Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Day in the Life

Last night I couldn’t sleep very well. I was dreading today’s radiation oncology appointment and it was causing a little anxiety. I tossed and turned, and finally headed to the guest room to sleep so that I wouldn’t keep Robbie and the dogs awake. Robbie is a deep sleeper, and doesn’t hear when the dogs get up in the middle of the night. And because I had closed the door to the guest room, I didn’t hear the dog get up either.

When the alarm went off this morning, Robbie came to wake me and then proceeded to get ready for work. I headed downstairs to let the dogs out and was greeted by a whole lot of mess involving multiple rooms. My sweet Zoe was not well and had a very long night. Not the best way to start the day.

My appointment wasn’t until 10 AM and since I hadn’t slept very well, I decided to go back to sleep for an hour or so. When I got up again, I found even more “messes”. Fabulous. I again cleaned up the mess and then proceeded to head to my appointment.

The radiation oncology center is at the hospital. When I made the appointment, I was told to head directly to the department desk. But when I arrived no one was there. So I sat in the waiting room for a few minutes and another patient and a nurse walked up. The nurse said that we needed to head to registration in the hospital lobby. So I headed out to the lobby and waited in line at registration. When I finally got to the desk, she tells me that I don’t need to register and just to head on back to the department. So I proceed back to the desk, and this time there was someone from the department. She apologized – she thought she heard someone send me away and didn’t catch me in time.

Unfortunately, the news was what I expected. They want me to do a course of radiation. The Doctor said it decreased my overall chances of cancer recurrence by 10-15%. I completely understand, and I am going to do the radiation. But I would be lying if I said I was happy. They have scheduled me to come in on Monday to do my practice-run.

At this point in the day it was only 11 AM. I had cleaned up dog poop in four rooms and was told that I need to have radiation. One could say a bad tone was set for the day. I headed to work, and my exasperated state-of-mind made me feel overwhelmed by my to-do list. Everything seemed overwhelming and I felt like I was fighting back tears for a good bit of the day. I will try to explain why without sounding whiny, but really this is just a big ol’ whine fest.

I have been trying to balance work and appointments and some sort of home life, all while feeling constantly exhausted since Thanksgiving. And for just a moment I thought all that was over. I blame this emotional breakdown on the oncologist, who when asked what a clear PET Scan would mean, said that we’d celebrate. I think he was just trying to be positive, but he made me think for a moment that this nightmare was over.

Radiation will not be as bad as chemotherapy. But it will mean more juggling of my time. And it will mean more exhaustion. Being tired brings on a state-of-mind of depression that is sometimes hard to shake. I manage to do it many days, but today I’m just tired of it all. I wish I could just fast-forward time until this summer when this is all behind me.

This evening has at least redeemed the day a bit. I came home to warm chicken and dumplings waiting on the stove. My Mom knew I was having a rough day and left me a wonderful dinner to enjoy. The dog seems to be feeling better, and I’ve tried to relax while watching Glee.

I’ve stopped and started this post a couple of times. Robbie encouraged me to finish. One of the reasons I blog is in the hope that other people going through cancer treatment will happen across it, and will find comfort in knowing they are not alone. So for this reason only, I finished this post.

I was hoping that I was going to start posting a little less frequently, but it appears I will have something to write about a bit longer.


  1. Been thinking of you. Your Mom came into the store the other day and it was so good to see her!! I know you are enjoying her being here. Chicken and Dumplings...a great end to a really crappy (sorry, couldn't help it) day.

  2. Doesn't sound one bit whiny. makes me feel whiny for whining about all the stuff to do with my mom's estate and two small children and Sylvia being super busy at work. Did I mention we have all been sick a lot this year?

    See, now THAT was whiny! :)

    yes, I am sure the blog helps others in the same boat. I know I enjoyed a few blogs from people who lost parents while raising young children.