Since my diagnosis in December, things have been strange. Strained and strange. It’s sort of a process not entirely unlike grieving. Maybe it is grief. I’m grieving for the loss of my life as I once knew it. The old me died that day and now I’m someone else now that’s lost focus, lost a piece of themself, a certain level of confidence and innocence. All gone. This strange new world is one of uncertainty, pain, fear, and loss of quiet personal space. I’m open and raw every other week when I go for chemo. Everyone knows my secret, knows all my greatest fears & doubts and brings the up into the forefront and I have to face it, move beyond it, live despite it. But living beyond it is not a choice. It’s necessary. As I’ve told my doctors – all of them – I’m not done yet. Not by a long shot.
My life revolves around those two week intervals I spoke of in my last entry. But with each successive session of chemo, it gets easier to handle, to get through, to feel closer to normal sooner. The first one was horrendous and I’m not going to share all the gory details, but the aweful feeling I had lasted for ten days. I had three & a half days of good then a new chemo round was done. I was then back to square one, however, the lousy days didn’t last ten this time but more like seven to eight. Things were changing.
After the fourth round done just last week, I now have more good days than bad. Eating still causes pain, but that is getting lighter and easier to get past, even with something as simple as Tylenol. And I can eat most anything I want. Vegetables are a problem still, but a little bit, chopped, diced, minced, sliced or othrwise made much smaller or cooked to a softer state, are somewhat easier, but still not quite to the point that I’m ready to dive into a nice Asian Sesame chopped Salad. I wish, but no. Not yet.
I’m able to work again and have made a couple of batches of soaps since the diagnosis, mainly just in the past month. But I’ve noticed that my technique has suffered a bit. The texturing on the top is not what it once was. Swirls are not always what I expected. Colours I imagine in my head prior to making the batch aren’t quite matching up to what my final results are once out of the mold and cut. I’ve lost that mojo I had though my heart is fully in it. I’m not sure when it will come back or how many batches it will take to see improvement, but right now, I’m not reaching my own standard. I think the grief over that is the biggest hurt I feel now but it isn’t going to stop me from continuing forward.
Liquid soap, Body Wash, was done and it turned out to be one of the best batches I’ve made of my career so far. So, that elusive mojo is out there, just being a tease and flitting in and out again. Body Butter needs restocking, too, so I imagine that will be another success not requiriing swirls, fancy tops or colour saturation. Maybe that old mojo will come back with the body butter and stay for the rest. One can hope. I know I still do.