Ah Mondays always take on different meanings for me. Today it’s all about will I be able to work during my chemo treatments. This is where I find strength I didn’t know I had and have to keep adopting my inner Divatude!
I am realizing from chatting to others, many people can work during their chemotherapy treatment. It depends on the person. Right now I am having very few noticeable side effects. Besides being late every once in a while to go in for treatments and being tired, I can work through it. Other people really need to take a break from the stress of their work life. And I think, in part, the decision is personal one, in addition to a medical one. It is rare for the chemotherapy itself to produce side effects that would make it impossible to keep working. Sometimes it does — some people have their own reaction, and if so then that needs to be managed — but it isn’t a common thing, and most people can keep working if they want to. So here I am getting ready to go into work.
So far, I feel very fortunate to be able to continue working, since it really helps to keep my mind off of my illness and dwelling about my condition. I still have to tell my boss about my illness but that comes after next week when we can talk face-to-face in Dallas. But I will keep it a secret from others. I learned how to actually put some makeup on to hide the dark circles and redness, and will use my clothing to hide the weight changes I am going through. Right now, the worst looking thing are my nails – they are a mess; breaking off. They hurt. I wish I could just wear gloves 24/7 to hide them. *sigh*
I need to keep reminding myself that all these changes are temporary. Temporary!
I know all of this sounds shallow but keeping my appearance up is good for my morale. I would love to hear compliments. And get some positive attention. I usually shrink away from that – but am realizing that it will do me some good this time. It is easy to dwell on how horrible I feel or look when my skin and hair texture is changing, feeling nauseous, and so tired. So trying to look normal, even having fun with my look really helps. I am hoping that it also helps people around me who know what I am going through. If they see me coping and doing ok, maybe they won’t pity me or feel uncomfortable around me. They will be less afraid of the illness and treatment. Here’s to hoping…