I need a favor here, folks.
I’m a pretty independent chick, ask anyone who knows me. It’s a fairly small circle of people that I allow myself to rely upon – that I allow myself to feel safe enough around when I’m vulnerable or in need. It is just my way. This was especially true during chemo. I made mention of how chemo kinda sucked and made a mess of my ski season and my food blogging but… I never talked about the other stuff like desperately holding back tears and an unexpected wave of shock when I left the hairdresser’s after getting my head shaved despite not caring about the hair itself. Or trying to get sick as quietly as possible in the middle of the night hour after hour, night after night so I wouldn’t wake Jeremy because he was exhausted from taking care of me and working 80+ hours a week on his own demanding job. Or feeling so hungry from not being able to digest solid food for 5 days that when I dared to nibble on soft bread it felt like razors going down my throat and racked my insides for hours. Or lying in so much pain at home alone that I couldn’t get up to take my meds and I actually cried to the dog to fetch the bottle (it didn’t work – she just kept pawing at me to be let up on the bed to snuggle).
But the worst was the mental and emotional isolation. Even though Jeremy tried to always be there for me, I could see he was giving more energy than he had. Did I mention that his sideburns have started to turn grey since I began chemo? Yeah, I’ve given my beautiful husband premature grey. I couldn’t bring myself to ask more of him, to ask him to talk to me about my fears, my sadness – only to stress him out and force him to pile more on his plate – because he would do that for me. So I let those thoughts fester in my mind for a long time, alone.