My first week home was fairly eventful, despite the orders from the doctors that I had to stay home and not go out in public because of my depressed immune system and their regulation of my blood readings. The only place I could go was the hospital for the required blood work, to which I remarked that a hospital seemed like the worst place to go with a depressed immune system but they quickly corrected me. The more dangerous place to be with a less than stellar immune system is the grocery store!
It kind of makes sense when you think about it – where do people go first when they are getting sick? Yep. Just a quick trip to get chicken soup or Theraflu; little germ broadcasters, standing in the cough medicine aisle, coughing…. and who do they all see before they leave? The checkers – I never realized it, but grocery checkers probably deserve hazard pay in the winter, especially in a small town with one or two grocery stores!
Anyway, I had plenty to do at home, putting away stuff that had been dragged to Denver over the past several months. It was all piled on the dining room table for my convenience! The doctors, and thus, many of my relatives, told me I was supposed to go home and rest and “do nothing”. Have you ever tried to ” do nothing”? Really? Unless you are an experienced Buddhist monk, it isn’t that easy, especially in a messy house. My mind tracked every new ache and pain and I even decided my hair wasn’t growing. After an hour or so of this, I worried that I might be becoming psychotic. That is another problem with being an “overthinker” like me; you analyze your own mental health and lean toward the worst case scenario so you won’t be accused of “being in denial”. I finally caved in and started putting things away and cleaning slowly, while verbally justifying my actions loudly to the dog and cats, who, I suspect, couldn’t care less.
The whole situation came to a head on Saturday afternoon. I was extremely miserable ( I should mention that the doctors warned me that the radiation side effects would worsen over the next couple of weeks after treatment had stopped but I hadn’t really grasped that until it happened.) and I was attempting to sit in a comfortable chair without putting any weight on my backside, a task I would challenge a Russian gymnast to attempt successfully, with the dog and the cats lined up staring at me. Note to self – do NOT kneel backwards in a rocking recliner. A slight miscalculation in the principle of weight distribution can cause disastrous results! The dogs and cats, by the way, rather than being “Lassie” type animals who came to my rescue to see if I was okay, instead ran to the far reaches of the house and hid until they deemed it safe to reappear. At this moment, as I lay there looking at the bookcases that flank the chair, I realized that I had a lot of “inspirational” books, all of which I hated at that moment. I fantasized about bringing the wheelbarrow in and loading it with all the inspirational and positive thinking books and taking them outside and having a bonfire! I did realize that I was, perhaps, being a little snarky, so an attitude adjustment was necessary. I told myself that side effects were much less awful than the thing they were killing, and I decided that my strategy would be to watch funny DVDs this next week and practice patience. I’ll let you know how that works out for me………