Every morning it's the same. I'm far away, in my dreams (last night, I was in Paris), and then, slowly, I wake up, feel the bed around me, feel the pillow between my knees, feel the slight soreness of my hip and in my back when I turn, and it all comes back to me: Oh yeah ... I have cancer. Sometimes, like yesterday and this morning, I think, I have cancer, and I'm going to die. And I get so depressed I can barely drag myself out of bed. I'm all bogged down with wondering: Is the chemo going to work? What if it doesn't work, and I nearly destroy my body and I still have these tumors, and they start growing again? What if I go through all this poisoned suffering for nothing? And what about the week that I'm hooked up to the ifosfamide? Will I be afraid to touch my children? They say my bodily fluids will be toxic, and that anyone else who touches them will be poisoned, that Steve will need to wear rubber gloves to clean anything that I've accidentally peed or bled or spit on. What about my sweat? I wake up in the middle of the night soaked with night sweats. Will that poison Daniel if he rolls into me? Will I be able to feed Ben his bottle, to hold him at all, without worrying that my poison is seeping into him? Will we have to wash all our bedding every single day, with gloves and extra rinse cycles?
If all these worries aren't enough, I've been having a nutritional crisis lately. I've read in a few places that sugar feeds cancer through the production of insulin. I think about the slice from Betty's Pies I ate last weekend, all the desserts people have brought over for us, all the sweet fruits I love to eat, like bananas and pears. Have I been causing my cancer to grow? Have I been unwittingly feeding this cancer with the foods I eat? People send me links to information about raw food "cancer cure" diets, juice fasts and enemas. They tell me stories of people who have been cured through changing their diets radically. And yet I read that a seemingly minor deviation in such a diet can have devastating consequenses or, at least, can undo all the good work. Is it worth it? Should I pursue a nutritional course of action; do I owe it to myself? If I don't, and my cancer gets worse and I die, will I have myself to blame for not having tried every possible option? There are so many decisions, so much guilt.
I feel like I am living in a nightmare.