In the middle of the night with cancer

I’m lying in bed, unable to slow my brain down enough to sleep. Funny, since I’ve spent the day unable to muster the energy to do anything at all, mostly just lying on the sofa or my bed.

I’m scared. That’s what it all comes down to. I feel unsettled and scared, just like I felt after my diagnosis 10 months ago.

I’m not scared of dying, not really. Ultimately it is just a process, and when my body is done and my consciousness fades away, I’ll be alright. Null. It won’t matter to me anymore.

But I am afraid of not living. Of missing out. Mostly on my children’s lives. I had put those fears aside for a while and just focused on living. And did a good job of it.

Pazopanib can work for some people for many years. But not for me. And now the timeline has all moved forward. And I suddenly feel a sense of urgency to get done the oddball things I feel need to be done. All this on a day when the new medication has kicked my ass. Keeping busy is one of the best ways I know of staying in the present, and not dwelling on cancer. And I’m just too exhausted to do anything.

I want to work on my quilts. I want to clean out my closets. I want to frame and hang artwork that’s been sitting on shelves for years. I want to make sure I have a cozy nest of a room so that when days like this hit, I’ll be able to pamper myself a little. I want to plan a trip for the family, but don’t have the brain power to make the decisions necessary.

If you’re local and want to drop by at some point and help me do some of the things I want to get done, I’d love to see you.  I’ll even try to make sure I’ve showered.


What do I need?

I have an online community of friends.  I’ve known some of these women for 10 or more years.  We’ve watched our children grow from infants, toddlers, children, into tweens, teens and beyond.  We’ve shared our joys and our pains.  They were the first group I notified when I started the bleeding that would lead to my cancer diagnosis.  They’re good.  They’re great.  And I listen to what they have to say.

In this case, what they’ve been saying is roughly this:  Lisa, you’re having a hard time, understandably.  People want to help you.  Please let people know what you want or need.

So, OK.  Here’s some of what I want.

People to make dates, rendezvous, appointments, assignations with me.  I want to be with people, but I’m both feeling so worn out and also feeling like I’d be such lousy company that I don’t reach out very well.  Please reach out.

  • Lunch
  • Shopping
  • Pedicure/Asian Foot Massage
  • Art Day
  • Walking/Hiking
  • Movies

A clean house.  Even just a room.

Home cooked meals.  I have a lot of ingredients in my house.  You are welcome to use them.  I’ll even help cook.  I just can’t do it myself.  Vegetarian, vegetables are pluses.  If you need ideas, let me know.  And anyone who can get Sam’s lentil soup recipe (from Blue Dish in San Leandro) will have my utmost respect.

Dream Dinners meals.  Because I am not planning my own meals, I’ve been using this service a lot.  If you want to help out, but are not local, a gift certificate would be useful.

Travel.  Not sure how people can help on this one.  Gift certificates for hotel rooms? Frequent flyer miles?  Definitely a want, not a need.

Weeding in my garden, maybe some digging.  I’m getting a little of this done each week, but the weeds grow a little faster than I weed.

People who will tell me explicitly that it is OK to talk to them about cancer.  People who can be ok with me talking about and learning to accept that my life has been cut much shorter than I’d anticipated.  It’s heavy shit, and it’s hard for me to lay it on anyone else.

Help me find ways to still be in this world.  To be relevant, useful, meaningful.  I know this is depression/grief/sadness speaking, but it’s hard to find that right now.

Reiki, Healing Touch, etc.

This post has, strangely enough, been harder to write than some of my more angsty, crying posts.  Take from that what you will.