Saturday, March 13, 2010

NOW I feel sick

Somehow for most of the last 3 months I have been able to keep my head
in the sand and feel "not bad".

Don't get me wrong. The surgery HURT, given the lovely 4" incisions
and the resulting cramped muscles, and moving weirdly because you
can't just "sit up" is not big fun. But that seemed more of an
isolated event(s) than "I have a major illness". I had surgery, the
cuts got better, except for one, then we dealt with that one.

But I knew that chemo would be harder, and of course it is. I am
exquisitely grateful not to have vomited - let me assure you. THAT was
my main fear. Puking all the way home, all afternoon, all night... I
was dreading and expecting it despite assurances that my chemo would
be low dose.

Instead of the puking I have a smorgasboard of various things. I get
lovely steroid rashes that look and feel like instant sunburn on my
face and neckline. They come, they go. The steroids keep me awake and
restless. They work against me in the Jedi mind battle I'm in with my
digestive system's traffic lights.

The day I got chemo I went to a treatment room in my doctor's offices.
The nurse with the same name as my daughter and the same birthday as
me started my IV. You know from Happy Happy Fight, my manicurist
story, that I was ALL ABOUT happy little signs that morning.

They gave me Benadryl and Prilosec or something like it, and my
morning dose of steroid. The benadryl made me drowsy and so I pulled
my red blanket up to my chin. I snoozed while Mr. sat by, going half
insane. It's not easy on the people who stand by.

I'm happy that I slept because it kept me from watching the poison
drip down into my veins for the next hour. The nurse changed the bag,
to give me the second drug. I played on my iPhone and ate cheese and
crackers. The IV came out, and I had a passing wave of "that's it?
Really?" - I was free to go.

I went home and had half of a sandwich. Felt nothing. Scratched my
arm, just a little absentminded swipe at something there, and it
started to bleed. Oops.

The next day I got the neulasta shot. My friend came to pick me up
with her daughter in tow. They had brought me on Monday as well -
Little A had taken my hand and walked so sweetly down the hall with me
to the reception area, and then colored while I went back got my
bloodwork drawn. When they picked me up on Wednesday she had worn one
of her prettiest dresses for me. Again we walked down the hospital
hall, hand in hand. While I went to check in she had a Mood and took
off one shoe and laid on the floor.

The Neulasta stings. One of the nurses injected it into a fatty area
on the back of my arm. I knew all this extra weight would be helpful
someday. Heh.

The chemo was already giving me sort of a weird mouth taste. I can
only decribe it as "you burned your mouth on hot food, and now you're
drinking milk that may or may not be spoiled."

Steroids kept me from sleeping Tuesday night or wednesday night. Being
a zombie is not conducive to working from home.

Friday around four a.m. the aching started. Neulasta stimulates white
blood cell production in bones. Achy, achy bones.

I now feel like I was thrown down a flight of stairs. And I am trying
to find foods that work for me, being both appealing and ok with my
stomach, to cushion the irritation from the advil and/ or Tylenol that
I'm taking for the pain. I'm struggling with that a little - d made me
soup, and one sniff made me reject it. Yikes.

My head itches. The itching hurts. That, assume, is the hair dying.
Daily I look into the little shower mirror, and tug a test strand near
my face, waiting. It will be the low point, I'm sure.

But then I will keep moving forward somehow, because you see, I am
really much too stubborn to die right about now from this mess. So the
only was out is to go through.


Grace said...

Awh - thank you for sharing your painful, yet powerful journey through all of this with us. Wishing and praying the best for you - Grace

meopta said...

Chemo is 1/4 over. Next time you are half done. (4 treatment, right?) The time after that, you just have one to go.

I went through a phase where I couldn't stand the smell of my own skin, it all goes away. IT ALL GOES AWAY. It really, really does. Just count it down and keep walking.