This year the holidays feel like they’re headed at me like a laserbeam. I’m totally knackered from the radiation and this fatigue makes the usual holiday bustle a little daunting. I’m also still feeling some chemotherapy side effects, including a hormonal tailspin that comes with abrupt cessation of ovarian function. This means that I’m prone to a lot more anxiety than usual – as if cancer, the holidays and this economy weren’t cause enough for a spike in anxiety.
This being week three of radiation, a light red sunburn has appeared on my skin in the area they blast — which is most of my left side (underarm, upper back and chest.) I am literally “radiant.” I’m told I’ll be getting even more of a glow as this treatment goes on, which eliminates the option of wearing any strappy or low-cut little numbers to holiday parties this year. (I know there’s a joke in there somewhere about Rudolph the Red Boobed Reindeer but I’m just too pooped to think it through.)
It’s not a good combination, this fatigue and anxiety, but nobody ever said the holidays were easy – that myth went the way of believing a fat man in a red suit could shimmy down the chimney. Nobody ever said cancer was easy either, and I’m really feeling it these days. Maybe during chemo I was so focused on just surviving the poisons and their side effects that I was able to stay in the present, spending my energy in short-term bursts. Now it seems I am looking ahead to the rest of my year of treatment with dread and a general slumping of shoulders.
Anyway, pass the egg nog, send in the kids, and let’s get some family and friends over here quick, before I get all Ebeneezered out and forget what this time of year is really supposed to be about.