Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

It’s Alright to Cry – Prepping for Battle #4

Although it is unfortunate that the cancer is back, the timing couldn't be better. I was off from work due to the holidays so I was able to spend 2+ weeks at home taking care of myself.  I got a ton of things crossed off my "to do" list and I managed to do a lot of sleeping, exercising and reading.  It was just what I needed. 
I realized over the past two weeks that I was living with consistent, low-level sadness and anger.  I would start tearing up at the most unexpected times. Some of my favorites are:
  • When a really motivating or inspiring song started playing on my iPod at the gym
  • During certain parts of movies (that weren't even meant to be sad
  • While visiting Edward, my wig guru, who confirmed that I would most likely lose my hair for the 3rd time
  • At Whole Foods when I bought sushi and realized that I most likely would have to severely limit my intake of raw foods over the indefinite months ahead
I know that these episodes are perfectly healthy and are part of the grieving process.  Hey, I grew up with Free to Be You and Me when Rosey Grier sang:
It's Alright to Cry
Crying Gets the Sad out of You
It's Alright to Cry
It Might Make You Feel Better
Raindrops from Your Eyes
Washing all the Mad out Of You
Raindrops from Your Eyes
 It's Gonna Make you Feel Better
However it was amazing to me how many people went out of their way to insist that I not be sad during the past two weeks.  It was as if sadness is a bad thing and it hurt THEM and worried THEM to see me sad.  What I kept on explaining to friends and family is that I truly NEEDED to spend the last 2 weeks mopey and sad and alone in order to gather up the strength to start another round of treatment.  I knew what I needed to do (go through the lows to find the strength to get to the high
s).  And I am happy to say that when Friday rolls around, I will be ready!
I also would be remiss if I didn't praise the therapeutic powers of retail therapy  My friend Leah and I went to the Woodbury Commons outlets and since America is basically on sale, I got to exercise my shopping muscles.  You know you are grasping for straws when you ome home with 10 shopping bags and you say to your husband, "Honey it's not about how much I SPENT it's about how much I SAVED".  I am fortunate to have a husband who truly understands what a great pair of shoes (or pairs of shoes, and a jacket and a few dresses) can do to lift a girl's spirits.
I had the medi-port reinserted in my chest this past Wednesday.  For those of you who have read my earlier journal entries, you know that I really disliked this device.  It is great in that it gives the nurses quick access to your veins (and with 22+ months of chemo, there are no veins to tap into in my arms anymore so I don't have a choice).  What I don't like about it is that it is a constant reminder that I am dealing with cancer.  Oh well, I rose to the occasion.
Although the port insertion is a minor 30-45 minute procedure, I seem to forget how much it hurts for the few days afterwards.  Your chest and rotator cuff are extremely stiff and it is hard to lift your arm, sleep or carry anything more than a few pounds.
I got the medi-port in the AM of 12/31 thinking that I would sleep all day and then head out for a New Year's Eve party.  As it turned out, I sent Dave to the party we were supposed to attend and I spent the evening eating Froot Loops and falling asleep by 11:30. However, I am approaching 2009 with a spirit of optimism and determination.  May 2009 be the year of kicking cancer for good!
I will write again after Chemo Session #1 on Friday.