Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What am I thinking?

Do you wonder about that? Well, today was my long chemo day at the hospital. I woke up at 6:30am to leave by 7am for my 7:30am appointment. The first think that happens is that the nurse "accesses my port." In English, she sticks a needle into my surgically implanted device in my upper chest. We count to three together so I can take a deep breath. It's not that it hurts THAT much, but nobody wants a needle jammed into their breast.

She draws blood and then I wait and wait for the blood test results to see if I can even have chemo today based on my blood counts. When I was on chemo last year, I would just lay in the bed and wait. I no longer do that. I take the stairs down 4 flights to the donut shop. (I hate elevators and I need the calories...they work against each other, i know.) Then I talk to other patients. This go-around, I'm trying to remain more normal than before.

I felt bad today. One guy (maybe around 30-35) was in a chemo bed and it was his first time. He was holding his significant other's hand and his mom was there, too. I could tell he was scared. I thought about talking to him, but they drew their privacy curtain. If I see him again, I have to say hi.

The blood tests came back and I was on the low side, but still cleared for chemo. The pre-meds are first. Two Tylenol and then IV Benedryl. Talk about loopy! It's a great drunk feeling. (I'd like to say without the hangover, but I'd take a hangover over my next few days any time!)

Then the chemo starts. I'm asleep for most of it. I have to wake up to pee every so often. And when I do, my clothes are wet. It makes me sweat. And it's not like I get to shower to clean up...I take home the IV pump for 46 hours and I can't shower while that is still connected. Also, another cool effect of the drugs I get is that my calf muscles start to spasm. They actually look like aliens are trying to find their way out of my legs. It's so gross!

Later, at home (in other words, now)...I feel just plain weird. I have to keep food in my mouth most of the time or I know I'll puke. But the trick is finding the right foods because a lot of different things will make me puke. It's not easy.

I would love to be in the movie "Click" with Adam Sandler. I would fast forward the remote control 4 days and be back to almost normal. The chemo effects always linger until you completely stop the drugs, but after 4 or 5 days, they aren't so bad. So, sometimes I sleep because I'm worn out. Other times I sleep just to pass the time and not realize that I feel like complete crap.

I also try to do things to get my mind off of it. For instance, on Saturday morning, I'll try to meet up with my running group and run/walk. Also, tomorrow, I'll go to keep score for my one softball team. That takes my mind off everything. Sometimes, that is all you can do.

I like to think that I am doing everything I can. I received a note from my sister, Shannon, today. I'd like to share because it made me cry:

Do you remember when you said you liked the song, "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack? There is a line, "When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance." Dear brother, you are dancing.


Michelle said...

What a great note from your sister! So true.

Becca said...

I wonder that to myself all the time. Heh, you have an awesome outlook on life. Well, um, at least, from what i read and hear from you, you do.
Sometimes I'm kind of embarrassed b/c so many people tell me how "brave" "inspiring" "kickass" i am, and I think to myself "oohh...if only you knew what I REALLY think alot of the time." sometimes...i'mma bad baaadd cancer-girl.
so, i don't know if it ever really works, but I still try to do it anyway, but I'm sending the few really good vibes I have all to you in your chemo-haze this weekend. Gotta tell you, i've been taken off the chemo and honestly, the lingering side effects right now are pissing me off more than when i'm actually ON the damned stuff! damned if ya do...damned if ya...well, you know ;)