Moving on…

by cindy

Well, hello again! As usual, too many months have passed since my previous post. Consistency is not something I do well. I do try. Truly. Or, at least, I try to try.

But, moving on…

Chemo is done. It wasn’t horrible, for which I am overwhelmingly grateful. One could call it beginner’s luck, I suppose. I prefer to call it just luck. “Beginner” be damned! I’d rather not even consider having to do it all over again. And maybe I won’t have to! Look at me being positive!

When staring at the bottle of 112 pills at the beginning of each chemotherapy cycle, I must admit to having moments of oh-shit-will-this-never-end? I also became a bit curious about this whole pharmacological process. I mean, I was consuming a lot of pills. In addition to the standard old-folks’ collection (statins, blood pressure, probiotics, vitamins, sleep aids, the occasional Tylenol as well as the cherished anti-anxiety med), I was also consuming two anti-coagulants, one anti-nausea, and eight huge chemo pills daily. My phone became my charge nurse; its alarm app kept me on a timely swallowing schedule.

At one point I began to wonder how in the bloody hell these pills know where to go once they cascade their way into my stomach. Is there some reason, other than identification, for the various shapes, sizes, and colors? I mean, is our pharmaceutical industry that, uh, good that medications are coded by color, size, and shape so the body can sort them? Do the pink oval pills go here while the white square pills go there? Do the orange and red pills head straight to the knees while the teeny brown pills find their way to the sinuses? Perhaps, somewhere inside our bodies there is an undetectable sorter, like this:

Wouldn’t that be fascinating discovery! I must say the very thought amused me. Probably amuses only me. I am rather easily amused. Apparently.

Anyway, moving on…

Throughout the six month run of chemo, the most debilitating side effect I experienced was fatigue. If it were possible to italicize that word at an even greater a n g l e I would surely do just that. The fatigue, when it hit, was bone crushing. It was akin to being encased in cement. I learned quickly not to argue with my body. When it said “SLEEP”, I slept.

It was on one such morning that I shuffled out of bed just long enough to pee. After sleeping for two additional hours, I dragged myself again to the bathroom to brush my teeth and get a shower. Those two activities wiped me out and as I dressed back into my jammies, my most urgent thought was get back into that bed. NOW.

As I continue with this narrative, keep two details in mind. One, there is a door between the dressing room and the bedroom. Two, that door was on my left. Ok, make it three details and this one might be the most important: the left side is my blind side.

As soon as my clothes were on my body, I swiftly turned toward the doorway, slamming the side of my headBAM!—into the door.

The impact caused the door and me to rebound back into each other—THWACK!—with the door’s edge meeting my face squarely down the middle—forehead, nose, chin and all.

Worrying about the effect the anti-coagulant meds might have on such a collision, I staggered right back into the bathroom to check for bruises, blood or similar damage.

Nothing. Not one dent. Not one bruise. Not one drop of blood.

Now, if you have not seen the movie “Sing!”, I suggest you stream it someday soon. To begin with, it has a lovely, family-friendly story. And it has some amazingly lively characters, like my personal favorite, the iguana, Miss Crawly:

Do you see where I’m heading here?

Yes, as I stared into the mirror that morning, it was Miss Crawly who stared back at me. Miss Crawly, minus the lipstick.

The collision had caused my prosthetic eye to spin around in its socket, resulting in that winning wonky-eyed-look just like Miss Crawly. If ever I needed a laugh, I needed it that morning. And my spinning plastic eyeball, having repositioned itself to point in the opposite direction, rose to the occasion. I must admit I can be my own best source of amusement. If I have to have a fake eye, I might as well enjoy it, right? My only regret that morning was that I was too damn tired to retrieve my phone for a selfie. Now that would have been an image worth posting.

And so, on I go. Enough of cancer stories. Enough of eyeball stories. On to other things, at least for now.

It is time for moving on…with goals, with stories, with laughter, with life.