I have a hard time admitting when I can’t do something.
You’re shocked. I know.
I’ll give you a minute to pick your jaw up of the floor.
I feel good. Some days I feel great. So good, in fact, that I feel as if I never had cancer. Well, until the hot flash hits to remind me that I am now UF (Uterus Free).
But then I make plans to do something that I did BC (Before Cancer) and I quickly realize that I’m not back to 100%. In fact, I don’t think I’ve hit 40%. I have LIMITATIONS.
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Limitations? But I am made of win and awesomesauce…how could I possibly have limitations?
Like yesterday – for instance. We took that trip to NYC on the Megabus and didn’t have HUGE plans…we decided to just take the subway to Central Park and visit the American Museum of Natural History. When we were done, we were going to find a deli so Bob could get pastrami on rye, and I wanted a big old kosher dill that you just can’t get anywhere but a NY deli. This is a trip that prior to cancer would have rocked my world. I thought nothing of walking through a museum for hours, looking at exhibit after exhibit. We planned our trip out using the website for the museum to plan each thing we wanted to see. We knew we wouldn’t see it all, but I thought we kept a conservative list of things to check out. Surely I could handle a museum, couldn’t I?
So, we made it to NY ok – got on the subway, and got to the Museum. We got there a bit early, but it was a good thing, because within 15 minutes, there were literally over a 100 people behind us, also waiting to get in. Yikes. At 10am, they opened the doors, and after they checked my bag (no, ma’am, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is NOT a lethal weapon thanks), we paid admission (I love the fact that you can pay what you feel is reasonable), and made our way up to the 4th floor to the dinosaurs. It was AWESOME. I saw the T-rex (and giggled to myself remembering the meme on facebook that said, “If you think you are having a bad day, just imagine a t-rex masturbating”…I know, I’m 4), and the bronto, and a huge turtle and and and…LOL
After an hour, we headed down to the third floor and started on the reptiles. Still feeling as if we could go full steam, but hanging back just a smidge. This place is huge people. HUGE. It took us a bit longer on the 3rd floor, going from exhibit to exhibit, seeing everything we had mapped out ahead of time. The hall of African mammals is fascinating. Of course, by this time, I had to pee. 20 minutes to wind through exhibit after exhibit just to find the potty. Yikes. But eventually, we made our way back to the Pacific Peoples Exhibit, where they had Dum Dum – the Easter Island Head. I got to have my picture taken with Dum Dum (Me no dum dum…you dum dum…you bring me gum gum?). We saw the shrunken heads, and the gorgeous silks and paintings from the Pacific Island tribes.
And I noted that perhaps, just maybe…I was moving a weeeee bit slower.
By this time, we have been in the museum an hour and 45 minutes. And we still have three more floors to go.
By the time we made it down from the 3rd floor to the 2nd, I noted that my bench breaks were coming along more frequently. And I was starting to lose my OH SHINEY attitude towards the museum. And to the 90 bajillion screaming children who seemed to follow me where ever I went yesterday. Can someone PULEASE tell me why it is a good idea to take your newborn to a crowded museum at the start of flu season?
On the 2nd floor, we visited the Mexican and South American exhibits – gorgeous. I also started to realize that in just an hour and a half, I had seen more penises than I have seen in probably my entire adult life…Peen on statues…peen in videos playing…peen in photos…peen painted on pictures…holy weiner Batman. (Yup…I said peen). We make it back to the South American Peoples exhibit, and there, in the corner is a dark little theater playing a video about a naked man hunting monkeys with poison darts. I am tired here people. T-I-R-E-D So, with the ploy of “recharging my cell phone” (there was an outlet, and my iPhone was getting way low on power), I told Bob, “Why don’t we just park it here for a little bit so I can charge my phone because if I lose power, I have no way of loading the map back to the bus stop.” And also, I needed to sit. 20 minutes I sat there in the dark watching a naked 70 year old man chasing a howler monkey through a rain forest. I considered laying down on the bench and taking a nap. Seriously. I didn’t get up until the security guard yelled at me for using the outlet (um, then put up a sign dude…because everyone has a cell phone and that’s what people are using to take pictures). It’s nearly noon, and my tummy is starting to think I’d slit my own throat. And I’m still freaking tired. And grumpy. People’s kids are no longer cute. My legs hurt. And I realized that I was whining. Kind of loudly.
And we still had three floors to go (the rest of the 2nd floor, the ground floor, and the basement).
I looked again at the list of exhibits we wanted to see, and mentally started crossing some of them off.
But I trudged on.
Folks, by the time we finally made it to the last few exhibits (the hall of Meteorites, Origins of Man and the mineral exhibit), I was starting to think that surely, SURELY they had a room where I could take a nap. Because that would have been the best freaking exhibit ever. A NAP ROOM. But no. Sigh. It was 1:30. I was tired. I was cranky. I was not all “OH MUSEUM I LOVE MUSEUMS YAYAYAYAYAY!” I was more, “Screw this place, whose bright idea was this anyway?” And we still had five hours until the bus home.
We made our way back outside and got ready to cross the street to Central Park. This, folks, is when the cranky stick broke all over the place. There was a really obnoxious dude there offering to pedal us around Central Park in his rickshaw. $3.00 a minute.
“Would you like a ride?”
“C’mon…how else are you going to see the city?”
No. I’m not interested.
“You know you want to.”
No. No I don’t. What I want is to sit on my ass on a bench and eat a sammich. Now leave me alone.
“Why just sit on a bench when you can ride?”
Ride this ::insert creative hand sign here::
And we walked across the street.
We sat on a bench in the park for nearly an hour, chowing down on a soft pretzel and a diet coke.
Folks, I kid you not. We didn’t walk any further than five feet into Central Park because the path we were on was all downhill. And I knew I couldn’t walk back up.
By the time we finally made our way back over to the other side of town, we settled for New York’s ONLY Mexican run Jewish Deli – a craptastic hole in the wall where they were serving corned beef with a side of salsa music. I sat my ass in the deli praying to just get back home before my tired body started to stage a revolt with muscle cramps (thank you chemo after effects). When I get extremely fatigued or stressed out now, my body reacts with cramps. Not just muscle cramps, but tendon cramps that render me absolutely useless. I have to take a muscle relaxer just to get through them. We finally headed over to the bus stop three blocks over. And we stood. For an hour and a half.
By the time they finally loaded us on the bus to go home, I was miserable. I was tired. I was cramping. I head a headache. And I was miserable. I got on the bus, I cracked open my Arizona Iced Team ($2.00!! for tea!!), I popped a muscle relaxer, and I don’t remember a thing between that moment and the minute we got back to Delaware.
And I’m still exhausted today. At work, yes. But I am exhausted.
One day, I’m going to get back to the way I used to be BC. I’m going to have energy again. I’m not going to let my body dictate my plans. I’m not going to want to drop a class, or skip a weekend at the beach because I just want to curl up and nap.
And I hope that day comes soon.
Because limitations…well, they just aren’t in my life plan.