Being Used to Being Sick

You know what’s one odd aspect of Being Cancerful (among the many, and they’re usually odd) that I hadn’t paused to notice before but for some reason suddenly just did?  It’s this:

Being used to being sick.

When you’re Cancerful, sickness comes so frequently, and in so many forms, that it becomes a part of life as normal as eating or breathing or using the toilet.  And so, like any normal part of life,  you start to get used to it.  Even if there’s nothing normal about it at all.  Even if it’s super weird.  (Then again, many of the things we consider a “normal part of life” would be super weird if you’d never done them before– I mean, how strange would it be to open a hole in your face, and then stuff a bunch of heated up plants and animals into it?  And then, hours later, to squeeze those same plants and animals out of another hole on the other side of your body, after having somehow absorbed many of their key ingredients and turned the leftovers into something stinky, so that you can keep living?  That sounds really weird, doesn’t it?  But it’s not weird at all, after  you’ve done it a couple of times.)

Similarly, when being sick becomes a regular part of life, you get used to it.  You get used to barfing.  (You get very used to barfing.).  You get used to aching.  You get used to passing out (both involuntarily and by choice).  You get used to eating pills (SO many pills!).  You even get used to feeling as shitty as you’ve ever felt from any fever or cold or virus you’ve ever had in your life,  but now on a daily basis.

You get used to being sick.

And just as often as not, this “being sick” is not even from the cancer, but instead from the things that you’re choosing to do to survive the cancer.  Like chemotherapy.  Or having a genetically modified cold virus injected into your brain.  I’ve chosen to do both of those things– and they both made me sick.

So how d’ya like this:  When you’re Cancerful, you choose to be sick, in order to not be sick.

That seems like it doesn’t make any sense at all.

But for some reason, it does.

And even if it doesn’t, you get used to it.

Like I said, you get used to a lot of really weird shit when you’re playing this Cancerful game.  (Heck, you even get used to the idea of dying.  How about that!)

But I guess getting used to things is the same as learning to live with them.  Which isn’t quite as good as “enjoying” them, but it’s a start.  It’s living, after all.

So I guess I’m OK with being used to being sick.

 

PS:  I’m now three weeks out from Brain Surgery #5, and doing well.  Having an actual real summer this summer (in contrast to last year, when after Brain Surgery #4 I had a Total Lack of A Summer).

So that’s good.  Great, in fact.

Do I feel sick today?  Well of course I do, I’m Cancerful!

But I’m used to it.post 5 head

Five Alive

6 thoughts on “Being Used to Being Sick

  1. I’m usually a lurker, but wanted to high five you today for being so freaking awesome. Olympic calibre awesome. You inspire me daily.

  2. really sorry about the feeling sick, but even more glad about the being alive part, along with the real summer and your ability to be present for it all. May the sickness retreat and the living expand!

  3. I do understand, just when through 4th month of chemo for CLL, this is second time for chemo. First time wasn’t too bad. Remission for 5 years. This time I get a deep cough and cold that will not regress not matter what pills or inhalers or antibiotics I ingest. The numbers are looking ok but the docs can’t figure out the the martian living in my lungs. I’ve gotten used to this condition which is crazy to accept.

  4. I came across your blog tonight and I guess it was meant to be. I just had a conversation with my 7 year old son about what you wrote about. I am a breast cancer survivor and my son seldom opens up about it, but tonight he did. Explaining to him how the chemotherapy makes you sick is so hard for a child to understand especially because kids are always told medicine makes you feel better. I admire your humor and I will keep you in my prayers. It has been a pleasure reading.

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