Wednesday, February 08, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0076 - Collapse

I didn't expect today. I wasn't prepared for a day like today. It just happened.

I awoke with expectations that I would be better, that my symptoms from radiation proctitis were now under control, that I would get even more done at work, that things would be as close to normal as they could be. But that's not how it turned out.

First there was the surprise visit of substantial pain when I had my morning bowel movements. Then the suppository wouldn't take its rightful position. Another BM. Lost that sucker of a suppository. Then more pain. Then difficulty sitting down again. A decision to try to work from home.

That seemed to help. I got back in my recliner, logged in to work through remote desktop connection, wrote email messages fast and furious for about two hours, took a long, hot bath, did some more email for work...then had my first bit of food. But I was very tired, unusually tired.

I went for radiation treatment during which the radiation therapists suggested I see the supportive care coordinator. I did what they recommended but found that I had exhausted my emotional resources too. I cried...about missing work, about feeling tired, about having pain, about feeling as if I was failing somehow. Then, when I finally found enough strength to squeeze her hand and leave the centre, I discovered that I had left my wallet, my change, my driver's license, my brain at home. Dumb! So dumb!

My wife will come to bail me out. She'll pay the $200, get me out of jail, and then we'll pass Go together. I'll go home with her thankful that I have someone so loving and supportive in my life.

I asked the supportive care coordinator if there was any reason my eyes would be tired. Well, nothing directly related to the radiation treatment, but...

"Maybe your body is trying to tell you something," she said. "Give yourself permission to make your health your number one priority right now. We're being very aggressive with our treatment. Your body has the tumour, the chemo and the radiation. And you will have surgery and another round of chemo to come yet. It's OK to be tired."

OK. But how do I convince my mind, my ego, that I'm not a failure?

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