I have finished all but one round of WBR and the biggest warning that I got from the Doctor was that I would enter a state of fatigue that she compared with the hibernation of a bear.
I have no doubt that the timing of my short term disability leave from work is spot on. I am entering this hibernation period for sure. Although I have spikes of energy, those are followed by aggressive fatigue. The kind where you have to lay down RIGHT NOW whether that be on a bed, couch, floor, dicey back alley, bed of hot coals (name any other horizontal surface).
Here is a list of some weirder side-effects that I list here for anyone who may find them handy at some point:
My ear canals are so sore and itchy, it is driving me to madness. The radiation seems to have dried them out and they have become a major distraction. I do believe that malevolent forces could use ear-canal radiation for mind control.
2. Warning – 2 = TMI point. For those male friends and relatives (or for any ladies who just don’t want to know), skip this point. Personal, feminine nastiness that you may not want to equate with me. I include it for the sake of transparency.
Oh, Ladies, it’s like Satan’s evil minions are trampling on the delicate flower of womanhood of this middle-aged cancer chick. They tell you that you may get mouth sores because the mouth is made of sensitive mucosal tissues. Well, my mouth is fine, but the mucosal tissue of my ‘nether region’ has been under attack. Yowza! I know it's not sex-related because, frankly, when chemo has taken the zip out of your ovaries and you've basically become a dried up, a-sexual person, you don't have much sex. Fortunately, my relationship with KB has always been more about a clicking of the minds instead of the booty. I think he's okay with it.
3. Excessive weepiness. Not depression, but tearing up about a lot of stuff, some of it mundane, daily stuff. It’s like my heart is now, not only on my sleeve, but pureed and spread all over my body. It’s a very vulnerable feeling and not one I’m comfortable with.
KB. Always KB. Pick ups, drop offs, all the laundry, cooking, cleaning, dog duties, paying bills, on his own while still teaching and grading and doing his academic work and trying to engage me in interesting conversation despite my insistence on talking about me and my cancer – a lot.
JM. Friend extraordinaire. Covering any transportation to/from appointments when KB has faculty meetings at work. Good company plus the gift of Postum, a chicory beverage from the WWII era for which I have nostalgia. Thanks, JohnnyCakes!
SM. Co-worker and selfless friend. Shenanigans (not her real name) has given me a ride to work throughout my WBR treatments. She lives in the city, so this means she has to drive west out of the city, pick me up, then drive back into the city (which is now completely under construction) to take me to work. All this and she was happy to be paid in craft beer. Sweet deal. Sweet girl.
CS. My boss. Understanding. Compassionate. I have no worries as far as my job goes. A good person.
Loyola University Chicago. My employer. Genuinely compassionate. So many well-wishes from people when they found out I was going on STD. Providing unbelievably good, reasonably priced health insurance that, because I have it, I have no medical debt at all, despite most of my treatments costing nearly 60K every three weeks.
All the good people out there sending care packages, good vibes and solid prayers on my behalf. I wouldn’t be here without you. May God’s peace and blessings surround you all.
And now, time for that nap.