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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Infusion #5

Even more significant than tomorrow being the fifth of six infusion, it marks the 15th week of treatment.

I've always said I can do anything for 15 weeks, which has enabled me to withstand some pretty strenuous teaching schedules--such as teaching at 8 am and then again at 6 and 7:30 pm. This is not to say that I didn't choose those schedules, but 8 am is NOT an ideal time for me to teach. I am not a morning person.

However, I also believe my internal calendar is set to 15 week blocks...just like the year starts with the academic calendar. When I say, "Next year" I mean late next August not after January 1st.

What this means is that I'm over this chemo shit. I'm over this cancer shit. I'm over being a member of this club. I hit the wall this week. I know I've said this before, but I'm tired of being tired, specifically. I walk around feeling like I could fall asleep at any moment, but then when I try to sleep, it's hard. Yet, getting up each morning is harder and harder. I'm over my legs, hips, knees, ankles and arm hurting. I'm over having to "take something" so that the pain doesn't wake me up and so that I can fall asleep. I'm over having to remember to take something before I get into bed, not to mention trying to decide what and how much pain reliever I should take.

Yet, in three weeks I do this all again.

Plus, no matter how hard I've tried, my syllabus just won't let me put myself in a position where I'm not having conferences with students in the days and week after chemo and I'm madly grading the weekend before, during, and day after. The thought of collecting essay #4 right before my last chemo is overwhelming. Actually, thinking about finishing the semester is overwhelming right now.

The only thing I'm not over is actually being in the classroom actually teaching. I'm really enjoying my students this semester. I think knowing that at any time I could throw in the towel and walk away has been quite liberating in that sense.

I'm also not over making new and deepening old friendships.

But otherwise, if I didn't know I didn't have a choice, I'd be wondering if I can make it through the next five weeks. Not making it isn't an option. I'd like to go into surgery in six weeks with a little more energy, though. I've experienced big rebounds in the past, but not this time around. At this point in the semester, while a strong rebound would be appreciated, I'm normally wiped out, so I can't even imagine the next two weeks, with conferences most every day. I really hope for a rebound after treatment 6. I'd like to feel good before surgery. It only seems fair. Yet, as we all know, life isn't fair.

But enough of this. The chemo is working, I'm managing the side effects well, and so far I've avoided H1N1 or other illness. And I guess that has to be good enough for now.

I do have to say that I couldn't do this without dvr. Just couldn't. My hat is off to anyone who has done this without cable tv, let alone dvr. Being able to sit and watch episode after episode of House has saved me.

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