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Silver Linings and Chemo-Sobby During Cancer Treatment

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It's been a rough, chemotherapy-filled week. Last week's treatment knocked me down -- HARD. The cumulative effect of three doses of chemotherapy is really taking its toll... everywhere (body AND mind).

As a matter of (pathetic) fact, I have been quite the "chemo-sobby" girl, i.e., I cry at the drop of a hat (or bread crumb or door closure).

Example: My husband went out on Friday night (to a party that I really, really wanted to attend, but couldn't possibly because I was too sick). To add insult to my already harebrained situation, The Young Dubliners, one of our favorite bands, was playing. Serious bummer.

While he was out and our 5-year-old daughter was sleeping, I couldn't focus on a thing. Not a book, movie or magazine. All I was left with were the thoughts in my mushy, overwrought, absentminded brain combined with a series of hot flashes as regular (and, for me, as uncomfortable) as contractions.

At some point, my husband texted (with The Young Dubliners playing in the background): You ok? Want me to come home?

Of course I wanted him to come home and wallow in my misery. Of course I wanted him to be with me as I writhed in the discomfort of my relentless bone pain. Of course I wanted him to rub my feet and tell me everything was going to be okay.

Fortunately, though, I held my neuroses hostage and told him to stay and have a good time. By 11:00, however, I was a complete wreck, having moved from our bedroom to the library for cooler pastures and a darkness that I hoped would keep my mental maladjustment at bay.

When he rolled in, I must have been quite a sight: wearing a skullcap down to my nose, scarf quadruple-wrapped around my neck and flannel snowman pajamas with the pants pulled up over my knees. To add to the übersexy look, my arms and legs were spread a la the Nestea Plunge commercials circa 1978.

When he came in and saw me, he chuckled (as he justifiably should have!). Well, well, well, that little chuckle let the wild, untamed Chemo-Sobby loose. I went into a wailing fit of tears, the likes of which frightened even me. I said: "Why are you laughing at me? How could you laugh at me?"

Poor guy. An impossible position. What on earth does one say to that? He was forced to lie (we both knew he was lying) and say: "I'm not laughing at you, honey."

The only thing that stopped me from crying even more was the threat of losing more eyelashes. THAT, my friends, is a highly motivating factor! My husband proceeded to tuck me into bed, kiss me on the forehead and tell me how much he loves me. Can you imagine? All that love AFTER my Chemo-Sobbing. Do you see why I have renamed him the HOTY (the Husband of the Year)?

While I continue to look for and always find Silver Linings in every day, I don't want to give the impression that, for one second, this is easy-breezy. Having cancer is really F-Bomb hard. The side effects are horrendous. I literally feel like throwing up every minute of every day. I am in a persistent, foggy state of forgetfulness. I don't sleep with any efficacy. Oh, and I feel like I have a jackhammer hammering through my bones.

Despite all of this, I maintain a silver-lined attitude. Yes, I look for the positive in every day. Yes, I ponder what it is that I can learn from this cancer experience as a whole and the daily challenges.

Why? Because Silver Linings are so beautiful. Happiness is an attitude. No amount of pain (or disease) in the world can take that away.

"Become a Possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sight and see possibilities -- always see them, for they are always there." -- Norman Vincent Peale

For more by Hollye Harrington Jacobs, click here.

For more on cancer, click here.

To read more about Hollye's holistic and humorous journey over, around, above and below breast cancer, please visit her blog, The Silver Pen (www.TheSilverPen.com). You may email her at hollye@TheSilverPen or follow her on Twitter @hollyejacobs.

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