It was a good weekend. I have felt better each day and I can really tell how much one round of chemo has improved my health. I can breath again. I can take deep, long breaths all the way into my lungs and exhale without a single itch, spasm or cough. I didn't realize just how severely restricted my breathing had become. It happened so gradually that we just didn't realize how sick I was. The night before the ER visit that began all this I came home from tech rehearsal and lay in bed with wracking, spasming coughs that lasted for 10 minutes at a time. My breath came in wheezes and fits. How we ever thought this was simply allergies astounds me. You just don't expect that something could be really wrong.
Though, I knew I was struggling. And deep down, perhaps I knew I wasn't well. In the days and weeks before my diagnosis, I remember driving home from work with Jackson and thinking about getting dinner ready and him ready for bed and then getting back in the car for rehearsal and just wanting to cry. "I need help." I would think. "I can't do all this, I am just too tired." I fantasized about moving in with my mom for a few weeks until the show opened. I felt so lazy and so guilty about the house going to shit. Leaving dishes in the sink all the time, letting the carpets get so nasty. Laundry piling up. So many little things left undone. And I felt really bad about it, but could not stop being lazy. I even thought a few times and actually said out loud to my husband "I wish I would just collapse so someone would help me." They'd get TV's Dr. House to figure out why I couldn't stop coughing and things would be great. Heh. Guess I got my wish. I just shake my head now about how bad I let things get before my Mother took charge. I just didn't know I was really sick. I had lost weight and couldn't gain it back and had no energy and couldn't take good care of myself, my house and my son. I took little joy from performing, either in Robin Hood or in getting ready for Steel Magnolias. And still, I just didn't even consider that I was really sick. Just lazy. As much as I wanted to, you just don't ask for help to combat lazy. I felt guilty about it and kept slugging on.
Well no more! I feel good this morning. Better than I have felt in months. I have an appetite and what feels like unrestricted airways for the first time in so long I can't remember. I have put on a few pounds and my face doesn't look so scary thin. Heh, even my bras fit a little better if ya know what I mean. I am amazed at how one round of dangerous, violent, wondrous chemotherapy has already beaten back the cancer that was eating me alive. Wow. The side effects are so debilitating and difficult to deal with. But I get to feel the benefits of the treatment this week. The aches and pains are ignorable right now and I expect this will be a great week for feeling good. Feeling normal. I wonder how much harder this process is on those cancer patients who didn't feel sick at all before treatment. Like a breast cancer patient who felt 100% normal and then found a lump. She has to walk in to her first round of chemo feeling well and leave feeling sick. She only gets to feel the awfulness of chemo and radiation and disfiguring surgery on top of the hair loss. I get to feel the 'wow' of treatment. Wow. I can breath, I can eat, I can play with my son on the floor. Wow. I am getting better.