I’ve now officially lost count of how many courses of chemo I’ve had. Somewhere over 30 is the answer. I just keep on putting more and more poison into my body! People have asked me whether it gets easier. That’s difficult to answer. I struggle more with anxiety now. As the day approaches, the blood tests, the smell of the ward, the needles, the confinement, the knowledge of what’s to come. It all seems to increase my anxiety.
The last couple of treatments I’ve displayed more physical anxiety symptoms. My temperature goes up and I start sweating. The nurses bring me an iced water, I raise my feet, and I try to relax. It’s easier if I can pass the time quickly, but I can’t stay focused on anything. I need to shut my eyes. It would be easiest if I fell asleep. I ask the nurses to speed up my dose, to get out of there more quickly. I do pray about my anxiety, but God doesn’t necessarily take it away. Still, it’s good to talk to him about it.
The after-effects vary considerably. In some ways, knowing what to expect makes it easier. But this last cycle surprised me. The aching, and cramps, headaches, and nausea all seemed so much worse. I wondered if it was because I’d lost so much weight. I thought perhaps they were overdosing me with the poison, because the dose is calculated according to bodyweight. But a call to the ward today revealed they’d been under-dosing me for a year or so! It had been based on a weight that I haven’t been since April last year.
This has been a difficult week to feel so sick. My mother has been in hospital, my parents’ house is under threat from the fires, there are big issues on the horizon, we’re expecting our first grandchild, there are talks to be written, and clear head and able body would be so helpful. But I can’t control these things. Only God can. And he decided that I’d be better off spending time in bed and achieving very little rather than busy solving the world’s problems—or even my own.
Another good lesson is patience, humility, and trust.