I’ve only been home for a week and a half, but I’m going stir crazy. My daily routine revolves entirely around my treatments and what I must do to minimize the side effects of my radiation and chemo. Here is a sample day for me:
6:30am – Wake
6:31am – Perform “swallowing exercises” to re-moisturize my throat
6:35am – Use Caphosol rinse for 2 minutes (artificial saliva)
6:37am – Shower
6:45am – Use Salt/Baking powder rinse (help break up thick mucus)
6:50am – Try REALLY hard to eat a single bowl of grits or oatmeal.
7:00am – Take medicine to prevent oral infections
7:05am – Brush teeth
7:15am – Leave for radiation
7:50am – Get radiation treatment
8:30am – Head back home
10:00am – Use Caphosol rinse for 2 minutes (artificial saliva)
10:05am – Use SaletBaking powder rinse (help break up thick mucus)
11:00am – Brush teeth (need flouride because of radiation)
11:30am – Perform “swallowing exercises” to re-moisturize my throat
11:45am – Heat up bowl of Chicken and Rice soup.
12:00pm – Try to eat soup.
12:30pm -Use Caphosol rinse for 2 minutes (artificial saliva)
12:35pm – Use Salt/Baking powder rinse (help break up thick mucus)
12:45pm – Brush teeth
1:00pm – Perform “swallowing exercises” to re-moisturize my throat
2:30pm – Caphosol
2:34pm – Salt/Baking powder rinse
3:00pm – Brush teeth
3:30pm – Perform “swallowing exercises” to re-moisturize my throat
5:00pm – Try and eat something soft. Very moist chicken breast is ok. Bisquits, too.
6:00pm – Caphosol
6:05pm – Salt/Baking powder rinse
6:30pm – Brush teeth
7:00pm – Perform “swallowing exercises” to re-moisturize my throat
10:00pm – Caphosol
10:05pm – Salt/Baking powder rinse
10:30pm – Brush teeth
11:00pm – Perform “swallowing exercises” to re-moisturize my throat
11:15pm – Fluoride trays (4x more fluoride than brushing)
11:30pm – Sleep
As you can see, my whole day is punctuated by the routine I’ve had to adopt. Add my constant fatigue and the ever-worsening pain in my throat and you have a pretty much summed up my day.
I am going completely stir crazy as well. I have never had more than 2 weeks off. Not since I was 14-years-old! A large part of my identity is tied into my work, what I do, and my career. To be at home, all day, every day, is a bit of a blow to my identity. I feel . . . incomplete. I question myself. It’s unsettling.
I can’t even go out and enjoy myself. My white blood count is low and I am at high risk of infection. I need to protect myself and stay away from people. I need to stay inside. Because of my new routine, I haven’t really figured out what to “do” with my days yet. ugh.
So – on a more humorous note; every day when I get my radiation treatment I have company. As I lay on the table, strapped down, all I can do is stare at the ceiling above me. The ceiling is tiled like any other office building, meaning that the ceiling tiles look like this:
I have to stare at this ceiling every day for half an hour. My mind begins to find patterns in the dots. For some damned reason I see hundreds of cats. I don’t know why. I just do.
There is one cat, the biggest of them all, that stares at me every day. It’s a cat with a human body. He stares down at me as I get my radiation every day. I drew a picture of him – here is what he looks like:
Ceiling Cat is watching me get Radiation. heh. On that note, I have nothing left to say.
“I feel . . . incomplete. I question myself. It’s unsettling.”..It’s growth, something new, outside your comfort zone. When my son Alex left for college, I was unsettled, and could finally understand, housewives that lost their identity after all the kids were grown.. empty nest… Embrace.. the newness.. PS: if you like I will bring over a copy of George RR Martins “A Game of Thrones”.. i know you will like this book..
People always tell me that what I do isn’t who I am, but I have a general tendency towards losing my sense of self when I stop doing. Maybe some people aren’t like that, but I’m going to guess that it might be somewhere in the NTJs.Remember when I told you that although I do feel like a “grown up” now, I often feel that I’m not very good at it? You let me in on a little secret that my age has nothing to do with that and told me that most adults aren’t very good at being grown up. I think your feelings are a little like that, where my concept of what it means to be an adult or your concept of what it means to be yourself aren’t necessarily as concrete and defined as we’d like them to be. (kind of like our discussion on control) I doubt our identities are particularly static; some things are always in flux. You don’t have to embrace it, but maybe try accepting that idea.