Fear & Loathing: Just Kidding It's Not That Bad

Oh hey - I went on vacation while on chemo
#cancercanttouchthis
It's been awhile since I've written here. To say I've been busy is kind of like when my dog says he's tired - dude, you run for 20 minutes twice a day, and then you sleep ALL DAY & ALL NIGHT. But, well, chemo fatigue is some real shiz, and taking care of my recovering body is a lot more exhausting than I thought it would be. It has taken me some time to adjust to that. 

I haven't had to put a lot of effort into slowing down - I've just slowed down. 

I don't have a choice. I literally can't walk for more than 15 minutes without taking a two hour nap. Like, my body just SHUTS DOWN. It's crazy. You think that you are prepared, that you understand something, and that it happens to your body and suddenly it's real in a way that defies words. Or maybe that's the chemo brain. My mind is foggy. I can't remember things. I lose things. I never know what day of the week it is. I mix up words or sometimes forget them completely. I feel like I'm a thousand years old. I used to read 2-3 books a week. Now it takes me about a month to read one. I forget what I read before and have to reread it. 

It's exhausting - everything takes approx 10 million times more effort than it feels like it should.

But...it's not so bad. I don't have to worry about working, or really doing anything. I have so much love and support that if there's something I can't do, there's someone who will do it for me. Pretty much the only thing I haven't been able to do is find people to write my blog for me (j/k I did, HB & my badass survivor sista friend Alona are slowly being roped into guest posts, stay tuned) 

And now that I have adjusted to the new realities of my incapacitated life, well, it's not that bad. We humans are such adaptable little creatures. Don't get me wrong, I have my bad days (weeks, months) of feeling so frustrated with my deficits and disabilities but, I am already half way through my chemo. 

And I thought it would feel so long, and I was never going to be able to get through 6 months of this, and then I snapped my fingers and BOOM. I can't freaking believe it. Looking back on it, it was BAD, but it was not so bad. Could've been a lot worse. And the tumor is freaking melting away. And I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I can do 4 more months of this. I really can. 

Since the very beginning I've been super stressed about the time when my eyebrows fell out... well, it's here. And... it's not that bad. It kind of just looks like when I was in high school and went a little crazy over plucking (remember that Gabi) 

And I think about the tears I shed and how worried I was about it and all of the stress I put myself through thinking about how weird and freaky I would look without eyebrows... and I am like, GIRL, why did you do that to yourself? Bless **

Now granted, the eyebrow thing may be slightly easier because when I noticed that my eyebrows were now missing big, patchy chunks, I just reached for the amazing Benefit Brows A Go Go  & Anastasia Beauty Express for Brows & Eyes I had already stocked for this occasion. I am still advocating for preparedness. It helps. Yeah, sections of my eyebrows fell out in weird patterns, but I got to skip the "oh crap what do I do moment" and just used the plan I already had in place. I'm sure that went a long way to mitigating my shame spiral to crazy town. 

Like all good stories, there is a moral here - worrying about something happening is usually worse than when it actually happens. Prob also "be prepared" but I feel like that I already hammered home for that one. Maybe prepare for the worst, expect the best, but well, you get the point. Insert your favorite cliche here, and then take a deep breath and stop worrying about it.

When you horde and covet my energy like the precious commodity it is, it becomes very apparent what is and isn't worth spending energy on. Fear of a situation you have absolutely no control over is a horrific waste of this resource. Obsessing and stressing out are just exhausting.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am working really hard on just not obsessing. It takes work to do it. I see myself getting worked up and I do a breathing exercise. Or I hug my puppy. Or I call a friend. Or I make a piece of jewelry (it's great, I have to concentrate so hard on the delicate work I can't think about anything else). Or I look at my baldspiration pinterest board. It takes work not to shame spiral - but I'm doing it.





And it's working. I'm being gentle with myself. And since having cancer gives me magical powers that allow me to tell other people what to do, I'm telling you not to obsess and stress either. Man makes plans and g-d laughs. It's never as bad as you think it's going to be. 

So now back to the writing. I just haven't had the energy, or the words, to write blog posts. So instead, a few nights ago I started writing poetry again. I haven't written poetry since high school. I used to write poems all the time (I still have some, they are all shamefully amazing hormone and angst soaked luv poems) and I remember being pretty OK at it. I even won a few awards. 

And now I find myself writing again. And it feels pretty good. And I have my lazy, fatigued chemo brain to thank for that. Look at me, I'm adapting.

So if you are reading this because you are about to go through chemo, know this - it really is not as bad as you imagine it's going to be in your head. I'm not going to lie to you, it's bad. But having lots of love and support and help makes it so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so much easier. (Friends, HB, Mama, Kostya, you guys are my rocks)

You can get through this. I am. 

Love you guys...
xoxoxox
Dena 

(**thank you Jules, for reminding me how much I love that phrase)