Well, looks and voices ...
The other day I got a phone call, a cancer organization (that I had never heard of before) was looking for monetary donations. Which, I get, right, I mean that's how organizations like this work, they need to solicit donations.
I politely tell the man on the other end of the phone that we are unable to donate at this time (while we do donate to causes, we never donate over phone calls and this is my standard line). Of course, he kept on talking, and then he comes out with this line "Ma'am, you sound young and healthy. Just try to imagine if cancer hit you and all the hardships that would mean for you and your family."
Hmm ... let me imagine that for a moment. At which point I politely (yes, I remained polite, he was after all trying to do his job) said "Sir. I don't have to imagine it. I've had cancer and it wasn't hard. And so again, I'm sorry, while I'm sure you do wonderful things, we can not donate at this time to you."
Now, I have to give him credit because at this point he apologized, asked me if I needed any resources to get help (I said no thank you), wished me well and hung up.
It was kind of awkward for me though. I sound young and healthy. People often tell me these days, how good and healthy I look. I know this is true, and quite the contrast from last year when I looked like hell (no really, I did. I know it and it's okay).
I like hearing these things - I mean, I'm not terribly vein, but I know that there was a period where I sometimes looked so sick and frail that people were afraid to hug me. It's nice to hear I look healthy. It's nice to have hair. It's nice to hear that I look healthy.
That said, I feel like crap a lot. And so I struggle with this balance of looking and (apparently) sounding healthy. Mostly I feel exhausted. Which is hard to see in someone, unless there are circles. I have to nap every day. I just learned today it's because iron in my body is virtually non-existent right now. The doctor was telling me and I said "oh, so it's kind of low?" and she was like "if by kind of low you mean critically low, yes."
I will start, as soon as we can coordinate insurance approval and with the doctor and with my schedule, iron IV - hopefully appointments will be scheduled at the end of this week. After all I've been through, on one hand this feels small potatoes - it doesn't require surgery, it doesn't require huge pills with a list of side effects that take up an entire piece of paper, etc. Most importantly it's not cancer.
That is wonderful. And lovely. It is, however, 10 1-hour long IV treatments, 10 consecutive weekdays in a row, during December, during the holiday season, during a very busy time. It is my energy levels tanked. And it means naps and lots of rest for me.
But, I know we will get through it. And it is the holiday season and that makes me smile. Also, friends have already e-mailed asking how they can help during this time, people who have offered to take my children for a while just so I can get a nap in.
I am truly blessed. I am reminded of this every single day. Despite everything going on, I am amazingly blessed. And apparently, I look good to boot ;-)