May 8: Half the Woman I Was

8 May 2019 5:52 AM | Contact Me (Administrator)


It’s like a twins study. Now I am the slower weaker one, and by a long shot. I can only do a half a day to my little sister’s full day of walking around, shopping, puttering, cooking. Simply staying awake. I am only half the woman at simply staying awake, never mind hiking and sports. Never mind just doing errands and going shopping. Can’t even stay awake all day. 


Wednesday morning. Enjoying the balcony that my sister planted for me while I slept yesterday. Since she’s been here I’ve discovered that I’m now about half the woman I used to be. In the days B.C. (Before Cancer) my sister and I were more or less on a par, she is less than two years younger than me, and for most of our lives we’ve lived a similar schedule of activities together. Swimming, skiing, canoeing, kayaking with our Dad as kids. Hiking around the badlands looking for fossils. We were physically together, and perhaps because she was that bit younger in the early days she was the slower, weaker one, but only by a tiny bit, and only in the very young days. 

Now I am the slower, weaker one, and by a long shot. I can only do a half a day to her full day of walking around, shopping, puttering, cooking. Simply staying awake. I am only half the woman at simply staying awake, never mind hiking and sports. I can stay awake all morning. I can, barely, keep up until lunch time. Then I have to sleep. All afternoon. I’m awake for a couple of hours in the evening, and then I’m back in bed by nine and am asleep all night. While I sleep she continues to walk, shop, cook. In the evening she stays up with my husband and they watch tv or read while I sleep. 

With this straight up comparison, almost like a twins study, I see that right now I am about half the woman I was before. 

Discouraging. And this isn’t over yet. After the surgery there is radiation. After the radiation there will be an ongoing chemo pill for ten years. That’s right. Ten years. I truly did not get the full force of what this treatment would do to me, and my life when we started down this road last fall. Would it have helped to know? Am I glad I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into back then?  Is it worth it? 

I can stop at any time. I can just say, enough. I quit and stop. This moment of doubt is common. There are no end of cliches to go with it. Some for each side. “In for a penny, pound” “throwing good money after bad” That moment of not seeing the benefit, wondering if the cost is too high comes to us many times in our lives. 

We will have more information soon. We will have the ’tumour’ report. It’s not a biopsy, it’s the whole tumour, and it’s whatever they found in the lymph nodes too. I’m waiting on that important information, as is the radiologist. This is a big turning point. Wait for the new information. Do not make any new decisions yet. 

My brother is coming for a visit next, we’re trying to figure out a good time for that, the three of us siblings looking at our various schedules. He has a diabetic cat and my sister will need to be around back home to help take care of the cat while he’s here visiting me. Fun for us three to be chatting away on Facetime. 

This morning my sister and I are going together to see the plastic surgeon. I’ve told her about what a rock star, handsome young man surgeon he is, and I think she is curious. I have not removed the dressing, as per the instructions so neither one of us knows what’s under this big white, ‘loaf of bread’ that is stuck on my chest. Only that is not especially painful and nothing is leaking out of it. There is a lot of curiosity in the air  this morning. Hopefully it won’t turn into another one of those 5 hour waits like my last visit. 

We have nothing scheduled for the rest of today. Just in case. 

Laundry. If we get home early then I’ll take her to our fun laundromat/cafe/garden terrace and we can both do our laundry, have a nice coffee and croissant, catch up on young people music and just enjoy that neighbourhood experience. My laundromat pals have been watching out for me all winter, giving me hugs of support, they will get a kick out of seeing me with my sister. 

But first - visit with the handsome plastic surgeon, find out what happened when I was unconscious and check up on how the healing is going, get a first look at what they did to me. All of us together, it won’t be me alone. It won’t be me facing whatever it is, whatever it looks like all alone. 

Dispatched: May 8

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