Monday, August 23, 2010
down, but not out
You know those days in college where you had partied so hard you couldn't remember the day of the week it was when you woke up, where you went, if you actually had fun, and what you did or did not do? Well, welcome to chemo. It took me awhile to rationalize with myself that today is Monday---almost a FULL WEEK since chemo--WHAT?! Where the hell was I? Well I can tell you where I was--in bed, a.s.l.e.e.p. pretty much for a full week. I can't recall how I got up to use the bathroom, take medications or eat, but apparently I did (I must be magic). Or......it could have something to do with the water/Gatorade fairies I have because every time I rolled over dying of thirst--there it was. Brilliant little things (hugs to mom and Scott).
So now I am a bit out of the stupor but still so weak it takes a lot for me to sit upright on the couch. My arms feel like they are being held down by weights and my throat constantly burns. I have an acne like rash all over my chest and on my face--so when I look in the mirror I resemble myself in 7th grade (not the best memory). I have mouth sores (around my mouth), thanks to chemo and heart burn so bad that it burns up into my ears. I hope that chemo is ravaging the cancer cells like it is every other part of my body...whew this is going to be a long road (5 more times).
I took a shower today (you should applaud here)and conditioned my hair. HA HA HA--conditioning my hair is like polishing a turd (I am pretty sure that is a saying). I will be losing my hair soon, conditioned or not. I am actually looking forward to it, once I lose it, the night sweats will be much easier to deal with....
Not much as happened in my world in the last week. I just hunkered down and held on. That is my plan for the rest of treatment...go with it. I can't really fight it because chemo wins (every time), but if I embrace the nasty, tongue-in-cheek bitch that it is maybe our friendship will create a miserable balance of health and sanity. Many authors have to go to experience things (trips, step out of their comfort zone) "eat, pray, love" shit before they can write their first book. My experience just landed smack dab in my lap--well technically my boob, but I'll take it just the same.
Usually when life throws me lemons I would exchange them for limes to put in a corona, but this experience is helping me let go.............of a lot. I hold grudges, I have to be right, I don't like to lose, I would prefer to look "good" a majority of the time, I get anxious, I get angry, I sometimes react before I think things through, I want the house cleaned "my" way, I want to be sure everything is just how "I" want it..............me, me, me, me. But it was me with control.......now I am me with no control over any part of my body, which trickles down into the rest of my life......at the end of the experience I hope to be more lighthearted, less of a control freak and appreciate the small, daily things. #1 being able to get out of bed without having to run to the toilet--but you get the idea.
I have said it before, I don't want to be who I was before, cancer is a life changing experience (and I am embracing it the best I can). I imagine for many it is devastating and their life recuperates in a much different way than I am foreseeing mine. This is a shitty, long detour, but one with scenic routes, loved ones, good meds, amazing people and a lot of self-reflection. So buckle up--you are all in it with me.
Tomorrow I begin my "nadir" period. It is the 7ish days where my counts are most likely to be low, and I am most likely to get an infection or become hospitalized. I go in the morning to get them checked. So I go from a week in bed with little to no recall, to a week of recuperating (but in a dangerous zone of infection), then one decent week, then back to chemo again.....next chemo date, Sept. 7th.