Thursday, January 30, 2014

Please be patient with me. I am still trying to figure this chemo thing out.

I have long prided myself on being a reliable person. If I say I am going to do something, I do it. Or rather that is how I always had been until cancer came along. I hope the people in my life can be patient with me over the remaining five months of chemo that lie ahead.
   I am now seeing how I really just have no idea what side effects will hit me or when the side effects will come on with a vengeance. I am more tired than I have ever been in my life. I feel changes in my body from day to day and sometimes from hour to hour, and even minute to minute. I may feel "good enough" in the morning, only to find that by lunch time I am too tired to function. Nausea and other side effects sneak up on me when I least expect it. 
  I hate canceling or rescheduling plans. I hate disappointing my family. It pains me greatly to say, "I can't because I don't feel well or I am too tired". I especially hate saying those words to my kids. I hate bailing on my friends. I don't normally do any of those things. Please know that when I am unable to do something that I have planned on, I am so terribly sorry and it bothers me more than you can imagine. I don't like being unreliable. I don't like feeling like a flake. I want to honor my commitments and obligations so badly that I feel constantly worried about letting people down.
    If I have to cancel or reschedule plans or say, "I am sorry but I just can't do X right now"...please hang in there and don't give up on me. I promise I will be back. I am trying hard to get better now so I can be the person I always have been. 


  1. Tonia: your job right now is to get through the next 5 months of chemo as best you can. Everything else takes 2nd or even 3rd place to that. Do not apologize for being superwoman - that has to wait until the treatment is over and you recover. Anyone who does not understand that is not your friend. What serious illness teaches us is who are friends are and who they are not. I am learning that myself now with my husband's terminal illness. There are those who say "let me know if I can do anything - really hoping you do not ask them, and those who say - can I clean the house for you, can I get something at the store for you, or just come over for a cup of Tea if you want company. It reminds me of when I lived in the south for 2 years (many years ago) and folks would say "y'all come see us y' hear". which really just an expression and had I turned up at their door they would have been shocked.
    I have friends I know will help and in fact keep asking and suggesting things they can do, and those who say it once - and that is it. I am sure it is the same for you.
    But for heaven sake - do not apologize - you did not bring this on yourself, cancer treatment is exhausting - it has not changed your character - but it will show the character of your real friends. And your kids understand this more than you think. They need you to use your energy to get through these treatments. They want you to be well. Use your physical and psychological energy to work towards that goal.

    1. need to edit - do not apologize for NOT being superwoman.

    2. I don't have a prolonged illness but for various reasons I do understand some of what you're talking about. Trusting others is vulnerable and scary.