Last year I gave up Social Media for Lent, despite being neither Christian nor Catholic. It was an interesting experiment at the time, and one that worked. This year? I could not have done it. This year, I found myself more isolated than I’ve ever been in my life, and to remove that bit of contact with the outside world might have been the thing that sent me over the edge. And I say this as someone who was very isolated as a child. Parents divorced and fighting, myself and my siblings all bullied at school. This year, I very suddenly found myself unable to walk unassisted.
In January, I was removed from the clinical trial I’d been doing since last Spring. It seemed like it was working for awhile but then it stopped working. And my neurological symptoms were getting worse, as far as my hands (loss of motor control, strength, feeling), along with increased pain in my back and arms. We decided it was time for a more aggressive approach, and switched to Doxorubicin, which is a chemotherapy that’s been around a long time. It’s the end of March now, and it seems like it was a good decision, as we’re getting better results right away. Unfortunately, it is adding to the swelling in my legs, exacerbated by the DVT I’ve found myself dealing with at the same time as all this. Because with cancer, it’s never just one thing.
So, it’s hard to believe it’s been only since late January (24th, the weekend of the blizzard), but I became completely reliant on my husband and chief caregiver to make sure I don’t fall on my way to the bathroom, to get me out of bed, help me get dressed, make sure I’m fed… I may not have been washing dishes or chopping vegetables by that point, but being unable to even carry a glass of water to my seat because the one usable hand is busy operating a forearm crutch, it brings things home. I did have a cane before that, but I could still manage to move around the house, leaning on furniture.
But today is Easter, which means the stuff people give up, it’s back on the table, yes? I submit that I have learned to appreciate walking unaided, and am ready to pick back up where I left off. Hands too. I promise to completely love typing full speed with both hands. I promise to take long walks for the exercise. I promise to write every day and submit the stories to be read by other people. I promise to spend less time on social media if it means more time out in the world.