Can I work while I’m getting chemo?

This week I decided that I needed to push myself a little after my chemotherapy treatment. I know, I know, what the hell was I thinking? But I wanted to get dressed, leave the house, and work, even if only for an hour or two a day. I assumed that because my doses were lowered by 20%, I’d feel 20% better. I was wrong. I still felt like crap, actually more nauseous than ever.

I’m realizing more and more that I am a closet optimist (don’t tell anyone), though it’s not that I necessarily come off as a pessimist to others. I feel like pessimism is based on the past – It will suck now because it sucked before – and I see optimism as blindly relying on the future: Gee, Wally, it’ll be great, won’t it? I consider myself more of a realist. I spend most of my time in the present. I like it here.

There is a mind-over-matter component in dealing with cancer that I didn’t expect to find. Chemo kicks my ass in, make no mistake: I am a bag of poisoned flesh. But I managed to get some serious physical work done this week at the new building simply by telling myself to do it: Eight hours of work the day after chemo, laying subfloor in the kitchen for tile (thanks, steroids), and two hours on each of the following three days putting up sheetrock, repairing plumbing, changing out a light fixture, installing an outdoor spigot, demolishing an old fence, and loading the truck for a dump run. The closet optimism paid off. This doesn’t mean I’ll be building a house (at least not this week), but I can work. I can feel like crap and get something done, just at a slower pace, and that’s ok. Movement is life.




4 responses

  1. Uhm, Yeah…You’ve always been an Optimist. A pessimist would never have accomplished, or even tried, most of the crazy, over the moon, how could that have even been thought of things you’ve done. Let’s start with getting a date with Amelia…to say nothing of the bar, building everything imaginable, teaching yourself banjo and making it onto countless stages to perform…..You just like to identify as a pessimist because it gives you an excuse to be grumpy when you wanna….

    This is why my $ is on you in the Cancer war. Well that and your amazing in house support…..

    Anyway, to echo your last line….KEEP MOVING (carefully 😉 )

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Leah, this is you slowing down? OY VEY, woman! You do more amidst chemo than most healthy people do on caffeine! Keep going as long as it makes you feel good, but you ARE entitled to take a little breather and maybe even not act like you’ve got to finish everything right away! I think setting yourself deadlines are all well and good, but do remember they’re elastic and can be flexible! Don’t hurt yourself!

    You and Amelia are both such terrific writers, you make us feel everything along with you. Sending you both HUGS!

    Liked by 1 person

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