Saturday, February 25, 2017

One too many mornings

An' the silent night will shatter
From the sounds inside my mind
Yes, I'm one too many mornings
And a thousand miles behind

One Too Many Mornings
Bob Dylan

There are too many mornings right now where the ability to get up to face the day is taking a hammering.

Facing cancer on a daily basis has been a challenge of varying proportions for the past three and a half years, but in this Winter of Our Discontent, it has seemed like a losing battle.

See, I have no idea how long it's been since I've felt good, felt healthy. The goal for most days is to not feel so bad that I can't function.

I've also had to come to grips with a hard decision. I'm beginning to doubt if this fight against cancer can be won. Wait, let me put that another way. The battle is being won. My blood work has been outstanding for the past few weeks, since I started my new treatment, actually.

But, here's the thing. As the cancer is being knocked down, so is the rest of my system. Cancer is no joke. If you're going to battle it, you have to use the big guns and doing that brings collateral damage.

It is a hard, but true fact, that I am putting poison in my system on a regular basis and it makes me feel sick... a lot. But what am I supposed to do instead?

Good question, that. Obviously, we keep going. We keep the cancer numbers knocked down and wait for spring.

I've missed a couple of treatments this month. One because I had/have a horrendous cold and I won't go around other patients and risk compromising their systems. The other was because we could not get up our road which had been made impassable by ice, the same ice which has made it hard for us to get out on any regular sort of basis.

I did get to the clinic for a day-long treatment yesterday; day-long being only a slight exaggeration. I left the house at 9:30 am. and got back at 6:30 pm. I did have to stop at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, which took about 20 minutes, so, you can see, the bulk of the day was spent in the treatment chair. It was one of the very few days Sheri wasn't with me. She now has a horrific cold and did not go with me for the same reason I missed one of my own treatments.

The worst side effect of the new treatment is suffering hot and cold flashes which leave me drenched in sweat and freezing old. They started this time about half way through the procedure and were in full flow when I walked in the door at the end of the day. Sheri actually took one look at my face and asked if it was raining, and she wasn't kidding.

And so the rest of the night went... add clothes, remove clothes, get a towel and wipe sweat, wrap towel around my neck to hold back chills. Oy.
Then it's bedtime and I go to sleep wondering what the next day will bring, but fairly sure it isn't going to be a time when my feeling lousy takes a day off.

Brothers and sisters, I have tried to remain positive through this long, long journey and I think, for the most part, I've had success. But now, I need to be honest, honest as I have tried to be throughout our journey together. I am running out of steam.

What does that mean? I don't really know. Does it mean I'm going to give up? No. Does it mean I'm going to make feeling sorry for myself a bigger part of my life? No.

I don't know what it means.

I do know I'm tired, but I will continue to scratch and claw my way through this. We are so much better off than when I first started treatment, and maybe I can hold on to that fact and build from there.

I guess we'll see.

There are a variety of versions of the story that gives this blog its name. The pony is the constant in all of them. A man is on his way to a party when he comes across a young boy shoveling ass over tea kettle at an enormous mountain of manure. The man asks the child if he wouldn't rather go with him to the party than shovel all that poop. The kid says, “No way man. With all that poop... there must be a pony in there somewhere