Round four - am I done yet?

I keep hearing from friends and family - wow, you've been so strong and positive, how do you manage to keep such a great attitude? Well folks, the jig is up - today I lost it. If you want to keep thinking I'm this solid rock who doesn't ever cry or have a bad day, you might want to skip this post. Today was the day that I got mad that cancer invaded my life, today was the day that Safeway's incompetence resulted in my prescription for Emend (the drug I take to control nausea) not getting filled, today was the day that I felt sorry for myself that, while everyone else gets to cook their favorite foods on Thanksgiving (cooking the turkey is my THING - I've been brining my turkey for 7 years and following a special secret recipe, thanks Bev!, all the while drinking wine and loving the process - but this year I not only will feel like crap and probably barely feel like eating turkey at all, thank you chemo, but I can't even get near the oven with my wig even if I did feel like cooking!, and forget about drinking wine!, then sit back and enjoy their family, while I will be laying in bed wishing I could fast forward time several months, today was the day I got FED UP with this whole stupid cancer thing. Yes, ladies and gentleman, we've come to the point in the program where Amy proves that she isn't strong all the time. And while I know in my heart that it is normal and fine and acceptable, I don't want to feel like this. I want to feel strong - like after my ass kicking of a workout this morning (thanks, Lisa - who knew the bright spot of my day today was going to be three sets of burbees and running up and down the stairs until my quads were burning?!) not sad and angry.

But I know I'm human - not to mention an emotional person to begin with - so I should have seen it coming. I knew having chemo two days before Thanksgiving was going to be hard, I just didn't think it would hit me this hard this soon.

This blog is about being REAL, being AMY, so I thought it was important to share that I'm not all sunshine and roses (and pink ribbons!) all the time. I'm ready to be done, to not feel like crap for 7-9 days every three weeks, to be a good mom and wife again, to have cleavage again, for crying out loud! I'm ready for freedom to get on a plane, to eat sushi, to not have my killer workouts interrupted by 7 days of pathetic "chemo week workouts" where my "hard workouts" consist of slow walking for 30 minutes. I'm not even going to complain about not having hair - I'm actually still kind of enjoying the ease of wearing wigs, not having to shave my legs or armpits and being showered and ready to walk out the door in 20 minutes! - but I am really missing some basic parts of my "pre-cancer" life.

I'm going to apologize to the chemo Gods for ever thinking it would be a breeze - it's far from it. I'll head in tomorrow glad that Round 4 will be over, but not glad that two more rounds are in my future. I'm trying to be thankful that I only have 6 rounds - I talked to a friend the other day who had to go through 9 rounds, yikes! - but in the end, I know it may be a struggle to keep putting one foot in front of the other for the next month and a half. But I will do it, and you know what? Maybe it's OK to have some bad days, maybe it's OK to cry, scream, cry again.

In the spirit of admitting that it's OK to feel sad and beaten down, but still able to come through it strong on the other side, I'll make "Stand Back Up" Round 4's theme song... Thank you, Sugarland...

Stand Back Up

Go ahead and take your best shot,
Let 'er rip, give it all you've got,
I'm laid out on the floor, but I've been here before,
I may stumble, yeah I might fall,
Only human aren't we all?
I might lose my way, but hear me when I say,

I will stand back up,
You'll know just the moment when I've had enough,
Sometimes I'm afraid, and I don't feel that tough,
But I'll stand back up,

I've been beaten up and bruised,
I've been kicked right off my shoes,
Been down on my knees more times than you'd believe,
When the darkness tries to get me,
There's a light that just won't let me,
It might take my pride, and my tears may fill my eyes,
But I'll stand back up,

I've weathered all these storms,
But I just turn them into wind, so I can fly,
What don't kill you makes you stronger,
When I take my last breath,
That's when I'll just give up,

So, go ahead and take your best shot,
Let 'er rip, give it all you've got,
You might win this round but you can't keep me down,

'Cause I'll stand back up,
And you'll know just the moment when I've had enough,
Sometimes I'm afraid and I don't feel that tough,
But I'll stand back up,

You'll know just the moment when I've had enough,
Sometimes I'm afraid and I don't feel that tough,
But I'll stand back up.

See ya on the other side... Enjoy an extra glass of wine on Thanksgiving for me, please!


Anonymous said...

Hang in there Amy, I'll be thinking about you tonight and tomorrow and will send a number of prayers up for you!!! Try hard to stay strong, I know I have those day and I don’t even have cancer, so I can’t even imagine what its like for you. You will survive this load of crap I know you will!

Love Amy

Anonymous said...

You may not remember me but I am a friend of your Mom's from The Book Place. I just want to say I admire your strength.
And I wanted to pass along a saying that a friend passed on to me when things were not bright and shiny in my life. I am not sure it will help, but I don't think it can hurt.

"Courage doesn't always roar.

Somtimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying... I will try again tomorrow."

Keep trying girl... you have amazing strength and courage and an amazing family.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

Becky H said...

Sending you the biggest e-hug I can. I love you girl and can't wait to run with you when this round is over.


Jennifer said...

Hi Amy,

I'm another friend of your Mom from the Book Place. Thanks for being honest about your feelings. Those of us who've not been where you are need to hear your words. I know you get lots of hugs from your family and friends, but I'm adding my hug to all of theirs.


Nuke said...

Don't spend too much time worrying about how you're strength is perceived by others. It's absolutely ok to be mad and sad and to show it. That you're still writing and sharing this experience with your family and friends - even in the darkest hours - shows an incredible amount of strength and character. You are an incredible person and this crucible of cancer and treatment is only revealing it more. Keep it up. We'll all be thinking of you. And your turkey will be twice as good next year.


goSonja said...

Yea, Amy,

This chemo crap sucks. And go through it you will, but I can see how it would just totally suck during. Keep on keeping on. Maybe we should do "second thanksgiving" next week?? You can make the turkey bald...

love you girl.

LD said...

Maybe it's "ok" to have some bad days? Your damn strait it is! I know your feeling discomfort,aches, pain! But Please Amy...Disease cannot live in a body thats in a healthy emotional state. Your body is casting off millions of cells every second, and it's also creating millions of new cells at the same time. See yourself living in a perfectely healthy body. let the doctor look after the disease! You Are PERFECT!

A.J. said...

I am so glad that you can be real with us, Amy. Cancer completely sucks and it is more than OK to say so. Please vent and cry away -- that is what we're here for! I know everyone will look forward to your turkey next year for sure.

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