we got out for the first time since we moved to baltimore today! hubby's blood cell counts are bouncing back after bottoming out at the beginning of last week. we got the nurse practitioner's ok to go to the family wedding on saturday, and we might even be able to stay the night on saturday. went to the mall to buy outfits to wear to the wedding. so much good news in one day inevitably sets one up for failure.

it was at the mall that i realized the psychological toll that this whole process has had on me. hubby was tired out by the experience but ultimately had a productive trip--he got one sharp-looking suit at the first store we went to.

i on the other had had the rather humiliating experience of going to 4 different department stores and not finding even one dress that would even remotely fit me. looking in the mirror under the dressing room lights was a shocking experience. since his leukemia came back, i've put on 30 pounds, found 4 or 5 new grey hairs, and have aged a lot more than i should have in 6 months' time. i have stretch marks in places that only pregnant ladies should get them. i am no longer attractive, nor do i look like a healthy 25-year-old should.

i believe that making substantial investment in one's looks is vanity and therefore a waste of time. however, there is a difference between vanity and taking care of one's self. i am growing weary of my role in this whole mess. i am sick and tired of not being able to be lazy and whiny when i'm sick; of not having the time to establish any kind of social connections in our new town; of having to ask to spend the money that I earned on random stuff for myself--i understand the need to keep non-necessary spending to a minimum but i work hard enough to keep this ship afloat that if i decide i want a new purse or something i shouldn't catch shit for it. i'm tired of the stupid medical bills, of being viewed as the "charity-case-of-the-month" in somerset, and most of all, of not having a normal life. the closest thing i have to a friend in the baltimore-washington corridor are the damn clinic nurses.

i just want to be able to have my own life that is not affected by cancer. i want to be able to take care of me again. this has gone on long enough.

posted by amanda @ 10:40 PM


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