Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I am fundamentally a 'glass is half full' sort of person.

It's not that I am always in a good mood (those closest to me would be sure to tell you otherwise). In fact, I have struggled with depression since my teens, and need to work hard at staying healthy. It's just that if there are two ways to look at a situation, I naturally gravitate to the most positive interpretation.

That's why I can say that during these months of chemotherapy, I feel well half the time.

A clear physical and emotional cycle has emerged after three rounds of chemo. The first couple of days afterwards I feel light-headed and queasy. By the week end (every chemo is on Thursday), I go into the 'trough', which lasts for several days. I feel pretty awful during this period but the symptoms are better managed than during the first round. By early the next week, I emerge from the worst but go into an emotional funk (last week I spent several days exhausted and furious at how different my life is right now from what I expected it would be).

Then I turn the corner.

I went for a walk last Saturday, bubbling over with everything that is good with the world. The sunshine. My beautiful children. My dogs. My eyebrows (thinner, but still there).

I seem to get a week and half of feeling better (the effects of chemo are cumulative, so I know that this period could get shorter, but I know it will come), during which time I am positively euphoric.

I love my family. My neighbourhood. I have the best friends in the world. I am getting the best of medical care. I am happy. The fact that I can't find anything in my cluttered mess of my house only bothers me a tiny bit.

Chemotherapy is very hard and I really, really hate it. I am however, very grateful for this opportunity to experience joy, and to be reminded that, really, I have a very good life.

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