Okay, so… I wrote the bulk of this post on 7/15 before (I thought) I was feeling the full effects of chemo and Neulasta. I’ve decided to update it today, 7/19, because y’all, I was in the midst of chemo fog and I didn’t even know it. It was like coming across a blog post written by someone else! There are actually some jokes that I’m going to delete because, bless my heart, I tried (and probably found them hilarious at the time) but I just can’t. Much like I can’t believe I posted this caption (with accompanied photo…of my feet?) riddled with errors on Instagram….. “Cheeszits”
Who let me do this? I blame all of you who “liked” it because you were encouraging me and I was probably super pleased with myself afterwards. I’ll have you know that when I posted it, I was waiting for my husband to return with more tacos. It’s something I am not entirely proud of but when all you can taste is Jack in the Box taco, you embrace Jack in the Box taco.
The next chunk of this post will be what I wrote last week. Some of it makes enough sense to keep, so I will, but I wish there was a way I could correct things with a red pen so you could see how terribly this was written. Also, there’s a selfie of me and a goat at the end. No, not a “Greatest Of All Time” person but the actual animal. Though, baby goats could be labeled as GOAT’s because they’re basically the cutest baby animal. Let’s not start a debate and just get right into the reasons I cried last week, from the view point of out-of-body Maegan:
A new friend, cancer fighter, and blog reader recently messaged me on Facebook and asked if I was always in a good mood. This question struck me because the answer was a resounding NO. Ok, I kid you not- Nick just looked over, read the first sentence of this paragraph and burst out laughing followed by “Have you gotten to the part where you list reasons you cried last week?”. No Nick, no I have not. BUT, what a great transition! Some of these reasons are silly, some are sad, and some are just ridiculous. Unfortunately due to chemo, my hormones, much like my hips, don’t lie. I even knew in the very moment that some of these reasons were stupid, I even pulled the crying-while-giggling which is by far the creepiest of all of the ways to cry.
I never want to be anything but transparent on this blog. So, without further adieu (and unapologetically), I will list some of the reasons why I cried the past two weeks. [FYI: I’m a feeler. I am an emotional sponge. I’m a hugger, a toucher, a tactile person. I also have this very real emotional response to anything cute. When I am sad I watch videos of any type of baby (pig, ape, human, duck, dog, etc) or videos of people announcing their pregnancies (I LOSE it when I see a new grandpa cry). I have cried in petting zoos, I have cried when my friend told me her boyfriend’s cat is named Waffles, and I even cried when I imagined Nick surprising me with a puppy someday. I called my best friend and told her I would never love Nick as much as the day he surprises me with a puppy. That might be a lie but we really don’t know that yet. All of that to say- don’t act like I didn’t warn you]
- I didn’t get to use a sparkler on the 4th of July
- I was convinced that no one would remember me if I died soon
- Writing wedding thank you cards is overwhelming (they’re coming people)
- I remembered that there are really scared stray puppies on the streets
- I had a mini breakdown in Target where Nick had to say “Oh babe, let’s not do this here…” to be fair, I wasn’t making a scene. I was simply trying to pick out aluminum foil and my lip began to quiver. The smart man knew where this was headed and escorted me to the register
- I miss my hair
- Wedge wouldn’t come when I called him
- Wedge wouldn’t come when I called him
- Wedge wouldn’t come when I called him
- I really wanted grapefruit juice. You can’t have grapefruit on chemo and let me tell you, you have never wanted grapefruit more than when you cannot have it. I find this to be torturous and also ironic because in high school a friend gave me two grapefruits as a gag Christmas gift to represent my boobs. Thanks for absolutely nothing grapefruit cancer boobs.
- I was sad that my dog will never understand how much I love him because he doesn’t speak English
- I feel like an utterly useless human being on most days because I cannot be productive at work, or basically in life in general
- I dropped an empty cup in the living room and cried out “What are you doing?!” to my hand
- Cancer is expensive
I ran through this list with my best friend and she said “wait are you forgetting about how you lost it when you couldn’t remember the HBO GO password?” Yeah, I forgot about that one.
This doesn’t include the times I have been snappy with friends and family. Chemopause is so real. I feel like I don’t depict myself accurately on social media sometimes because- does anyone? Does anyone want to see me feeling nauseous or stuck in bed? Nah. But I feel like it’s important for people to know that I have good and bad days like anyone else. After posting a photo of me in the pool last Sunday (which, if you’re sore from chemo- go soak in a pool) I received comments from people about how I didn’t even look that bad. That is great to hear but at the same time some of these comments made it sound like I had been faking that I had felt crummy in the first place. That’s not true and it’s not fair to anyone with cancer (or that is sick with anything). I don’t want anyone to think this is easy, that I am strong, or that I am always positive. For example, here are two photos, one taken around 2:00pm and the next taken at 7:00pm on day 1 post chemo (my first chemo):
Man, I thought chemo was CAKE. I was riding that steroid high without knowing it and I crashed. HARD. Day 1-3 post chemo are usually a blur. There’s a lot of medication, a lot of Netflix, and a lot of sleep. I hurt, I cry, I crawl to the bathroom when I’m being too stubborn to let anyone help me. It sucks. I have hot flashes, bone aches, motion sickness, and I let thoughts creep into my head like “is this worth it?”, “why me?”, and “if it comes back, can I do this again?” I do creepy things in the moment like ask my friends if they want some of my ashes (it’s creepy when it’s a random text at like 2:00 on a Tuesday) or type up funeral wishes. I have since decided to not text anyone, post anything on social media, or buy anything on Amazon within 10 minutes of an episode where I’m convinced that I’m dying.
To combat these feelings I use my loved ones as outlets and I try to laugh. I write this blog. I eat cupcakes. I hug my husband. I cuddle my dog. The following is a collage of how great my dog is (some would say the best in the world):
From now on I will try and be more genuine with how I present the bad with the good. It feels naked to talk about crying and being upset. I do not like being vulnerable, I do not like crying in front of people (I’m a shower crier), and I do not like appearing weak or dependent. I’m trying to get over these things so that I don’t feel bummed all the time. I have felt that writing again has really been helpful and I encourage anyone who is going through the process of cancer treatment really consider using it as an outlet. Whether it be to update people or talk about how much cancer sucks, it’s extremely therapeutic.
People have been asking for a hair update. Well, it’s still here. Somehow I have not lost my eyebrows, my lashes, or my arm hair. My hair has continually thinned out but not enough that I feel the need to shave. A few weeks ago my mom and I went wig shopping and these were some choices…
Most of these would be dyed red (except for the pink, duh). I thought I had fallen in love with the top right before finding out is was $5,000 and insurance wouldn’t help pay for it (usually if you get your doc to write you a script for a “cranial prosthetic” insurance will help out). Not my insurance. I won’t get on my insurance soapbox because I’m fortunate to have a job and to have insurance but let it be known- I have a soapbox reserved for insurance.
I’ll wrap up this post with three random photos that make me happy: me getting stuck in a doughnut, my husband wearing a shirt I had made for him featuring our dog in a top hat, and me psyched to meet this goat at a petting zoo two weeks ago.
Feel your bad days but embrace the good!
Edit: I just had to add this photo of Courtney’s reaction to my goat (also GOAT) photo.