The end of chemo is in sight: one treatment to go. Next week. Boy am I ready to be on the other side of this. When I'm not miserably sick, I have trouble sleeping because I want to make plans about what I'm going to do when I feel well. Even if I limit the plans to my own house (I don't - I also have writing plans, reconnect-with-friends plans, travel plans, places-to-go-with-kids plans, cooking plans....), the list is long because I started chemo a week after we moved in. I could spend a week rearranging closets and bookshelves and kitchen cabinets.
I probably won't, but I could.
When this started, I didn't realize how pervasively disordering cancer would be. I was protected by naivete. I thought it would be like going to the dentist, or getting the car fixed: time-consuming, but limited in its effects.
Instead, I've been focused on just getting through the day, making it through all this treatment. When it is finally done next week, then what? There are still side effects that will limit me for a few months. And I look different. I lost so much hair that I now have a buzz cut. My son says I look like our previous neighbor, a lovely woman who is a lesbian. My son is inadvertently contributing to my little identity crisis.
And then there are all the family and friends who have walked with me through these crisis months. They've been praying for us, encouraging me, taking care of my family, counting down the weeks until I am done. When I have the last treatment it will appear that it's all over and I can go back to normal life. I don't think there will be any going back. I'm not sure how, but I feel like my life will seem different. I imagine the pace will be slower for a while, I might be a little more introverted, perhaps more cautious.
As eager as I am to be done with chemo, I am apprehensive about the transition that accompanies it. Change, even good change, is disorienting.