The Object of My Dejection

I was wondering what angle I was going to take with this morning’s update when I saw a “challenge” offered by WordPress.  I must confess that it is a bit of a cheat to take a prompt from an outside source – but what the heck… it helped me to ground my thoughts enough to begin processing my feelings.   The challenge was a title:  The object of my dejection.

Here is my story:

“Stacey LePage?” the oncology nurse both inquired and announced at the same time.

I looked up to acknowledge my presence and readiness (sort of) to accompany her to the chemo chair to which I had been assigned.

Rather than waiting at the door, however, she came towards me.

This is never a good sign.

I knew instantly that this was not to be good news.  My blood-work on Monday had indicated that m neutrophils were too low and Dr. Singh suggested I may need to wait a week for my 5th round of chemo-therapy.  I did NOT want to delay chemo, though, fearing the cancer would have more of a chance to grow… unmitigated.  She agreed to book the chemo anyhow provided I came in earlier on Wednesday (today) to have my blood re-tested.  I had done this once before and it was successful.  Not today.

“Stacey,” the nurse began gently.  “Your blood-work has come back and we have discovered your neutrophils are too low.  We are going to have to delay your chemo for a week. We won’t do chemo until your immune system can take more. We have you scheduled for Christmas Eve day.”

Have you ever felt that “overwhelming” feeling that kind of washes over you when you hear bad news?  It is a very isolating feeling that freezes time and changes you into a bit of a zombie while you process the information.  I was “dejected”.  No chemo.  Oddly enough – I was devastated to not be poisoned on that day.

“Are you okay?”  inquired the nurse ever so gently.

“Yes.  I am happy that you are making decisions in my best interests.”  I added hoping that my voice did not shake outwardly and wanting to crawl into a hole at the same time.  Why punish the nurse?  “That’s okay.  I’ll just have to get stronger over the next week, then.  Thank-you for telling me.”

And off she went – the bearer of not-so-good news.

I couldn’t even look at Kevin.  I felt the tears cresting and wanted only to get the Hell home.

Smile at the receptionist, “Thank-you”.

Smile at the volunteers, “Too-da-loo!”

Smile past the other patrons…

Smile at Kevin.

And then Kevin did the unthinkable!  He held my hand.

CRAP!!!!!

That was that – I couldn’t hold in my tears anymore nor hold back my thoughts of failure!  “Did I not rest enough?  Did I not eat well enough?  Did I not exercise enough?  What did I do wrong? I’ve wrecked the kids’ Christmas!  Like they want to live my cancer culture on Christmas Eve day! What a rotten mother … I’ve spoiled Christmas – and delayed my CT scan and surgery!”

“It’s okay, Stacey.  That just means you have another week to prepare yourself. It’s okay to cry.”

Dejection!  How dare he be kind!  How dare he give me permission!  No, wait, that’s what I want.  I just want to cry!

We made it to the car – and that was that!  I let loose.  And off we went in silence to go home.

“Do you want to stop and get a treat – or to get your prescription?” Kevin inquired.

“Yes.  No.  Yes.  No.  Yes…. yes, please. Argh.  I don’t know.  Yes.  CHIPS!  They always cheer me up.  I feel better already.  And maybe if you would fill the prescription so that I can feel secure that I am READY for the next attempt!  Yes, chips.  Thanks, Kevin.”

And off he went.  My hubby.  My rock.  How does he stand it?  Never complains.  Never wains. Never flinches.

Being alone in the car gave me time to reflect:  “Both the doctor and I had forgotten the pre-chemo prescription for today’s treatment and so I was nervous to receive it differently anyhow.  It is always better to go with the beast you know.  So – all in all – being rejected was really not a bad thing.  And I would be finished chemo in time for dinner and in time to read, “A Christmas Carol” to the kids, and in time to watch them open their Christmas pyjama gifts.  I will have more energy for wrapping and preparing snacks, for making antipasto and other treats.  I will… hold it… slow down… GEEZ – old habits are hard to break!  I will slow down.”

And almost as quickly as it had begun, I was coming out of my mood.  Good grief… “Fickle, thy name is woman!”  thought I.  I always hated when my Dad quoted that – but today it felt like it applied to me.  I would not allow that to apply to me for long.  Nor would I allow my mood to stay with me for too long.  It just wasn’t going to happen.   Fake it till you make it, right?  Cry, then smile, then cry some more.  As long as you end with a smile.

And so – I ended up with two bags of chips, a day off, and a week of chemo reprieve.  How can that be so bad?  Smile.

Besides, who in their right mind should feel dejected when given a break from chemo?

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About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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10 Responses to The Object of My Dejection

  1. hopebringsstrength says:

    So sorry about this speed bump in the road. I only hope that the reason will reveal itself as being a good thing. Perhaps the reprieve is exactly what you needed, although not what you wanted. And remember that Christmas is not only about the one day of celebration, it is the time spent together, the cozy moments, and sometimes the silent moments. Embrace each and every one of those moments with all those that make your heart sing. Much Love

    • inmycorner says:

      And as it turns out – the delay was a very good thing – I feel really good today. we certainly are looking at Christmas through a different lens this year, Deb, as I am sure you have done as well. It is so nice to have you along for this journey as an extended member of the family. Much love back to you.

  2. Tom Graves says:

    “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 May the Lord Bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you. May His healing power flow in your body this week to renew and restore you in the Mighty Name of Jesus. We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Tom

    • inmycorner says:

      I think your prayers have helped. I feel great today – and do feel renewed. Thank-you, Tom, for your prayers. Blessings to you – and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

  3. kiwiskan says:

    It is always one small kindness that breaks the dam – and a good thing as well. You obviously needed that cry – and the chips. Bless you.

  4. Apparently someone some where thought you needed chips more than you needed chemo. And you were due for a good cry. And Kevin was due to have a good hand holding. And you were due a break from chemo. And….you found reasons to be smiling. You are walking amazement Stacey. I add my blessings for you.

    • inmycorner says:

      I think chips just may be the answer to everything – including weight gain (grin). Oh – I always feel better after the tears – and now I feel so much stronger for the break. I think very strongly that was the right decision. I feel great today. Thank-you, COlleen. Ha – not sure I am a walking amazement or not – but I am so very glad that at least you think so.. And I feel so very blessed to have your continued support. You are a pretty special person yourself.

  5. pepesapam says:

    Sometimes we have to wait and take it slow…even though we may want to rush it, as there is a saying ‘everything happens for a reason’ and you still can enjoy Christmas so you are not a ‘rotten mother’…!!! sending you my blessings to make you more strong..!!!

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