Today, Steve and I head off for my third chemotherapy session. I write this morning because I am having a hard time expressing my anticipation of my next four rounds of chemo. Specifically, considering these rounds have cumulative side affects and fatigue. Because I know this, I am as nervous as my first round when I knew nothing.
Round one, I managed my symptoms well. I like to think I got some techniques down. Round two, I managed my symptoms well too, and I think I nailed down a few more techniques for managing chemo's side affects. This past week, I felt the best I have felt in two months. With both of these sessions, I had traumatic events which counterbalanced how well I seemed to be doing - my hair loss and Christmas events. My previous blog entries thoroughly explained these challenges...so I will not go into them here. However, as I head into chemo session number three, I have to wonder, when is the other shoe going to drop?
Growing up with epilepsy I have learned to remain positive and above all else do not use my medical problems as excuses for living a normal life. I think this why it is hard for me to consider that living with cancer may just be a good enough excuse to accept help when offered and even more so, to reach out and ask for help for what seem to be simple chores.
I gave my brother a poster years and years ago of a beautiful silhouette of an elephant with the phrase under it "Seeking Solitude." I have to say that I think of that poster often these days. For this is the other caveat to asking and receiving help from others. I really like to be alone with myself sometimes. I often gather strength this way. So, I am consistently torn with wanting space yet asking for help that may bring people into my space.
Please do not misunderstand, if I have arranged for someone to come over and help me, I am extremely grateful and have come to peace (sorry if this sounds overly dramatic) with not being alone for that period of time. However, back to my not using medical issues as an excuse, thoughts also cross my mind like: "I should be able to do the dishes, cook, do laundry, vacuum, take care of my dog, etc. Those are simple chores. Is it obnoxious to let someone else do it?"
What I keep coming back to is how I feel in that moment of that day. Maybe this is my time to just sit and have an excuse. Maybe not. The fact is though, that with Steve going back to work, we are going to need the help. We just need to figure out how/when/what. And I need to get over myself a little, too.
We are blessed by our community responding to needs that sometimes we do not even realize that we have. I am lucky that as I head into chemo today, I have confidence that my family's needs will be met - normalcy will exist in my household. I just wish I could predict how much I will be able to provide.