Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

May 13th – Looking for a Happy Medium

I just finished my 4th round of chemotherapy on Friday. I am sitting home dealing with the unfortunate side effects that accompany the first few days after my “big dose” treatment. The steroids I used to take would make me jittery and keep me up all night…however, they also prevented nausea. Since I did not like them, my doctor agreed to lower my dosage. However, now, I am up all night feeling nauseous! It’s a trade-off between insomnia and nausea and I chose nausea. At least this only lasts for a few days.

I have been very aware of the fact that I have been acting schizophrenic lately. Don’t worry, all of the treatments have not contributed to giving me a mental disorder. However, I feel like I am often giving mixed signals to people regarding how I want to be treated during this process. Most of the time, I want to be treated “normal” and I don’t want people to dwell on my disease. However, sometimes, I wouldn’t mind a little special treatment. Here are a few examples that bring this predicament to life:

  • I get frustrated when Dave and I go out with friends for dinner and he doesn’t notice that I am getting tired and need to go home. But on those nights that he constantly checks in with me, I get annoyed with him.
  • I love Gustavo, a personal trainer that helps me stay fit, because he pushes my physically despite my cancer. He doesn’t notice that I don’t have hair and that sometimes I am weak…every time I see him he challenges me to get stronger. However, when he pushes me a bit too far, and tries to get me to do an exercise that I don’t have the strength to do, I get really angry.
  • I made such a point of telling my friends and family NOT to check in with me constantly and treat me differently this 2nd time around but, I have to admit that I miss the phone calls, letters and care packages that people used to send.

I find that my moods and desires can turn on a dime and I can never anticipate how I am going to feel ahead of time. The truth is that I want so much for this disease not to slow me down that sometimes I don’t like to admit to myself that I am not feeling 100% or that I have a valid “excuse” for not feeling strong, or for feeling tired.

I am constantly asking myself, "What's the Happy Medium?" - what behavior should I exhibit that would be a good compromise between how I really feel and how I wish I was feeling.

So, please bear with me and be patient as I work through these mood swings that I am experiencing. And please check in with me…it is always nice to hear from people who love you.