Friday, November 18, 2011

Staring down tigers

This isn't going to be a dumb joke about running slightly faster than the slowest guy.

Staring down a tiger is a frightening thing.  It can kill you in a few unpleasant ways, but if you show no fear and look it right in the eyes, it won't be quite so eager to do so.  You'd think that'd be an easier thing to do when you have friends with you, or at the very least other people who are disinclined to be eaten by a tiger.  But having company also means that sometimes, you need to watch someone else get eaten.

I've been hanging around the Cancer Forums lately, comparing notes, sharing my limited wisdom... essentially what I do here, except people respond more often.  I've met a few people who are staring down the same tiger as I, but rather than feel simple comfort and comradery, I also feel sadness.  These are good, kind people.  They don't deserve this.  Some of them are even pretty close to my age.  It's good to know that I'm not alone but I still feel powerless.  I've been trying to help others best I can, and some of them have given me some new leads to follow, too.  The only thing that seems clear is that cancer treatment is really confusing and complicated.  I find myself wishing my fellow tiger-starers a lot of luck, but things get awkward when I get away from the science.  How many ways can one say, "I'm sorry for your pain," even if it's always true?

I've been feeling weird today.  Weird enough that I'm a little concerned.  My body feels heavy and unstable, and like it isn't really mine.  I have trouble focusing and forming sentences on the fly.  A few times now I've sort of dove in and had to pause mid-sentence to figure out how to get where I was going, which I suppose is an improvement over my usual stammering, going "bleh," then starting over again.  I still have my cough to keep me company and I wonder if maybe the force of that shook something loose, or open.  I haven't yet found a good answer for why I feel like this, but then again I haven't really been looking.  Other people have noticed, and asked me if I'm OK.  If this is from my chemo, I can only hope things'll get better over time.  I do not relish the thought of a year or two of this.

I want to go sleep for a while.  I've been getting so much sleep lately.  It quiets my mind, rests my body, and when I lie on my side it lets my post-nasal drip drain so I can actually stop coughing for a while.  It beats back the intruding cold of impending winter.

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