Tuesday, December 05, 2006

There and back again

Here's what I did on Sunday: I played a game of volleyball on the beach.

Doesn't seem like much, but I haven't played a game of volleyball since March. The twelfth, to be exact. The day before I had surgery.

Damn, it felt good. And I didn't even suck (much). My surgery arm--the one for which I have to be vigilant against lymphedema--got pink, but didn't swell. I stopped after one game, but next week I'll play two.


Even after going through it myself, it is really hard to fathom just how much chemo takes out of you. I remember struggling to walk up the stairs in our house: gripping the handrail, lifting each foot heavily onto a step and pausing to rest before continuing, feeling my legs quake as I asked them to work that hard. One day, Noah--seeing how bored and sad I was, and wanting to help--played cheerleader and tried hard to convince me to go see a movie. It sounded like the most exhausting idea ever; I couldn't imagine having to sit upright in the chair for that long, let alone make the trip to the theater. The other night, we went to see a movie and it was so feather-light; the farthest thing from exertion.

I look back and shake my head. It seems impossible that a movie was too exhausting even to try. And it happened to me. If anyone out there knows anyone going through chemo, please remember: the experience is really unimaginable. Some days there won't even be a movie. But if all goes well, in the future, there may be a volleyball game.