 new ones, and I don't feel overwhelmed.

Home is running well, thanks to a TON of support from friends...meals, cleaning, general good vibes, encouragement, rides to and from soccer, husband not working. I'm not saying we couldn't all use a good dose of therapy to deal with some high running emotions and stress in many areas of life (Louis' job stress, the younger boys and school full time, school, school, school--school is pretty stressful when you've not played that game before--general teenage morphing, sibling issues amplified by stress, health and the medical bills now rolling in....actually, we've been living at the top of the stress heap for quite some time....1.5 yrs ago my mother suddenly died, a year ago September Louis' father died, our mortality was amplified when a friend died this past spring, Louis lost his job last Spring and has struggled with the replacement job they provided for him to the point he's being threatened with firing, he tore a tendon in his ankle, we bought a house, moved, have been dealing with Tynan's ankle injury, sent two kids to school--one for the first time ever which has been a HUGE life plan adjustment for all of us--one kid started driving which is quite stressful although helpful, Louis got his first "old age + genetics" diagnosis this summer....oh, and my cancer, chemo, future surgeries, and radiation all winter, not to mention how this becomes an issue for the rest of my life....OK, now I have to stop)

But dang, I'm really just starting the whole cancer fight and I'm already tired of it, especially tonight. It sucked getting tired walking around the zoo today. It sucks to be tired, but unable to sleep because of the damn Decadron. It sucks to be clenching my jaw to the point it aches because of the Decadron.

I'm tired of being tired. I'm tired of taking pills. I'm tired of seeing doctors. I'm annoyed that a hangnail requires 10-21 days on antibiotics. I'm tired of feeling like crap. I hate the feeling of my port. I'm tired of worrying. I'm tired of being short tempered. Although I know that it's really not a huge deal, I dread the 10 days after each of the next three chemo infusions. Although historically I've enjoyed napping, I don't enjoying having to nap nearly every day after I teach. I should have plenty of time to grade...I'm home daily by 1:00. Instead, I sleep. I'm highly frustrated with the progression of chemo brain. On top of sleeping most afternoons, I also have a terrible time focusing on those papers that need to be graded. I forget what words I am trying to write in comments. My vocabulary has dropped to that of my students. I sure hope they all know what "thing" means because I keep wanting to write, "You need to work on that thing in your know, that thing that tells me what the focus of your essay is...that sentence thing most collegiate essays have....starts with a know, that thing....we talked about it last Thursday and it's mentioned in chapter 11 of your book...."

Infusion days are no longer evoking neutral feelings at best. I can't even bring myself to stop writing to pack what I need to take or even make a list of wanna bet I get there tomorrow without food? I have to leave earlier than normal, and I'm still up an hour past my bedtime. Oh, that's right, even with Ambien, I don't sleep on Tuesday nights with Decadron. I'm not even going to mention the silver lining of being more able to nap during chemo. I'm tired of looking for silver linings. I don't even like silver.

And have I mentioned the steroid munchies? They really suck when you are in a house full of healthy food. This apple sprinkled with cinnamon isn't really cutting it. Ballreich's chips and Lawson's Dip would be more satisfying. I could eat cheez wiz by the spoonful at this very moment. Any overly refined food would hit the spot. I could roll in white flour and lick it off the dirty kitchen floor.

I'm tired of my feet being cold and burning at the same time. Neuropathy sucks. The 14 days out of every 21 of fumbling fingers is a royal pain in the ass...erm...hand....erm ability to type accurately, not to mention get out change from my purse.

I need to stop. I'm depressing even myself. I'm not depressed in general. Of course, one of the many pills I suck down is an anti-depressant, which, in retrospect, may have been a good call on the part of my GP. I'm not happy. But I've certainly been more depressed in my life.

I'm just already ready for this all to end. But I'm only 9 weeks into many weeks. The idea of daily radiation for 8 weeks is overwhelming. Daily? Daily? Every. Day. In. The. Middle. Of. Winter.

And then I wonder, "Since I'm taking Winter semester off, what will I do with all my free time?" I'll have to find a hobby. I really don't have any hobbies, other than what this is becoming.

Oh, one side effect of Decadron is fixating, especially on things I can't answer...what hobby should I take up? Wouldn't it be funny if I became an exercise addict? A distance runner? Seriously, if I start sewing odd, tacky things and open up a booth at the flea market, someone stop me, please? Odd things like patriotic stuffed roosters or something. Maybe I'll just meddle irksomely in my children's lives. Nag their teachers. Iron their clothes. Coordinate their outfits. Play board games with their friends. Match their socks. Make chore charts.

That's a plan. I'm glad I figured that out. Now I can fixate on the best chore chart out there....

Have I mentioned the steroid hot flashes (which are worse than regular hot flashes). When you don't have hair, you really notice the sweat beading up on your head. Nice point of view shift, but you get my drift. When I have a hot flash, I notice the sweat beading up on my head.

OK, one last time: I'm tired of this shit.

Back to my regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

I'll have


SM said...

You're right, it's crap. But this too shall pass. On a positive note - I'm eating more veggies thanks to your posts and even occasionally tottering around the block.

Pancake Goddess said...

Oh, Dawn... who wouldn't be tired of all that shit?

Yes, it would be hilarious if you became an exercise addict. It would be much more fun if you spent the winter updating facebook every 10 minutes. Also, clothing for a big ceramic porch goose would be much better than stuffed roosters.

I'm on my second cup of coffee so I have lots of more serious ideas, but I imagine you do, too, when you're not up too late and tired of this shit.

Ayala said...

you are a very funny chica. even when you are angry and frustrated and sad and sick and tired of it all.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure we can come up with an appropriate hobby for you, but I like Amy's idea of updating Facebook every ten minutes, too. If you buy a ceramic porch goose and start making clothes for it, I will know for sure that you have completely lost it. However, as long as you can come up with phrases like "meddle irksomely", I'm not going to start worrying about your vocabulary.

I don't know how anyone could go through what you're going through and not get tired of this shit pretty quickly. You've tolerated a lot of shit in life, but this is probably the worst shit ever. Still, I'm amazed and inspired to see how well you've coped so far.

It occurs to me - not for the first time - that you have the most wry sense of humor of anyone I've ever known. I'm so glad to see that chemo, radiation, hands full of pills and cancer haven't taken that away.

Big, stupid cyber hugs coming your way. I love you.

Anonymous said...

Oh Dawn! Hugs and strength to you. What a hard row to hoe, but we're here to help any way we can.

Carol Puri said...

Ugh, you would be crazy not to be sick of all that shit. It's a full time job taking care of it all, never mind your actual full time job, your children, dealing with school (I know how much that one sucks), etc. Add extreme exhaustion into the mix and it's a wonder you still have that wonderful sense of humour.
You are regularly in my thoughts, and I am sending all the happy, energetic vibes I can muster. (((Dawn)))

miralaluna said...

I am amazed that though a lot really bites right now, your wonderful sense of humor remains intact. (((Dawn))), you might not feel so inspiring, but trust me, you are. You and your family are on my mind all the time. I add my good vibes to the lot for you.


Abs said...

Dawn, I think about you daily and send you big hopes.
I recommend taking up ballet as your new hobby. The legwarmers are cozy and you can do it to whatever music you want. I have been known to do ballet to Metallica.
When my Dad was having thyroid and prostate cancer treatments, which led him to have cold feet, I found these foot warmer things that they sell to fishermen and hunters. Have you ever seen them? I don't know if they'd be comfortable for you or not, but I'd be glad to pick some up for you. The kids might like them if you don't :) Send me a Facebook message if you'd like to try them.
Abby Cloud

Adria said...

It sounds like you're managing amazingly well, considering. You are in my thoughts frequently.