Catching up with me

Tommy Roe DizzyI missed my book club meeting tonight. It’s nice to feel some semblance of normalcy to my life, and that includes getting out once in a while and socializing. I’ve been lucky to be able to keep up with my pared-down calendar for this long; but now that I am smack in the middle of my chemotherapy schedule, it has become clear I can’t keep on doing it all. It’s caught up with me. I need to limit my activities, especially if they involve anything physical, and that is the new normal.

As I’m fond of saying, if this is as bad as it gets, I’m very fortunate.

So, fatigue is the main thing—no pain, no nausea, nothing horrendous, just a lot of sleep. I did have a health adventure last week pretty much unrelated to the chemo: extreme dizziness, which turned out to be Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Have you heard of it? Apparently, little calcium crystals live in our inner ears, and they can get stuck in the wrong position and impede the flow of the liquid in the semicircular tubes that tell our brain where we are in space. I was thrilled to be diagnosed for once with something beginning with the word “benign.” Better still, it was cured (!) by a simple physical maneuver that took all of 2 minutes to apply. Best medical success story since being told my liver would grow back in 6 to 8 weeks!

I’ve completed the first chemo infusion of Round 4, which, if you think of my chemo schedule as an LP—which, of course, I do—means I’ve just flipped the record and played the first song on side two. If I’d thought of this metaphor sooner, I’d have had time to explain the nearly week-long or two-week-long gaps between the songs, but I’ve got nothin’. The record is skipping? I’ll work on it.

Vertigo soundtrack coverIn any case, I’m now officially in the second half. Some say I’m on the homestretch. I appreciate the optimism, and am pretty optimistic myself, but that’s kind of like heading to LA on the I-5 and thinking you’re almost there when you pass that big, smelly cow ranch. I’ve got to practice patience more than ever and just know that even though it doesn’t feel like it, this is healing. And it will be over soon in the overall scheme of things.

There will be celebrating, to be sure—a big party for all the kind people who have helped me through this, at the very least. But for now, I’ll continue to take it a day, an hour, a moment at a time.