Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tired, Tired, Tired

So what's my "new normal"? Tired. It's hard to describe exactly how I feel but it sorta resembles the "I have been at an all-night party and haven't had a chance to take a shower" kind of feeling. Or at least that is as close as I can get. And the weird thing is that I can't exactly say WHEN this feeling started. When I first started chemo, everyone kept saying you will feel tired. But at first I didn't. Everything felt pretty normal except the two days or so after chemo. But then things changed. And I think I am noticing it the most now, the last week or so.

I have figured out that mornings are the best. I can get up at 5 AM and work out at the gym downstairs even though I am definitely noticing a change in my stanima. That winded feeling comes just a little quicker than it used to. I am OK most of the morning teaching but by about 11 AM, I can feel the tired "creeping" over my body (for you literary types, I haven't been able to get the filmed version of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" out of my mind!). And the strange thing is that is hits me so suddenly. I will be chatting with a student and then "wham"! There it is. And it doesn't go away. I manage to get through the afternoons but I feel like I am on battery power and I am trying to make it to my bed before those batteries die.

This whole physical feeling is hard for me to talk about. I've always been such a physical person that I am amazed (in a bad way) that my body is doing this to me. To top it off, the chemo I am on is "lighter" than the chemo a lot of other folks get. Am I just a complete and total whimp?? Does my body not get the word "cooperation"?

So in a nutshell, I just feel sad right now. Sad that my body is not working with me a bit more and sad that this whole process won't be finished until the end of the year. And what do I have to look forward to?? A damn hysterectomy. I am honestly so done with doctors and hospitals. And why is it that you start noticing more pregnant people when you know that this is an option no longer available to you? What is up with that? OK .... whine fest finished for the night. But I reserve the right to start anew tomorrow!

In dissertation news, a pal from grad school (Brandi) and I decided to push each other to write. I sent her some pages of something I wrote last weekend and she sent me the most thoughtful comments (and I now need to do the same for her!). I need to get this dissertation DONE. I think that what I am doing is important but for some reason I feel stalled and uninspired. I'd like to blame it on the breast cancer, but I was feeling this way before the diagnosis. But Brandi's comments have jump started me a little! (and thanks to Dr M for giving me the idea to write in small bursts -- more fun to do with Brandi by my side!).


  1. You are NOT a wimp. No way. Most people in chemo (honestly, most people in general, chemo or not) are nowhere near as active as you are. And the diminishing energy is going to affect you mentally more than others who don't look for release through activity, you know? You're doing an amazing job and I still maintain that you are going to whoop my butt at L&C.

    And PS - you and my training partner Teresa have made me realize that I cannot live the rest of my life knowing I never finished a full marathon. So I WILL do that by the end of the year. :)

    And another note. On the subject of kiddos. I'm more extreme in my feelings than most, but I will gladly share with you my list of over 100 reasons why I don't want kids. I still have days where I wonder what's wrong with me that I was born without that instinct to breed, but then I remember that this is just who I am and that's more than just okay. Being an aunt (or pseudo-aunt) is way better than having to deal with a rugrat 24/7. I totally understand your thought process (I have endometriosis and cysts on my ovaries, and was told it's possible I'd never have kids, and that news was upsetting - even though I didn't want kids anyway, having the choice taken away from you makes you feel very powerless and angry). But at the end of the day, Stella and those kitties give just as much love (and will never hate you for a 5-10 year timeframe, hahaha).

    I hope maybe I've made you laugh enough to not be sad for a little bit. But you DO have every right to feel sad whenever you want and I'll always think you're an incredibly strong and amazing woman.

    XO - Sarah

  2. Sarah -- THANK YOU so much for what you said. I am sitting here figuring out how to respond to your obvious wisdom and all I can say is "Thank you"! You are by far one of the most intelligent people out there! :D Dianna