Cancer Journal 10, 2019 – Lost Day

Today might as well have been a fleeting idea, an ephemeral abstraction that never solidified into reality. Today is now lost to a fog, for me. I hope days like today are few and far between. Not only because they rob me of time that’s due me, but because they take my wife’s time with them. I’ll try to explain.

Last night, I awoke at least a dozen times to pee. When I went back to bed each time, sleep was slow to come and when it did, short-lived. I got up well after sunrise and made a cup of coffee. Though it was the same coffee I always drink, it tasted awful. I threw it out. I poured a glass of water, nursed it for a while, and took my morning pills. And I sat, like a zombie, in my recliner for a while. Sometime before 8, I decided I simply didn’t have enough energy to get up and go to a meeting I had committed to attend, so I dashed off apologies and went back to my recliner. My wife awoke later than usual, after 9, and asked me about breakfast. I had planned on making pigs in a blanket, but I didn’t have the energy. She offered to make me some toast and I accepted. After I had breakfast, I sat, again, in a vegetative state until sometime around noon, when my wife made a wonderful meal of avocado, bacon, and cheese tortas. She put forth considerable effort to make a nice meal for me, and I appreciated it, but I was not much company; I sat and ate in silence.

A bright spot for my wife came when her sister sent a message, asking about playing Mexican Dominoes. My wife asked if I would mind having her sister over, considering how low and drained I felt. I knew the break would do her a lot of good and I told her she should do it. We talked a bit and she suggested having her sister stay for dinner; my wife had decided to make stew. I responded to her sister on her behalf, inviting her for both. My wife brightened even more.

After lunch, I went back to the recliner. Still drained and empty. And I felt regular stabbing pain in my gut, as it stung repeatedly by a bee. It was not new, but more frequent than I’m used to. I watched television. I vegetated. My wife told me her sister sent her a message, saying she had forgotten about another commitment and wouldn’t be coming over, after all. And so the brightness dimmed. And I could do nothing about it. I just didn’t have the energy to do more than sit in the recliner with my eyes closed. Finally, I felt sufficiently energetic to get up and record the day for this journal. As I wrote, my wife came in to ask if I would mind leftovers instead of the planned stew. Of course not. I could feel that her energy was ebbing, too. And I’m sure it’s because she’s in my presence. I know how it is to be in the presence of someone whose energy level is so low that it drains the energy of people around them. And today I am the one doing it.

This lost day will be replaced by one that’s better, one in which my energy helps frame the day in a better light. But today feels utterly lost and useless. I hope I don’t have many more of these days, not only for my sake, but for my wife’s.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Cancer Journal 10, 2019 – Lost Day

  1. bev says:

    There will be better days. <3

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