Just like a good rain, sunshine usually follows. Chemo was much the same. It had it’s chemo dips and then those dips parted ways for what I refer to as the chemo highs. Those were the days were I felt GOOD, like really good, like so good that I could clean the whole house, wash the car, run a million errands, thoughts of sky diving, and feelings of running a marathon all in under 1.5 hours. I think it’s primarily because the dips suck, those valleys are hard AF emotionally and physically. Then when I felt remotely human I shoved every possible thing I could think of doing into the high days. I always went to bed with a smile on my face those days.
This evening as I headed to pick up my daughters I was tired. I had a whopping 2 hours of sleep last night because I just couldn’t sleep and partly because my husband kept elbowing me in his sleep. I did resist the urge to push him off onto the floor but don’t think that the thought didn’t cross my mind because it did, more than once. So here I am, dead tired. My husband wasn’t going to be home until later. In the past it would have been happy meals for everyone but with the new clinical study diet I can’t do that, I can’t even do Subway. We came home and I thought, I’ll have them cook with me, we’ll bond and life will be great. They picked shrimp. If you’ve not ever had the joy of having a 7 year old and a 6 year old de-shell shrimp with you then I will tell you that it’s anything but joyous. With screams of, “why does it still feel like it’s alive,” to the repeat question of, “is the shell all the way off mom,” when it clearly had the whole shell still on it. It was magical, we bonded, we glared, and we got the shrimp and broccoli in the oven. For the girls I fix a cheap side of alfredo noodles stove top, because I rock this mom life. Dinner is done, we devour, it’s delicious, and then they head off to play.
That’s when I take a look around and think didn’t I just clean this house yesterday? Dishes needed to be done, the living room needed to be picked up, a load of laundry needed to be started, counters needed to be cleaned off, and here I sat wondering what happened to the days of the chemo highs where I would have gladly tackled this like superwoman. She must be off swing dancing with the GI Jane because heaven knows I’d like for her to return, too. Marriage isn’t 50/50, so they say, it’s 100/100 I kept repeating to myself this evening, Relish in the Mundane I reminded myself a few hundred times. I had things cleaned up and kids doing homework by the time the spouse hit the door, because mom runs this ship. I finished cleaning carpets, then chugged a glass of cabernet, put him on duty and headed out the door to get my steps in for the evening. Maybe not my finest hour chugging the cabernet, don’t judge, we’ve all been there.
I did a thank you walk. I thanked God above for the things in my life, for the simple tasks, my family, and the opportunity to serve. I did ask him that if I could have just one thing, could he give me my chemo highs back?! He hasn’t answered me on that one. Who knows what I could accomplish with having the chemo highs back, world peace might not even be out of the question! Lord knows we could all use a little more peace these days.
If you happen to be in the middle of chemo or if I welcome you to The Club No One Wants To Be In down the road, do me a favor and ride those chemo highs like you are the best surfer on an amazing coastal wave. Those highs are fleeting and they will be gone before you know it. I never thought I would see the days where I would be wishing for a part of the chemo chapter back yet here I am. Crazy.
On my walk it hit me that this is normal. Everyone feels the normal tired. I don’t want the normal tired. Superwoman needs to return. With my sassy short hair I could totally own that cape thing. I’ll embrace this normal tired if I have to, doesn’t mean I might not stomp my feet a few times. I’m always saying, “this is my new normal,” guess I am slightly choking on the old normal while I wrap it in with my new normal.
Raise those cabernet glasses, chug that glass, then go get yourself another glass to enjoy! Cheers to chemo highs, days of being normal tired, and for rocking life.