I like being in control of my life. I am finding that when one has cancer, less and less of your life is in your own personal control. Clearly.
I have experienced this week, unfortunately, that I have little control over how my body reacts to my treatment. I can will all I want, but I cannot make my body respond. Clearly, I already knew this, but managing my dashed hopes is proving to be truly, truly painful. Clearly, I know I had no control over my diagnosis either, but that’s old news…
My need for personal autonomy goes further. I want it to be an imperative, but, sadly, I feel like I am losing it.
Since I was released from hospital and started my treatment, I have prided myself on my ability to look after myself and to make sure that My Myeloma does not define me (this is one self fulfilling prophecy I like). Since my discharge on 24 August, I have seen my body slowly improve to a state where, at times, I can trick myself into thinking that I do not have myeloma. I can cook my friends dinner, go to the pub or just be awake for 14 hours of the day. The trickery is more to do with others perceptions actually. Who am I kidding? I am constantly aware of My Myeloma and that is why, at this moment in time on a Saturday night, I am so scared. It feels different.
Not since the first cycle have I been so unable to look after myself as I have been today. As I write this it is 22:30hrs, I have probably been awake for a total of four hours all day. I do not have the energy to cook (though fortunately, I do have the energy to eat, which was not the case yesterday). My waking hours have been consumed by tears and pessimistic thoughts best saved for those who are fans of the movie ‘Love Story’. My cleanliness is questionable and that is all I am going to say on the matter, because at some point, if I get better, I would like to have sex again. I am also back to the situation where my body cannot decide whether it wants to release toxins from the bowel or mouth, and whether the release is going to be a hard or soft one. All I know is that I can feel it in my gut, back, throat and bottom. Again, somethings I should keep to myself, because one day I will get better and I’ll have to forget I have mentioned this.
Enough of the toilet humour… I feel like my body is regressing and I have no control over it. That or my body has decided to give up already. Clearly, I would have no control over that either.
I have no idea whether the emotion and sadness I feel is real or whether it is a result of my drugs. This is the first time since I started my treatment that I have probable cause to question my feelings. I bloody hope it is a chemical imbalance. I would find this more reassuring over the alternative. Either way, hard as I try, I do not have enough fight in me to reason.
The pain I feel at the moment – the nausea, the stomach cramp, the fatigue and the constipation – these are all known side effects of my treatment. I have not before experienced this in its current guise. I thought I had my side effects under control. If what I feel is indeed my side effects, they are controlling me. If it is not my side effects, then what is controlling me? I do not want to feel this way, be this weak or look this ugly.
When did I stop being the boss of my body?
I would absolutely love to give you a conclusion that eloquently and sensitively expresses how I feel like I have diminished control over my emotional and physically being, and this fact scares me more than words can describe, but unfortunately, something is telling me it is time for sleep again.