I’ve been hesitant to write this post for a while now. I’m going to tell you guys the truth.
This is hard.
It’s a mind game and a body game, and sometimes it’s really hard to win both of those battles at the same time, all while maintaining a semblance of normal life.
But that’s exactly why I’m still teaching and going to grad school. I don’t want to be at home on the couch, just thinking. It’s easier to stay positive when I put all the negative possibilities out of my head and focus on the good things in my life.
The body game is not so easy to put out of my head. It’s hard to ignore my stomach hurting all the time, or random body parts aching like they have arthritis, or the way I look in the mirror (fat around the middle and fuzzy on top!), or the extreme fatigue.
You know, it’s funny, this hair business. My hair is super thin on top, but I have a light fuzz growing in. Everywhere else, though, the hair is falling out. Like everywhere. At least I don’t have to shave anymore (one good thing!). But I don’t have any nose hairs. So when my nose runs, it just falls right out onto my shirt. I keep tissues with me at all times because bloody snot just dripping out of nowhere is pretty gross. Thank goodness I teach middle schoolers – they’re pros at gross. It barely even phases them.
I’ve also lost the fine peach fuzz I used to have on my face, so now (in addition to being puffy from the steroids) my face feels naked and shiny all the time. And I’m missing clumps of eyelashes, so I have to do an “eyelash combover” with my mascara. Hot, I know.
Some days it’s easy to laugh all these things off and just be thankful that I’m still able to care for my kids, but other days each of these things feels like it might be the last straw.
That’s why when people ask me how I’m doing, I try to always answer “I’m okay” or “Hanging in there!” Because I am hanging in there. Some days I’m barely hanging on with the tips of my fingers, but other days I’ve got a good strong grip.
Yesterday was chemo treatment #7 of 12, and the more treatments I go through, the more exhausted I get, and the harder it is to keep a firm grip. But I’m still hanging. I may be dangling by a thread by the time this is all over, but I have faith that I’ll still be hanging around. I’ll make it through, friends. Just keep those positive vibes coming. They really do help to lift me up.