Is something stirring in the depths of the chemo cave…….?

I really feel as I have been stuck in a dark place the past weeks.

Physically, I have been at an all time low (thanks, Rocky and pneumonia – you make a good double act!)  I am so fatigued and weak I struggle to get around and this seriously limits how much I can get out and about.  I know my immune system is non existent so I know it is also wise to avoid people.  I have been very aware and nervous about getting caught by another infection so all in all I prefer and feel safer staying in my cave.  The other side effects are heavy too.  My fingers are numb and painful so writing is difficult, opening a water bottle or doing up buttons is difficult.  Doing most things for myself seem to be difficult.  Fluid retention means I am uncomfortable all over, and the port area feels really tight.  My skin is very dry and super-sensitive and is peeling and blistering on my feet. My digestive system feels (and acts) as if it has been wrecked after dealing with the bouts of toxicity.  I feel as if I have been lying in a dark cave, every new day the same as the previous day and not a sign of feeling any better at all.

Mentally, I have been unprepared for the dark space.  I knew I would not be celebrating and partying to mark the end of chemo, but I did hope to at least have a mental boost and feel a bit hyperbombastic!  However, I have been full of dark thoughts, about recurrence, having to deal with chemo again at some time in the future, about never feeling fully recovered and feeling helpless against the enormity of the strength of cancer.  I know it is not like me, but that does not make it feel any better.  I think part of this is also the strange and almost illogical feeling that with chemo finishing I am no longer throwing everything I can at the cancer beast.  If I hate chemo so much, why do I feel this way?  Of course, it is not chemo itself I hate, it is the fact that it has made me so sick.  I know that I am really grateful to the chemo and that it is giving me the best chance of recovery.  I think that feeling so low physically is feeding the emotional darkness.

I have been lying in this dark, chemo cave too long, but I have been unable to find a signal that I can drag myself out of it.  Until this morning. When I awoke this morning, I headed as usual to the bathroom.  Incredibly, my legs felt different.  They felt just a little lighter, not so leaden and I was able to walk across the room more easily than the past days and weeks.  I also felt just a little lighter in myself.  I know that sounds odd, but it is not something specific I can describe.  I just felt a touch less – sick and miserable.  I have capitalised on this throughout the day, making sure I am more active.  We made the effort to head out, even if briefly, and do a few tasks.

This must be the turning point.  Although radiation is due to start in a few days, I am not going to be confronted with another session with Rocky so surely this has to be the start of feeling better?

To make sure it is, I have searched for an image of a cave which reflects where I want to go rather than where I am coming from.  It is a meditation cave – a place of spirituality, life, light and inspiration.

I know the path ahead is a long one, but I am sure I have reached the lowest point now and can finally more onwards and upwards.

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8 thoughts on “Is something stirring in the depths of the chemo cave…….?

  1. When my Grandfather had cancer he never spoke of how gruelling the cancer was or how sick he felt and so I never trully understood. While I still don’t (and hope to never) properly understand, you have helped me to have a little insight and for that I will always be greatful.
    You really inspire me. Not just to raise money for cancer charities but to be healthier and more active and just generally to embrace life and live it, you really are an incredible and brave woman. I think of you often and wonder how you are doing and I am happy to hear that you are feeling a little better, even if in only a small way. I will be thinking of you as your radiation treatment starts and sending as many healing thoughts your way as I can. Much Love, Lesley x

    • Thanks L – thanks for your thoughts about your Grandfather’s illness, it sounds like a really tough time for you all. I feel incredibly lucky that it is more acceptable to express things more openly these days.

      Please don’t think I am brave – I am such a feardy, especially with needles – aaaargh!! The treatment is not nice, but it is a chance of recovery so like most others in a similar position.

      Thanks so much for your healing thoughts, and lovely comments – they are very welcome and warmly received, Love and hugs to you all
      x

  2. This is wonderful news, I’m really pleased to hear that you can feel a change, even a small one. Keep going and keep fighting. Lots and lots of love

    Jancis

  3. Dearest didi, keep that gorgeous image of the light and the cave in your heart and mind over the coming months. I am sure your moment to step out of the cave and into the rejuvenating sunlight is near, until then, you hang in there, you battler. We think of you often and send our wishes to you for a full and rapid recovery. I’m so glad that you enjoyed some lightness of body and spirit yesterday as a rest point on your arduous journey.
    We love you and miss you xoxoxoxoxox
    Thinking of you always xoxoxox

    • Oh bahini – thanks so much for your lovely message. I am clinging on to this slight improvement! And watch out, because when I get right out of the cave I might land up on my kangaroo hunt in your neighbourhood!! Love and hugs to you, chi and Maya xxxx

  4. Hi Philippa – I glad to hear you are feeling better. At had my last Tax on 7th Jan and over three months on my hair is only just growing back and my nails are about to fall off!! It is definitely Killer Chemo!!

    I am now recovering from surgery and like you starting rads soon. I certainly feel that I can see that light peeking through.

    Take care – Paula x

    • Hi P – thanks for your comment and it is great to connect with you! I have just caught up fully on your blog and love it! I can’t believe I have only just found it.

      I am sure my nails are on their way out too, and I had a dream last night that my hair had grown just enough to reach my ears. Then I woke up as Dr Evil again!!

      I was very glad to read about how well the chemo zapped the orange and transformed it to a grape and that eventually your surgery went as you had hoped.

      Yes, light is indeed peeking through – keep in touch and take care
      P
      x

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