25: A Pirate's Life for Me!

On July 14th, I received my third dose of carboplatin. I was very, very sick. And very, very depressed. For the first time since I was diagnosed, I was depressed. And as is usually the case, I didn't fully realize just how depressed I was until after I was feeling a bit better again. I hit my low point, both physically and psychologically. 

My SO had vacation planned with two of his kids which meant he would be out of the country starting a week after my chemo treatment. He needed that vacation, and he needed the time with his family. I insisted he go. The kids' dad was out of town for work. I had a week alone with the kids. I still couldn't walk down the block without having to sit down because I was so dizzy, so woozy, so sick. I couldn't drive. I was depressed. Very, very depressed. I knew I needed help. I called a family friend - a couple who was close friends with my parents since before I was born. Two days later, one of them had flown from the D.C. area to be with me. At the same time, the other started the 1700 mile drive out here. 

Over the next week, I slowly started to recover. She dropped the kids off at camp, made meals for them, did the dishes, and we sat and talked. That was about all I could do at that point, so we spent a lot of time talking. Physically, I felt horrible, but it made me feel wonderful to have the company and the help.

In the midst of all of this, the kids were finishing up a 3-week theater camp. Owen had been cast as Smee, and Lucia as a pirate, in their production of "Peter Pan." They had been working very hard and were excited for their end-of-camp performance. On the day of their performance, the weather was perfect. They performed outdoors, and it was wonderful and beautiful. I watched my kids get up there and give it all they had. They did great, and I was so thankful to be able to be there to watch them. I was so proud of both of them.

I met with my oncologist, and with input from her and my SO, I decided to forego the fourth dose of carboplatin. And the next day, I got on a plane to go to a meeting in D.C., and my friends started the drive back to their home near D.C. I look back on it and wonder what I was thinking. Why on earth did I feel I needed to go to that meeting? Yes, I had agreed to give a talk and to moderate a session, and I had some meetings scheduled, but still...That was crazy of me considering that just 10 days before, I felt like I was dying. In truth, I know exactly why I went. Somehow, not going would have been like admitting defeat. If I didn't go, then the only reason I wouldn't have gone would be because I have cancer. I so badly did not want that. The day after arriving in D.C., I got a cold. A FUCKING COLD. After months of keeping myself free of infections, I had a cold. It was so minor yet so much added insult to injury. It took me a week to get over the cold, but I recovered, and during the trip to D.C., my SO and I were even able to get out one evening and walk around a bit. 

Owen and Lucia, as Smee and Pirate, and Owen with Jim and Shelley, who were there for me when I really needed it.

An evening walk around D.C. with my best friend.

Note the extra fancy compression sleeve I'm wearing in the pic below!!