Tuesday, November 16, 2010

hello chemo eve, let me shake your hand.

"I let myself be angry, then it turns into the fight for my life"---in my pre-surgery room prior to my bilateral mastectomy
"mirror, mirror on the wall"........I don't recognize my own reflection anymore.  It is a disconnect I was not expecting, I still have my dad's blue eyes and my crazy large lipped smiled.....but there is a desperation and tiredness that is foreign to me.  But my face blends in when thousands of other women who have a story, their own desperation, and their own bloaty breast cancer chemo face..............thousands of women whose story you have yet to hear.
My daddy's blue eyes

Tomorrow is my 5th round of chemo, and last night was my 2nd trip to the ER in the past 3 days.  I am pretty sick of being sick.  There was a possibility of a blood clot in my leg, that still hasn't been ruled out (though we are not too concerned) and I will have a Doppler tomorrow while at chemo to make sure it isn't a clot.  If, on the off chance it is, I will be given an injection to thin my blood and break up the clot so it doesn't have the chance to work its way up to my heart, lungs or brain.

Chemo Eve was great, and Scott is very "relaxed" and already passed out next to me (a bottle plus of wine will do that to you).  I know we try to keep tonight light hearted and fun, but I know tonight is when he starts to worry about what is to come with the next round of chemo---that is what keeps me up tonight watching endless hours of netflix on demand and whatever mind numbing show I can find.  Tomorrow will be a new experience for my friend Allison as well.  I have prepped her as much as I can, as I have anyone who comes to chemo with me--I change during chemo...........I visibly get weak and tired and am not mobile.  The desperation and tiredness I see in the mirror takes over and I am no longer myself............even words are hard to come by--at least any that make sense.  The change can be scary for someone to watch, I also have my port accessed which if you aren't familiar with it can be scary in itself. 

All of this has become such a routine to me that it is really frightening when I start to think about it---that is what tonight is about.  It is the night I let myself go there, I worry, I cry, I scream inside for what I have lost because of cancer.  I get to be the bitter, angry cancer patient that everyone expects (and I am normally far from--I take a light hearted approach because without humor I am naked in this fight; humor is the armour that has got me through life, it is how my family copes in time of crisis and I am a firm believer that laughter can assist in a cure, in treatment, and in life)--but come tomorrow I tuck all the anger away with a pretty bow until the next time.  There is no point in being angry or sad--I need to be in a place of peace and vulnerability during chemo--I ride the waves and let go of control--chemo is powerful and it wins every time.  I admit defeat and brace myself for the after effects.  It wins ONLY because I let it win, I signed up for this shit, I don't need your sympathy, I need your support.  Chemo is a necessary evil.

"Throw dirt on me and grow a wildflower"-lil wayne
As usual I assume I will be out of commission for the next week, crazy drunk on chemo.  I will keep the twitter account that runs to my blog updated with changes.  After tomorrow I have one more chemo scheduled...............I can see the light at the end of the tunnel........I just wish the tunnel wasn't so fucking long.



  1. “One of the longstanding problems in medicine is how to cure cancer without harming normal body tissue. Standard chemotherapy destroys cancer cells and normal cells alike. That's why patients often lose their hair and suffer numerous other side effects. For us, the Holy Grail would be finding a way to selectively kill cancer cells and not damage healthy ones.”...Hongjie Dai
    In my thoughts at this time.

  2. I love you! You are so strong. <3

  3. Now I have found another wonderful, descriptive
    and screaming blog! I "got" 12 chemos, almost killed me but my numbner wasn't up! You are tough too and I will follow you like a hawk!