As useless as…

teapot choc3

A picture is worth a thousand words? Picture Credit: Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License- Commonsenses at ja.wikipedia

As useless as a chocolate teapot…. I first heard that expression when I lived in Oxford, and have loved it ever since because of the perfect image it creates. Now I’m finding that it perfectly describes the way I have been feeling for week and weeks. I can’t really achieve anything. I put everything off. I lie for hours, and that is no exaggeration, in my bed in the middle of night with my mind bouncing from one scenario to another, none of them good. I decided to post in my blog about this cancer side trip as a way to keep family members and friends updated, as a way to record triple negative breast cancer treatment for others who might want to know, and as a record of what happened for me to read later. But lately I haven’t been able to find the energy to write anything. Am I wallowing in self-pity? I ask myself that over and over. Is it depression, despite the antidepressants I take? Is it exhaustion from the radiation? I’m only on the eleventh treatment—does it set in that quickly? Or is it chemobrain, or brain fog? I have resisted that concept since the very beginning. I don’t know if there is a technical term for the state of feeling useless, but whatever it is, I don’t like being here.

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9 Responses

  1. I’m completely in the same place and I’m blaming chemo brain. I’ve been depressed before, and take anti-depressants, but this is a different animal altogether. I’ve concluded I’m just not going to be very productive until chemo is over. Good luck to you and be patient with yourself!

    • Hey Snark, I LOVE your blog’s name! I’m pretty sarcastic myself. One year for Christmas I designed and had printed cotton carry bags that said: “The Sarcasm Society: Like we need your support.”

      The chemobrain is a major frustration for me. I too take anti-depressants, and they work. This is a different thing, I agree with you. So permission to be unproductive, to not cook dinner, to be behind on correspondence and drug benefit claims, all OK. The radiation is now wiping me out physically too. Soon I will climb up into the fort on the big wood playset in the backyard and sleep for a week, therefore no real thinking or planning required as well. Sounds good to me…

  2. I experience ‘chemo brain’ every time I have chemo. It’s like I can’t think, can’t focus, can’t do anything but lay there. I would love to chat with you about my next phase of chemo as well as the radiation. Do you have an email I can reach you at?

    • Oh yes, that sounds like chemobrain, and add in trouble finding words—sometimes I can’t drag the word out of my brain and I do the “Ah, ah, you know, the thing, in the car, ah, ah” thing. Or, I’m thinking, “Get the dog leash” but I say “Get the cheese.” Both of them frustrating to me and everyone within earshot. Give me a shout at jacquelynwv@yahoo.com

  3. Hi Jackie, sorry to be away for so long, but I was away! But I’m home now and will catch you up in an email later, with photos.
    For now, my guess is that your poor body is just exhausted from the turmoil that it’s been through! Don’t fight the fact that you need to lay around! You probably need it! You’re still doing radiation so your body is still fighting. Be easy on yourself… if you look back for a moment, look what you’ve achieved! You’ve beaten cancer! That’s a HUGE accomplishment in itself and if your body says lay around then by all means lay around! The day will come when you’ll have that energy back, your body and mind will be ready to move forward. Right now, do NOT be hard on yourself or feel useless because you’re still fighting that internal battle… for now… and you WILL fell better in time. ❤️ sending love across the country to you and cheering you on!
    Love, Jen

    • Hey, Jen, you might have missed your calling—I think you should be an inspirational speaker. I feel far less guilty after reading your note! It’s good that you got away for a while—a new house is a rush, but it is such a heavy responsibility. I’ll be looking for photos of your adventures on your blog…

      • Thanks Jackie, I think you’re being way too hard on yourself and hope that you’ve been resting ❤️

  4. It’s probably mostly your body being worn out, because it’s not like you go to treatment then come home and put your feet up with a magazine and someone making tea for you while Channing Tatum gives you a pedicure.
    Also you probably need to drink more water, just because that’s my favourite piece of advice to fix everything. But seriously mum, I really think it’s a side effect of radiation, and having a busy mom life too. I don’t think it’s any permanent brain fog, because you do still accomplish stuff, but you obviously can’t be super productive right now. I think once you get your energy back you’ll be fine with maybe just a bit of the brain fog but really only a tiny bit. and even if that’s the case you’ll still be smarter than 99.8% of people I know xoxoox

    • Holy crap!!! Does Channing Tatum do pedis??? I know it’s fatigue and some depression, and money troubles and, of course, not enough water. I’m putting six elastics around my glass and removing one every time I drink a glass, and that has been working. You will love this—the best thing to fight fatigue is exercise. That’s like saying the best thing to make a diet work is to eat Cinnabons (don’t worry, I’ve never had one). And I keep telling myself, the brain fog does clear, eventually.
      xoxoxoxox!

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