Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chemo as currency and Chemo vs Pregnancy

My boss, who sits only a few feet away, turned to me at five past five and said, "what happened to the document for the AAR?" (an important consultant who you do your best to bend over backwards for, and certainly don't forget to complete documents for when they were due in at five pm).

"Fuck", was all I managed.

Well, thats a lie. I think I repeated myself several times. I'd forgotten it. I felt completely incapable and stupid and all due to the bloody chemo. All this talking about chemo brain and so far, it hasn't landed me in any real trouble, but here I go forgetting a vital deadline.

My boss was great. He didn't say anything. To have been critical would have been bad. To have been "sympathetic" would have been even worse. He simply looked away and pretended not to listen as I called the consultant's assistant (who is lovely and knows all about my having BC) and explained myself.

But it somehow felt like I was taking advantage of the fact I had breast cancer, seeking special treatment etc. But I genuinely forgot a document which normally I would have rattled off to them early!

A few weeks ago, I was still angry enough not to care and would happily blame BC for anything I could. But now it seems a little harder to use it as some sort of currency and feel honourable about it. Even if all I'm doing is being truthful.

I feel genuinely like I am through the worst. I may change my mind this time next week when it's day one post chemo two, but emotionally I definitely feel like I've turned a corner. A lot of this, I am sure, is to do with having got through chemo 1 and thereby conquered the fear of the unknown.

Had dinner with an old friend last night and we talked a lot about this amongst many other things. She was 8 mths pregnant and we discovered that chemo and pregnancy were quite similar states. You lack the mental agility you had before; You can't eat runny or blue cheese; You can't eat raw or uncooked meat; You can't eat probiotic or live bacteria products; You're tired all the time. We were more or less equal scores but she did have the massive bump on me.

Never mind, I'll even things up again once the hair goes. On which note...

Hairwatch today: Falling out randomly a little more (lots of stray hairs on my desk, on the boardroom table, on my t-shirt) but am learning to run my hands through it less 'just to see' if hair loss was accelerating so I think I've lost no more than yesterday overall. Which means that I'll probably be ok for the wedding on Friday. Happy about that.

Sleepwatch today: Woke at 5am and dozed fitfully after lying awake for a while. It was 5.30am yesterday. Am on the half mg size lorezapam to try and wean myself down to going cold turkey by the end of the week but the body is fighting it... All in time to go back on the steroids after chemo two next week and suffer really bad sleep, or face going back on the pills full strength again. The extra added irony is that R is enrolled on a sleep study, to make some money whilst being more London based with me, and is being monitored for his sleeping habits and periodically fed sleeping pills. We're both going to end up a couple of sleeping pill junkies...

1 comment:

dk said...

...and you shouldn't eat anything meaty or fishy from tescos after what i read in the paper...