Thursday, February 14, 2008

valentine's day: i love you, my readers

i realized today that i have been keeping my chin up so much and refusing to let radiation slow me down that i haven't taken it seriously enough. the side effects, i mean. today it hit me. my boob is starting to suffer. beginning to pink, with a visible line on the skin like early sunburn. on this side of the line it's still creamy white, outside of the radiation beam. on the other, its pink. my breast is so tender i have to be careful how i carry things. if i bump it, my nipple is on fire, but not in a good way. i have to watch where the seat belt hits my chest.

i need to slow down and take the time to really baby this boob. she's been through so much fucking trauma in the past few months. so i'm doubling my vit-c consumption. sucking up to the reality that i can't just go straight to my studio from the hospital, i need to go home first and apply ice packs to the swelling, smooth on aloe gel and calendula cream for the burn. if i am to keep the side effects manageable, i really do have to be so on top of this stuff.

it's a bad time to get lazy, or to be tired. shit. it's also a really crappy time to need to do anything other than the healing plan. like working.

thursdays are tough. it's the day each week i've decided will have to be a throw away. read the rest of this post and you'll soon see why.

here's the drill. i go from radiation at 9:45 to another wing of the hospital and wait in another room full of people with cancer to see my radiation oncologist. she checks the boob, i tell her about side effects and have a chance to ask questions. today, that all took forever. it was after 11 before i was even heading to my car.

then i drive across town to see dr. kou, my chinese medicine guru. he checks my pulse, looks at my tongue and eyes. very good, you are eating healthy. puts in the acupuncture needles and leaves me to rest on the table for 45 minutes while he makes up my herbs for the week. by the time i get home at almost 1 pm, i am starving for lunch. but i feel too spaced out to cook anything. about this time i am sincerely wishing i had my mom here, fixing me food. which strikes me as ridiculous, as i've been independent from my parents for 20+ years.

i need a nap and classically, i am not a napper. i can hardly sleep well at night, let alone in the daytime. but now, with radiation doing a number on me, i fall asleep. wake an hour later, groggy and grumpy.

where has the day gone?

by 3:30 i am opening my rental office here at the apartment complex i manage. i did not work on my jewelry today, did not even go to my studio. i barely checked email. by the time i close the office at 6:30, i am so done with this day there is not a chance in hell i am doing anything tonight more engaging than watching a little tv and petting my dog.

next year i will celebrate valentine's day. if i'm not recovering from surgery. sigh. damn, that sounds even more pathetic written down. i feel a little down today.

9 rads done, 24 more to go.


beadbabe49 said...

Taking thursdays off from studio work sounds like a really, really good idea...not to mention inevitable.

I found, going through radiation, that sometimes surrender was the only option and the more gracefully I could manage it, the easier it went on me...

People often ask what lessons I learned from cancer and I usually say that the biggest lesson (besides the major importance of loved ones in your life) was that I was not in charge and to let go of the fiction that I was.

Tay said...

thank-you, beadbabe. that is very, very comforting right now.

salmonpoetry said...

yeah, i get so fixed on this idea of, it's X day, and i'm supposed to be working...sometimes life intervenes and has other plans. though i'm sure you'd much rather be working in your studio than the radiation project, but in the end it's all towards the same goal, health, happiness, creativity.
take care and rest well. your studio will be there for you when feel better, and you never know what a little time off will do to inspire new ideas when you return.
i hear your frustration though and send along a vote of confidence that you're doing great in the marathon of radiation, and that your primary job right now is taking care of yourself and
asking for what you need.
ps: even when well, i always try to take fridays off and do 'nothing' - (ie nap or have fun or whatever). i think we are meant to have more leisure and downtime to rest and recover in life anyway...

asphaltandair said...

just found you. by way of many corners and bends.
your jewelery makes me really excited. the talents you possess really shine through your pieces.
i just wanted to take a moment to tell you that exactly how you are feeling right now is okay. that's right. okay. be gentle and kind to yourself. you are deserving of loving treatment and extra time for pampering. just as the clocks have given up their hands for your beautiful necklaces - you too, should let go of your duties (and let go of needing to be "productive" tick, tick, tick, tock!) so that your energies can focus on healing and getting well and just "being".
sending you goodness today, from around many corners but right in your own backyard (portland, or)

michaelendo said...

I'm sending you good thoughts. Take it easy on yourself.