welcome to the danger zone

And Then There Were None…Well, Almost None.

External radiation ended a week ago on this past Friday. I was very excited about it…but it came at the end of a chemo week, and well, chemo kicks my behind. I lost 16 pounds in one week. I’ve gained a bit back, but still. Actually first it makes me ridiculously bloated for about two days, and then the poison insists on getting out of my system. I have anti-nausea meds this time which really stopped the hurling, but what goes in must come out, and if it’s not one way, it’s another. I notice I am much weaker than I was a month ago, the thought of anything remotely like spinach dip STILL makes me want to wretch, and my hair is thinner though I am not noticing any bald patches yet. I went to work for two days this past week, and then had internal radiation on Wednesday which sucked any regained energy out of me again. As you may have noticed from my post yesterday, my high spirits are not as high as usual.

What comes next is some continued rumination on the plight of my life, which has been complicated by a bonus event since the last day of external radiation. You see pupplies, I was innocently driving into the truck stop at exit 77 on Interstate 81 when the sun blinded me and hurled a curb, (and I might add, a very big curb) at my car. Already feeling nauseated and tired but clutching my certificate of completed radiation therapy, I calmly called AAA after I drove the poor car several yards to a parking slot. I perused the damage – nothing was leaking, but I seriously jacked up the front bumper, and demolished the left rim after popping the tire. Apparently, since it has been at the garage, it also has a bent tire rod. I have been car-less since. The ride home in the tow truck was trying, and I made Andy sit in the middle of the seat because I was afraid I might need to make a fast exit on the way north. So in addition to my days off without pay the last two weeks, now I have extra car expenses. Yay me!!! ( I realize this has added to my less that chipper mood) It will all work out, it always does – but for today, this all sucks. Stupid curbs, jumping out in front of my car. Plus I got a huge bump on my head. The word today is that it will be probably done tomorrow, but that is what we’ve been told all week. At least it came after I no longer needed to drive to Hershey daily. It’s made it really hard on Andy, getting back and forth to work, but I’m able to catch a ride in and home. I am planning on going back to work on Monday. On the plus side, I only have treatment again on Wednesday, and then I have NOTHING for almost three whole weeks.

My internet connection just popped up…I changed the name of my DSL from Verizon to “FBI Surveillance Van” so that when people in the area bring up “available networks” they freak out thinking there’s a FBI van somewhere on White Street. This amuses me. What also amuses me is that Kenely was dismissed from Project Runway All-Stars this week. The dress that she made this week looked like a hospital gown, and she was mean to Mondo. Thus ends the random commentary for the moment.

Anyway lovelies…I received the blue cross statement for my surgery in December. It was super funny because the gutting cost over 40K. I haven’t even bought a car that cost more than seven thousand in the last 10 years. And although it is less than the cost of both my college degrees combined, it is an amazing amount of cash. I can only imagine what the statement will look like for the radiation treatments…and the multiple cat scans I’ve had over the last two months. I am lucky I have insurance. Or I’d be sitting in the parking lot of the hospital trying to DIY my treatments with a laser pointer and a camera. There is always a bright side. So yeah, 40k for a superspecial dissection, and I didn’t even get to bring the megagrowth home with me in a jar. Or even part of it.

And part of that bright side is that I no longer have to wake at 4:30 am and fly through the darkness to Hershey five days a week. My itchy bum still looks horrible as does any area where the laser beam was directed. But it’s not as itchy and it seems to be slowly healing ( only after a week of horrible spreading). I luxuriate in bed each day until the indulgent hour of 7 am. And yet, I am just as exhausted as I was when I was getting up at 4:30. In fact, I feel much like I did energy wise as before I had the surgery. Maybe I need more blood? Maybe I really am a vampire? I do have some pretty pointy incisors and I’ve always liked really rare meats.

As for my last go-round with that nasty nasty cisplatin…well the experience was fairly non-eventful this time, except I didn’t get a room with a bathroom this time, so every 20 minutes I had to stroll down the hall to find the loo, and then I would screw up the IV so that I had to come back with it screeching like a banshee until a kind nurse would come and silence it. I got started late, and then my constant trips to the bathroom slowed the whole process because the infusion would stop every time the beeping started. Midway through the chemo-borne toxic incident, a new patient arrived with his paramour and their crying toddler. Woo hoo!!! Because the best place to take your kidlet is to a tiny hospital room with no toys and no child-friendly source of entertainment and you want to watch Springer, but your offspring wants your attention. Well, darn, what a faboo idea! Why didn’t I think of that?

Then, just when you think the whole party is winding down, here comes a very nice, but very old man, who was scheduled to start his treatment in my room at 11ish, although I still had an hour to go when he arrived for that 11ish appointment. He came to my room and said…well this is 12, and where I am supposed to be, and when I told him, sorry sir, I’ll be here for another hour, he looked at me like he actually expected me to stop what I was doing, disconnect the IV and move along. I thought he was gonna throw down with me over the room. I suggested he go talk to the nurse and see what they would do, because I was going nowhere. As you can see from my photos, I was quite comfy, and the steroids that come with chemo had completely stopped the fiery itching of my bum, and I was reveling in the sweet absence of that madness.

Finally, the fun came to an end, and I was disconnected and dismissed to go home to bed. I felt pretty good for the first two days, and then…well you already know how that goes. I apologize that this is not my usual humor sprinkled recounting of events. There are pictures from my last day of radiation that I will post once I find my camera, and then there will be an entry all about the delightful experience of bracytherapy, which has its own je ne sais quoi.

I’m hanging in there…I’m just tired. My next round of chemo starts on April 2nd, and then I have to go to Hershey 2 days a week, once to be poisoned, and then the next day for a shot to boost my immune system and support my body’s blood making abilities. Right now, I’m going to go crawl back into bed, and try to outsmart losing that hour. Of course, I’ll need to get out of bed at least three more times to hit the bathroom from drinking so much water, but it is all for the greater good. So it’s bon soir mes amis! I’ll be back to share some more tomorrow.


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