Back to Life.

It’s noon and I still have a nasty headache but my fever is creeping down and I don’t feel nauseous any more. Yesterday when I woke up I was very sluggish but not unusually so after only 5 hours of sleep. At work I started to feel more and more queasy and threw up in the bathroom twice. On the way home, I broke out in a cold sweat, head pounding, stomach churning. I found a seat where I could put my head between my legs and got home without passing out or vomiting on the train.

I spent the whole evening in bed. C heated up some chicken broth with rice for me, and grilled himself a steak. (I had thawed 2 steaks for our first dinner at home together in 3 weeks.) I went to sleep before 10, set my alarm, but when it rang I took my temperature and it was still over 100 so I texted work to say I was staying home. I slept on and off all morning.

I don’t know why I got so sick – not because there’s no reason but because there are several. Sunday afternoon when I got home from Houston I ate a ton of really spicy Chinese food and drank a bottle of wine waiting for C to return on a much later flight. So, it could have been a hangover or food poisoning. I was also really wound up from the excitement of the great LIZZIE reviews. Whether it’s good stuff or bad, if I get in a heightened emotional state it goes right to my stomach. And Monday, yesterday, my mom started another round of chemotherapy. Her cancer has returned.

Five years ago, she was treated successfully for ovarian cancer. Surgery and then chemotherapy. At the time, I was unemployed, rudderless, and living off the generosity of friends in Austin. It was easy for me to go to Indiana for the summer, help around the house, cook for my mom and dad during the treatment, which made her tire easily but otherwise was not a big deal. It felt good to help, and it was also just really nice to spend that time with my parents.

In the meantime, she’s been healthy and fit, but now it seems this mysterious abdominal trouble she’s had recently is related to a return of the cancer. Though it’s been a relief for her to finally know what the trouble is and have a plan to treat it, cancer is never the news you want.

My mom is not a worrier. That trait must skip a generation. She’s upbeat and optimistic, ready to get this done and get on with her life. I’m doing my best to take my cues from her, but it’s my mom and I’m furious that she has to go through this, and scared.