Open season

The weather has been so nice this week that the windows have stayed open day and night and I am swallowing allergy medicine while smiling at the sound of birds singing. Birds! It feels like a different world. It feels like we are close to moving on.

My days have largely consisted of sitting in bed working while the breeze blows the curtains. I’m happy with this scenario because I get fresh air while also doing what I love and making that money. I’ve been able to consistently work 30–40 hours since I started working again from home. Thankfully I work with people who understand if I say “sorry, can’t make it to that meeting, I need to take a nap”. I miss seeing their faces dearly.

As we get closer to the end of treatment I’ve been reading a little more about the after-effects of chemo (or, “long-term side effects”). Sometimes these won’t even show up for months or years, so I have that to look forward to. One of the effects I have been dealing with a bit more lately is what they call “chemo-brain” and I hate it. I forget things. My brain twists things. I might be thinking blue and type “red”. The other day I went to tell my husband bye and instead I repeated the sentence he had just said. I felt like I was truly losing my mind. I thought about glitches in the Matrix. I put a meeting in our shared calendar for 9am and it was really 10am, even after reading the meeting invite twice. So if I know you and I forget something really basic like your name or our meeting time, I’m sorry, and that’s why. It’s somewhere in my brain, I promise.

Some notable occurrences from my week:

  • I was quarantined for four days because both boys were sick. Our youngest started off one day by standing on the couch and vomiting all over the couch, blankets, pillows, carpet, school supplies and dogs. I repeat, he stood on the couch to vomit. Why.
  • I went to Barnes & Noble one day. It seemed like a safe outing in the middle of a weekday. One, I can’t be trusted in Barnes & Noble. Two, I saw a woman holding a book, cough, and use the book she was holding to cover her cough. A small part of me died. Humans are disgusting.
  • I am terrible and cannot be trusted in the kitchen. My husband left the house and met someone for dinner for the first time in about five months. I used this opportunity to destroy a quinoa burger in the toaster.

We go back for chemo Monday morning and I’m not feeling anxious about it, which I am truly thankful for. My last round made me incredibly tired but not nearly as nauseous as the last few rounds. The steroids hit me harder and I have blisters on my skin again, but I’ll take that over the nausea any time. I’ve never really been on steroids for anything before but they always surprise me. They might make me stay awake until 4am, sleep a few hours, and then wake up and eat three breakfasts.

I plan on using the rest of my weekend to get ahead on my work hours for the week, have some friends over, and keep every window open. Our whole neighborhood is out in their yard because we live in a neighborhood where people are obsessed with yard work. I’m hoping to parade my bald head and make them feel guilty for any bad thoughts they had about us and our own lack of progress on our yard. Cancer card: played.

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