Aug. 10, 2017, A week after 3rd Round

It’s been a full week.  I felt better, mostly, than the first two rounds.  But every afternoon or evening I flirted with a low fever (which is the only sign of an infection…very bad.)  But I managed to keep it down below the 100.3, or else go to the emergency room.  I can’t take ibuprofen because that masks the fevers.  So I have to put up with the aches and pains more. I’m just putting up with the stomach aches and the bone pain and not taking drugs for the side effects.  It seems better.

I am annoyed or depressed at how many people treat you differently when you’re bald or say you have cancer.  I’m still me!  My brain still works OK (mostly)!  I’m not dead!  People seem to talk about me, dismiss me, tell me what I should be doing, what I shouldn’t be doing (like my muscles don’t work), not talk about anything except in serious hushed tones, and my opinion or views on things seem not wanted.  I am trying to take control of my life and my health, and people seem to be trying to remove all sense of control I have.  I’m flabbergasted.  I guess that is what people sent to nursing homes always complained about, that I remember.   (I’m not ready for that either.)  I really really plan to get over this.  And I look better than most everyone in chemo.  I’m still pretty strong (muscle mass doesn’t go that fast, I’ve found).  The chemo is working incredibly well.  The oncologist is thrilled.  I find it a very long wasted summer that I wish I didn’t have.  The poisoning of chemo is certainly one of the worst and longest treatments I’ve ever had to undergo.  But people have worse problems to deal with.  The good news is that the chemo seems to be, at least temporarily, curing my fibromyalgia.  After 20 years of suffering with that, it’s amazing to have absence of that pain.

I don’t know what to do with what I’ve learned about people and how they deal with illness.  I don’t understand it yet.  Is it fear for themselves of the disease?  Do they really think I’m on the way to my grave?  Will I disappoint them to get over it and live well into old age?  Do they see me as a cancer “victim”? Psychologically dealing with people is proving to be the hardest part of going through chemo for me!

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