28 December 2010
Yesterday my father held my hand and gave me permission to feel bad, and to admit to my family and friends that I’m not feeling so well. So, here it goes . . .
I’m not feeling very well right now.
I’m exhausted, completely running on empty, a full-blown post-holiday crash. I’m not certain how much of it has to do with radiation treatment, the busy holidays or a combination of both. It’s not so much a physical body exhaustion like the chemo treatment days. It’s more like an incredible need to sleep, and often. I fell asleep at Christmas Even service, and yesterday I fell asleep on the radiation treatment table.
Add to the exhaustion a terrible night of nausea that kept me up until 4 am Monday morning. I’m certain that this was a normal stomach virus, not related to the radiation treatment. When my stomach finally settled down, it was only three short hours before I had to be at CARTI for radiation treatment. I could barely walk, much less drive myself to treatment. Thank goodness for Dad who is usually awake quite early and was eager to help by driving me to CARTI, a much safer arrangement for everyone involved. After treatment, I came back home and slept until 2:15 in the afternoon. That’s right – I slept most of the day away. This isn’t my usual approach to life; but then again, what is “usual” anymore. The doctors warned me that fatigue is normal during this time.
One of the smartest things I’ve done in a while was a strategic move to conserve what little energy I have, and the nice folks at CARTI were more than willing to help. Instead of leaving each morning for CARTI at 6:30 am, my treatment time has been rescheduled for 10 am. I’m certain this will work much better with my internal body clock.
I’m taking it slow, being careful about how I expend what little energy I have. When I feel active and alert, I’m getting life done, with the help of Denver, Sarah Beth and other great colleagues; and when I’m tired, I’m giving in to fatigue and sleeping. Thanks to Tim and two cups of coffee Sunday night, I was able to get out and see “The King’s Speech”, a movie I’ve been very excited about seeing. How fortunate I am to have Tim, family and colleagues who are empathetic and accommodating to my energy highs and lows.
In the meantime, I’m making plans for 2011. For Christmas my family gave me a collection of Southwest Airline gift cards. While 2010 was the year of countless trips to UAMS, this next year I’m anxious for different kinds of trips, the real kind – to board airplanes and explore new destinations. I’m not yet sure where I’m going, but it sure is fun searching. No doubt, for me, 2011 will be a better year. At least that’s the plan.
Posted by Stacy Sells at 6:08 AM