A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad dayPosted: October 29, 2014 Filed under: cancer fatigue, drugs | Tags: Alexander and the Terrible, Aromasin, aromatase inhibitors, Horrible, Judith Viorst, No Good, O magazine, Very Bad Day 10 Comments
To quote from Alexander, the hero of Judith Viorst’s timeless children’s book, today was a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”
Actually, truth be told, it’s been a terrible, horrible, no good very bad month. It’s been a death-by-a-million-paper-cuts month.
I didn’t wake up with gum in my hair or miss out on dessert at lunch like poor Alexander did. But it’s still been a THNGVB day.
This is dangerous territory. As a cancer “survivor” I should be grateful. I should be happy. I should be thankful to be alive and (more or less) in one piece.
To which I say, screw the “shoulds.”
Of course I’m grateful to have “survived” cancer (and of course I recognize that the “surviving” only hold true until the day in any given month in any given year that the cancer comes back. Which it does for some 40 percent of women diagnosed with early-stage, favorable breast cancer). I am happy that I’m not currently metastatic. I am thankful to be alive. None of this, however, cancels out the rest of the yucky stuff involved, and sometimes a girl’s gotta vent.
Today was the tipping point of my THNGVB month. A punctured tire this morning turned today’s to-do list into a scrap in the recycle bin. A cut on my leg from two weeks ago has become red, hot, painful, and pussed instead of healed. My attempts to slather it in Neosporin and cover it with a band-aid didn’t cut it (heh heh) so I’m now back in antibiotic hell. Cue the nausea, thrush, and terrible taste in my mouth, which join the dizziness, joint pain, neuropathy, fatigue, mental fog, muscle weakness, hot flashes, and sweating. Sheesh. I mean, sheesh.
I’ve been blaming this fresh hell on Aromasin, the latest aromatase inhibitor I’ve been taking to stave off a recurrence of my cancer and (theoretically) live a longer life. However, I’ve had the luxury of being off the dreaded Aromasin for a two-week period in advance of and following surgery. Yes, another surgery. Don’t be jealous. Perhaps it takes more than a two-week window to rid oneself of the nastiness Aromasin brings. Perhaps I’m just a whiner. Either way, I don’t feel good and I firmly believe that in some cases, the cure is worse than the disease.
Attempts to ameliorate any one of these symptoms are for naught. Taking a probiotic. Counting my blessings. Backing off of the intensity of my workouts. Viewing photos of baby donkeys and Golden Retriever puppies. Lighting a yummy-smelling candle. Drinking more water. Making an appointment with a neurologist. Doing a good deed for a friend in need. Nothing is helping. Nada. Nuttin.
In my most recent attempt to carve out a moment of not-hell, I read this quote in the current edition of Oprah’s magazine:
In our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with responsibilities and challenges. Having enough time to give to everybody who needs you and have any left for yourself is a constant struggle. But in the long run, designing space for you is the only way you can survive without burnout and resentment. There is no life without a spiritual life, and spirituality is like a muscle. It must be fueled. Fuel yourself with beauty, inspiration, music, laughter, nature, a hot soaking bath, silence. Whatever form it takes for you. Know this for sure: You have more to give when your own tank is full.
Dammit, Oprah! I’m trying. I’m trying to design space for me and to fuel myself. But what does one do when nothing is working?
I suppose I’ll have to take a page from Alexander’s book and move to Australia.
Thanks and am hoping you get that luxurious relaxing soak (leg out of the tub, don’t want some bug in the water to get in there) and tomorrow is a better day. Or the one after that. I don’t know how many times I whispered that to myself when I was at the bottom of a dark hole. It’s still a rollercoaster isn’t it? I’m so grateful for the people like you who understand that, my friend.
PS Use Polysporin, not Neo. Or so about half a dozen docs have told me in the last couple of years. And also, infections suck and I’m sorry. I lost my pinky fingernail for 6 whole months, no nail, all because of a darn hangnail that got infected, even tho I got to the doc within 36 hours of seeing the telltale red! Ah, but who needs lymph nodes, right?
I heart you so much 💛💙💜💚❤️💗💓💕💖💞💘💌!!!!! Just reading this post lifted my heart ( I’m so sorry). I also have been having a series of TNGVBD weeks, involving Aromasin, divorce, a speeding ticket, and just general crap sandwiches everyday. My breast cancer story is so similar to yours, it’s just nice to know someone out there is living the dream like I am. Again, so sorry. Cheers!
Love to you Janesplain. My story is similar to Nancy’s and I’m sorry we now have a threesome in our crappy club. I love your crap sandwich phrase. Best wishes to you.
So sorry about your THNGVB day. Somewhere in the universe, the wheel of karma has also gotten a flat tire for not being fair to you. May tomorrow be better.
Thanks and am hoping you get that luxurious relaxing soak (leg out of the tub, don’t want some bug in the water to get in there) and tomorrow is a better day. Or the one after that. I don’t know how many times I whispered that to myself when I was at the bottom of a dark hole. It’s still a rollercoaster isn’t it? I’m so grateful for the people like you who understand that, my friend. PS Use Polysporin, not Neo. Or so about half a dozen docs have told me in the last couple of years. And also, infections suck and I’m sorry. I lost my pinky fingernail for 6 whole months, no nail, all because of a darn hangnail that got infected, even tho I got to the doc within 36 hours of seeing the telltale red! Ah, but who needs lymph nodes, right?
I am so sorry you are having such an awful time of it with so much going so wrong. and you were so bubbly and happy celebrating GCD! – dammit, it’s just not fair. I will send you my biggest, brightest, shiniest beams of hope that these crappy days will smooth out and you will soon feel much better. and I hope you get some good answers from the neurologist visit.
much love and lots of gentle, warm hugs, my Friend,
Karen PS – your writing is still top-notch wonderful; don’t know how you do it feeling so
down in the dumps miserable. please keep us posted. xo
Australia has some lovely beaches, but everything…. EVERYTHING is poisonous. Eeep. Sorry about the rough month, it just means next month will have to be better. It owes it to you.
Australia with a full & warm bath tub over looking the sunshine & beach, plus a hired hand who can make all the meals, give foot rubs, clean everything and iron the laundry. Plus chocolate and tea. Annnnd naps.
I think that may be the only cure.
But until that happens,keep venting out the pressure, and I really do hope things settle down. Man, when it rains it pours, eh?
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