Them Bones, Them Bones, Them Achy Bones…
It’s Sunday. You know what that means…Meet the Press followed by a little Face the Nation. Then sleep. And more pain meds. Or pain meds, then sleep. Whatever…it all has been kind of running together…
A week ago I was anxious about my next chemo, which has since become my second completed treatment with the vicious taxol and carboplatin. I don’t wish this nonsense on my worst enemy, or even the most horrible person on the planet. If you haven’t concluded that this is probably the worst experience in my little universe yet, let me say it straight up. It sucks to be me right now. Even when medicated, as I am now, so please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors because the only way I can sit up for extended periods is to remain medicated. I foolishly went to get my blood tests yesterday unmedicated, and paid for it the rest of the day. I hate that this blog has become more of a litany of misery than a delight for the soul, but damn, this chemo business sucks. I figured I would just vent here instead of making whiny facebook statuses. For convenience, I have numbered my chief complaints about my ordeal.
1. Whining. I hate to be such a whiner, but I’m also not a very good martyr who bears pain in silence. I work hard at keeping a happy face and positive attitude, but this is not simple when you feel like someone is under your skin gnawing on your bones like a velociraptor after a fine meal of chubby cavegirl. Or you finally get to sleep and then for no good reason you wake up feeling like you are one of the Originals on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and someone has just spiked you with a telephone pole smack dab in the middle of your chest. Or, you would really like to just take a shower, but half way through you are so tired you wonder why you thought that being clean and freshly washed was actually desirable. This whole cancer business completely and thoroughly sucks. And it makes me feel like a whiny spoiled baby because I know some people have it a million times worse. I see those people every day. And then I feel worse, because I should just stop whining because I don’t have it so bad. It’s just pain and exhaustion. And a digestive system that feels it should toy with me all day every day – but that’s another number. I have come to hate having people ask me how I am feeling – because there are two responses – truth and what people want to hear. No one wants to hear how sick I am because it makes them feel uncomfortable. It is much easier for everyone if I lie and say I feel ok. I hate making people feel uncomfortable – but I hate lying about how I feel because it makes this seem like a piece of fucking cake (which by the way, I am now hungry for, but this will pass in 5 minutes, and I’ll go back to thinking that cake is like a crumbly wedge of vile poison with the sole purpose of making me heave, with peanut butter icing of course). I feel lame for whining about how I feel when I’m not dying, like so many other people facing off with the c-monster are. Then I feel guilty because on some level I feel like I am letting my peeps down by not being strong enough to suck this up and move forward. And since I am not dying, I should be able to just do what I need to do, like clean the damn house, work in the garden and go to work and be on top of everything. Superfuckingwoman. And did I mention that TV sucks? No Sons of Anarchy, and ANTM British Invasion sucks, and if Sharon Needles doesn’t win RuPaul’s drag race, I’m gonna be pissed. Cancer is lonely.
2. Food. I am a big advocate of food. I like it. I’d go so far to say I love it. Unfortunately, this cancer nonsense is wreaking havoc on this relationship. Food has always been there for me, and now, it’s like it has turned on me. Deliciousness has transformed into repulsiveness, and yet no beach body has emerged from under my insulating walrus layers. I’d like to plug Zofran here, because it is indeed a miracle drug…it keeps me from hurling daily. If I am even 1/2 hour late taking a pill those first 4 days after chemo, my stomach has no qualms on rushing me to the bathroom to try and expel every morsel that I did not eat. I could not even look at pictures of food on Wednesday…the thought of it made the tummy rumble and not in a good way. When I can finally eat, whatever it is that I want to eat must be before me NOW. I crave so few things that when I crave something I must have it NOW. Which is not always easy, because I don’t know what I want and when I want it until it happens. Although, there are some staples that I need to have on hand: ginger beer, pineapple juice, oatmeal, bananas, yogurt and bagels/english muffins. It’s strange how your body betrays you when the c-monster invades you…things you loved are barely tolerable.
3. Pain. Yep. Pain. Weird pain. Not like “ow that hurts pain” but like deep buried inside pain that aches and throbs and makes you whimper like you just got smacked on the snout with a newspaper. Pain that has made me consider that there are natural medications that might fix both the appetite and the pain (and wonder what kind of health care they have in the county jail). I have percocet. I need to also take it every four hours (or close to it, I am more flexible with it because I don’t want to become to comfortable with it) I am supposed to be taking it to preempt the pain instead of in response to it. Unfortunately, it makes me all crazy floaty sleepy fluffy, and I fall asleep and forget when I took my last pill. So rather than take too many, I wait until I start to hurt again and realize it’s time for a pill. (yes, I suppose I could write down the times I am taking my pills, but being ill is sort of boring and I need to have some challenges.) When the pain is gone, it’s like being on a fluffy cloud pillow that’s warm and fuzzy…when the pain is here, it’s like being in a special circle of hell where someone is shoving fire ants under my skin while simultaneously stapling scorpions to all of my joints and using my chest as a war drum. In other words, it hurts. It doesn’t happen all at once, it’s progressive and last night the pain in my chest started and hopefully I can keep it at bay so I’m not making a trip to the ER once again.
4. Tiredness. I will not deny that I can be pretty self indulgent and lazy. However, the tiredness I feel these days is beyond just being tired. I am wiped out. Taking a shower is a huge project. Walking up the steps is like running a marathon. Just keeping my eyes open for more than 4 hours at a time is a huge commitment. So needless to say, little to nothing gets done if it doesn’t get done on Chemo day, because that’s the day that I’m jacked up from the steroids. And since chemo pretty much takes up that whole day, nothing gets done that day either.
So, speaking of tired, I am done bitching for right now, and over feeling sorry for myself, at least for the moment. I have fun pictures to share from last Monday’s chemoexperience with Ashley, and pictures of my bald head (which is only mostly bald because I haven’t had Lisa shave the stubble from it yet) . I need to take a nap, because I have to manage to get some laundry done for work tomorrow (even if it is just training) and figure out what goes with panda bandana. Hopefully I’ll be more lucid and coherent tomorrow. So for now, sayonara.