One of the consequences of being immersed in cancer treatment is that my life is suddenly micromanaged. There are specific days and specific hours of those days when i am allowed/not allowed to drive, go outside, eat fats, eat lightly, work, work out, medicate pharmaceutically, medicate herbally, etc. My routine is no longer my own. Socializing has also become micromanaged for me, although that is not so much about needing someone’s permission as it is about needing the stamina (and, admittedly, needing the body to be okay being away from the toilet for several hours at a time). I learned, during this first chemo session, that there is a small window of opportunity where i will feel strong and healthy and energized enough to go out of my house and do something fun, with friends; that window of opportunity is the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before my next chemo session. Three days to fit in visiting hours with any interested coworker, friend, roommate, girlfriend, ex-girlfriend … no problem, right?
Today, for one day at least, i got something accomplished in this area. It was a busy day. I met up with Joann to disclose my cancer diagnosis. I went to Jeanette’s to pilfer her extensive hat collection. I met up with Amy and Christie at the Polish Room to treat ourselves to mani/pedi time. Today, i got to be a real person again – a person with friends, a person with energy and interest to leave the house, a person with time to kill. Today, i hid my mastectomy under my favorite T-shirt and a bra that no longer fits. Today, i hid my chemo under my curly-haired wig. Today, i told myself that i could get a latte from Starbucks if i needed the caffeine to make it through all the socializing. I didn’t, though – need the Starbucks, that is. The thrill of just being out in the world, flitting from engagement to engagement, kept me on a bit of a high. I was out in the world socializing with friends for seven consecutive hours today. For some people, that wouldn’t even be worth mentioning, but for me it was the most productive day i have had in a while, and i. was truly. grateful.