Day 17: Resentful

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When I was wrapped up in chemo for the first few months of breast cancer treatment, I tried to get through each day as best I could. I wasn’t too focused on the world around me. As May hit and I became aware that people were getting out and doing things, I felt resentful that I couldn’t live like they were.

It’s not nice to say you’re resentful or jealous of someone. My feelings weren’t directed toward others but to the differences in our situations. I’d think, I’d love to go on a trip to a beach like I saw online, or I want to go to our annual Arts and Jazz fest that I attend every year. I was too sick and weak for these wishes to be granted.

Sometimes, I felt resentful about having to go to treatment. I was about to switch to the “T” part of AC-T treatment, a drug called Taxol. I’d now have weekly treatments for 10 weeks.  I know I was doing it to prevent cancer from developing, yet it seemed like a burden to go every week. Everyone at the cancer treatment room was so nice and understanding, and Jeff was always there for me. Sometimes, I felt well enough to go to lunch afterward, making it a little easier to bear.

As for the treatments, I certainly resented that I was feeling side effects. For this chemo, there was still weakness and joint pain. I know the Taxol was impacting me, but I’m not sure I ever fully recovered my strength after I had anemia, and my red blood cell count remained a bit low. As I continued through the weeks, I got so tired that I could hardly work, had to cut my hours for a second time, and eventually quit the job because I just couldn’t stay awake while writing.

At some point, I developed mouth sores that were very painful. Later in the Taxol weeks, I could tell that I was getting peripheral neuropathy, which I still suffer from. I was resentful of my hair loss. Who wants to look in the mirror and see a bald head and no eyebrows or lashes? I wanted to be back to myself. I was never perfect but things were better. I wanted to be like other “normal” people. I was mad at the world!

Upon thinking about it, appearances can deceive you into thinking someone is carefree with fewer problems than you. Often, it’s not true. Their problems might not be same as yours but they still have them. During treatment, I tried to keep things in perspective, remembering that other people are going through tough times, too.

Another thing that helped me with my resentment was the joy I felt from the attention of my friends and family. They spent time with me, brought lunch, sent gifts, all things I mentioned in earlier posts. I never felt a dirty look or a heard a bad word toward my situation. Positivity is important and a great antidote to resentment.

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