Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's All Good - Even When It's Bad

I had decided yesterday that I was going to take a break from my laptop. My laptop is my link to nonstop cancer. As you can tell, I've changed my color scheme on my blog page. I got tired of the pink ribbons. I'm tired of all pink things. I'm tired of the musician Pink. (She wrote a song rubbing her ex-husband's face in the fact that she's a rock star. Maybe he was such a lousy husband because all she would do was talk about how she was a rock star and he wasn't.) I'm tired of cancer and all things cancer related.

Taking a break from my laptop probably isn't something I'm going to be able to do. But I am burned out. I have several chemo side effects that are keeping me from going out and frolicking in the sun. Truth be told, yesterday I had decided it was time to just quit chemo. I have a tired that has set in my body and taken control of my life in a way that is impossible to explain. The only people who know what "it's a tired you've never felt in your entire life" means are the ones who have had chemo. I decided before I announced to my family and doctors that I was quitting chemo, I'd test the water with one of my closest friends. The conversation went EXACTLY like this:

Me: After much prayer I've been thinking maybe I'm not going to finish my chemo treatments.
AB: Why?
Me: The side effects are more than I can handle. I've lost my sense of taste; I've got sores in my mouth; my muscles hurts, but especially the ones in my legs - making it extremely painful to walk; my eyes burn, itch and are swollen; and the pain in my rear has returned.
AB: I'm not going to tell you what to do, but you're not quitting chemo.
Me: But all my side effects?
AB: Suck it up - you're half way through.
Me: Ok, but I am going to take a long break from writing in my blog.
AB: I'm not going to tell you what to do, but you're going to keep writing in your blog, because it is extremely insightful and people want - no, people NEED to know how you're doing. Your blog brings joy to millions around the world. Your BFF Kelly thinks she's the smartest woman in the universe, but she's not - you are. People depend on your blog. You will not let them down, Sheri.
Me: FINE! I am going to stop checking my facebook for a period of time.
AB: I'm not going to tell you what to do, but you are going to continue checking your FB. You've reconnected with a lot of old friends and they are praying for you and love you.
Me: (Sigh) All right! I'm having spicy mexican food for dinner tonight.
AB: I'm not going to tell you what to do, but...
Me: I'm standing my ground on this one! Goodbye!

Anyway... I'm not quitting chemo - I'm just frustrated that time isn't going more quickly. This past weekend I asked Tom to get me out of the house. I knew I didn't have the strength or energy to do anything except go for a drive, so that's what we did. It was Sunday and the weather was beautiful. We passed parks and walking trails. I watched people jogging and couples holding hands while walking along. It sent me into a deep self pity. I wanted to be walking outside enjoying the spring temperature. I stared at the people knowing that they weren't even appreciative of doing something as simple as walking outside. I wallowed in my self pity: rolled around in it for hours on end. It took a lot of prayer to snap me out of it. I can now think about the people walking and instead of feeling jealous, I feel happiness that they are able to do something as simple as go for a stroll. It's impossible to be grateful for everything you have and can do; there is way too much we take for granted. If I continue to focus on the positives that have come out of this instead of the negative side effects I'm having, I'll get through this much easier.

Today I'm not going to focus on the fact that I have some major gastric/intestinal issues going on, I'll focus on how bless I am to have indoor plumbing. Mexican food was not a good idea. A good friend would have warned me.


  1. Even weak and sick you still hit 'em out of the park.
    Way to hold firm on the Mexican food.
    I DO think you're practically as smart as me.
    I DO need you on your blog, although not as much as the young woman who just go a dx and thinks they'll take her spirit when they take her breast.
    Blog on Sheri, so she'll know it ain't so.

  2. Sheri,

    I get tired of all the pink too ... I like the new look.

    Do keep blogging ... it's important to others.

  3. Sheri, when I read your post I thought that was exactly like me. Many times during chemo and even radiation I told my husband I wasn't setting foot in that clinic again. Luckily he just let me rant on as he knew I didn't really mean it and it was just the frustration taking hold.
    Keep blogging Sheri as I was told every little thing we write helps another person going through this.

  4. spicy mexican food ? Seriously Sheri? :)

    I know this thing is a butt kicker, but you are on the
    back half of the treatments now.
    Hang tough my friend!

    Prayers going up for you!

  5. I'm so happy your decided to continue your chemo(especially) and blog! I look forward to you humorous perspective about something that isn't humorous at all. No wonder so many people love you! Hope you feel better soon.

  6. Almost five years later I still remember the tiredness. I would sleep and get up and feel like I never slept at all.

    Sheri, what you are going through is not an easy thing. It can be darn right brutal, but you my bc friend, are doing remarkable. Just keep hanging in there. It will be over soon and will become only a memory of how strong you really are.

  7. I love AB and I love you. You will finish this and then you will get your real life back. hugs

  8. So what is this blog all about?

  9. I always thought I couldn't do another and I did. I made it through all six and now it seems so far away. And I remember taking my kids to the park and being jelous of moms running after their kids as I sat in the grass. I did skip my Neulasta shot after my chemo session five. I was rebelious. My rebelion worked because I found out they could give me a lower dosage or a different shot and it worked out well because I got something different that didn't make me as sick. Remember....chemo totally killed all my cancer.....so don't quit! It's working in ways you can't see! Maybe you should ask about the Neulasta shot....it can give you flu symptoms?

  10. Sheri,

    Chemo six out of eight was the hardest and I too had thoughts that I just could not do it any longer. You must keep moving forward and finish your treatments. It is so hard, but you will get stronger and eventually get your energy back. Keep blogging and I love your new background!!

  11. Hi Sheri
    I am so fed up with chemo talk, pink things that sometimes I just want to throw anything pink in a bonfire.... and I haven't even started chemo yet.
    Yes you must continue..though I know there are many obstacles, it is something that we can overcome....

  12. I know EXACTLY where you are! I remember thinking I could NEVER make it through another chemo, and this was after #4. I had two more to go. I dragged myself in to my oncologist and told him I just couldn't do another one. He gave me three options: quit altogether, take an extra week off and then continue, or do the chemo right then as scheduled. I took the middle ground and took the extra week off!
    I got through all the chemo, the surgery, the radiation, and have now collapsed into the same funk you are in!!! I hate pink, I hate cancer, I hate being tired, etc., etc. But it's OVER!!!!!

    Don't give up!!!! It will pass. And I LOVE the look of your blog! No pink!

  13. Don't give up Sheri....this entry made me cry,,I'm glad you decided to keep going

    Melanie :)

  14. I too am quitting chemo for the moment. (I reserve my right, as a woman to change my mind.) Been fighting ovarian cancer since 2006 and am just depleted of any energy to fight for anything but enjoying my life.

    For now I am just resting in the Lord, and writing in my own blog: blessingsofcancer.blogspot.com but not as faithfully as you are.

    I do believe that our fight, our showing up, our courage is an inspiration to others so I plan to keep facebooking, blogging, and showing up as long as I can.