Sunday, September 21, 2014

Managing Chemotherapy, My Own Personal Time Machine

I am a Type A, Micro-managing, Obsessive, Control Freak with a planning addiction.  I love planning…anything.  I plan trips, I plan menus, I plan crafts, I.   Plan.  EVERYTHING!

 B.C. (before cancer) I had every one of my vacation days (and my husbands) accounted for; vacations penciled in, locations researched, through 2017. That’s right, why plan one year ahead, when you can plan 3. (Ok, lower your judgmental raised eyebrows please)!

Then cancer elbowed its way into my life and now, looking at my planner is making me think it may be time to start shopping for white-out at Costco.  I mean this chemotherapy is killing me, well, actually I suppose its saving me but it is killing my inner control freak.

Yesterday, I began to come out of my week long chemo haze.  I woke up and did not immediately go back to sleep, I read a book, I did laundry and I packed my family up for vacation in 3 weeks.  Yup, suitcases are packed, the beach bags have been filled with towels and sunscreen and placed next to the beach chairs.  Toiletries are in zip lock bags and secured in luggage.  I could leave right now…

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Sorry, I got lost for a minute, contemplating leaving right now. You see, with chemotherapy following me around trying to be my new bestie, I now find myself planning my life with the chemo week as a black hole of time.  I do not plan to get anything done during that week because chances are, I will work what I can and sleep through the rest.

So, I know that I have 2 ½ weeks until I leave vacation! (Kisses to Jesus and the world because that sentence is what is getting me through life right now!)  However 2 ½ weeks to a cancer patient on chemo actually means 1 ½ weeks,  because I know my chemo time machine will turn next week into a black hole of nothing.  

This week being a non-chemo week I am playing catch-up and planning ahead.   I am working a crap ton (again, that IS a technical term of measurement) trying to make sure I missed nothing last week as I sat staring at my computer in a chemo haze.  I have booked this week with the meetings I don’t dare to take on a chemo week.  I would not take a meeting drunk and  do not  like to take a meeting chemo drunk,  because the feeling and ability to retain information…after WAY too many margaritas is very similar to how I feel during my chemo bender.  So this week, I will get a ton done and nothing at all.  I will button up items at work but I can pretty much assure you that my floors will not be washed, and dinner will be ordered, probably more than once. 

Next week, I will return for my last chemo treatment before vacation (HOLLA).  I will stumble through chemo week, napping to songs from Dawsons Creek (don’t even raise that eyebrow…you know you loved it)  and trying to maintain eye contact as I listen to people at work talk to me using Charlie Browns Teachers Voice; “wah, wah, wah,  wah, wah” Then three more days and I am out for a week and a half of vacation, followed by chemo the day after I return. 

In order to be ready for that absence, I am working in chemo time.  Real time divided by 2

When I return from vacation we enter Holidaypalooza, Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas.  All Holidays that I love, that I plan, that I craft & menu plan my way through. This weekend,  as I thought about doing it in half-time, my heart felt like it was going to leap out of my chest until I realized that all of the Holidays I love fall on off-chemo weeks. Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

I realized that while I may not craft and plan and boss people around as much (Yes, that happens…I am bossy) that it will be fine.  I will be able to walk around with the trick-or-treaters because it will not be a chemo week. I will (hopefully) be able to taste Thanksgiving dinner, because it will be an off-chemo week, and on Christmas morning, I will drink champagne with breakfast as I watch my daughter flying down the stairs to see what Santa has left for her.

 So for now, I will channel my inner Zen Monkey. 

This year is different, this year is certainly more challenging and this year is making me arm wrestle my inner control freak but in the end it is what it is. If all of the Christmas presents are ordered on Amazon in one afternoon rather than weeks of shopping and there is no new dish on the Thanksgiving table, we will deal, and if all the presents are wrapped in wrapping paper that I let my husband choose (that clearly does not coordinate with our tree and probably features cartoon characters in Christmas hats)…   Ok, No.  Chemo or no chemo, I will still choose the wrapping paper, after all, I have to draw a line somewhere. 



PS. I am totally sharing my story with,  like only my favorite local "what's happening" Magazine FIG
And sure the Kardashians are still trending above me, but my prayers last night may have started with "I'd like to thank the Academy"  so support my inflated ego and check them out! 

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