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Drugs, Hugs, and Losing My Jugs: A Breast Cancer Journal - May 25, 2015 - Bone Tired

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This is the ninth entry in a 31-day Breast Cancer Awareness Month exclusive series featuring the real journal entries of breast cancer survivor, Jessica Sliwerski. Read the previous entry here.

My bones hurt. They hurt so bad. I don’t want to take an antihistamine because I’m worried about side effects.

My shoulders, neck, jaw, lower back, left foot, right calf, tailbone, right index finger, left knee — it all aches.

During the day I’m distracted.

I walk through the pain.

I hold Penelope though it aches.

I saw a movie with a friend, went shopping, had dinner — all because I needed distractions from the ache, from the fucking miserable ache of cancer.

My tastebuds are waning. I have to douse everything in too much salt, pepper, so many chili flakes. My mouth feels numb.

I’m worried about sores. I keep forgetting to rinse and swish after every meal. It’s impossible.

I have shit to do.

I can’t remember anything.

I forget everything.

I keep hydrating, but it’s still not enough. I’m eating salmon and avocados and flax and just soaking up the oils, licking them off the plate like some kind of rabid animal, but I’m still so dry that my skin on my neck is starting to crack.

I disgust myself.

I stopped taking the anti nausea med today at 2 p.m. It made me foggy. All I have right now are my thoughts and my writing and reading and talking to friends.

When the words swim, when I can’t focus, when I’m shaking, when I can’t walk without holding something, when I can’t remember what I just said — it makes everything worse. I blame the anti nausea med. So I didn’t take it. And I felt better.

I didn’t take it at 8 p.m. either. So far I feel OK, but I think I have a lot built up in me. It’s going to hit at some point. And it will suck. And then I’ll be playing catch up — exactly what they told me not to do.

“Chase the nausea,” they said.

I feel like I can’t win right now. My body, my beautiful strong body, is just withering away. I’ve lost so much weight even though I’m trying so hard to take care of myself and to be strong.

I don’t know how to rest. I’ve never known how and I’m trying to learn, but my body is fighting it so hard.

I’m bone tired. Night is the worst. At night I am the saddest.

Jessica Sliwerski reading to daugther Penelope
Me reading with Penelope: I try to take comfort in Penelope’s snuggles. Reading with her is a temporary escape from the physical and emotional misery enveloping me.

I don’t share these thoughts to make you sad even though I feel so sad as I write them. Even though my fingers hurt when I type and trying to use caps just feels like too much effort.

I share because I don’t know how else to explain what this is like.

All photos courtesy of Jessica Sliwerski

Originally published: October 9, 2017
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