I've been able to more effectively calm the "can-cer, can-cer, can-cer" drum beat that echoed so loudly in my head over the past five months. It's no longer daunting and ominous. Of course it's still there and still a huge part of my life, but not as overtaking. When I went back in for treatment Wednesday it seemed like it had been months since I'd been there. Of course it'd only been 14 days - same cycle it has been since May.
I even went into the hospital for an early morning meeting before treatment. Then I shed the suit and heels for chemo sweatpants and slippers ... back into patient mode again, sigh. I was so not in the patient mode getting ready to go that I nearly left the house without my treasured bag of ice chips to suck on - very close call.
But my mom got me there. Admittedly, I probably would have had trouble getting there if she wasn't driving me and talking the whole ride there. I had a rising sense of nausea the closer we got to the center. The concept is almost like knowingly placing your hand on a hot stove - you know you're going to get burned, that you're going to be in pain afterward, but you've got to do it. So I took lots of deep breaths of the last air I'd breath with a clear head for several days and went back in for
number 10! 10! 10!
My mom picked up bagels and cream cheese for the staff so they were especially excited to see us. As always, lots of laughs were shared and I was once again at ease and ready to face the chemo drip. Our appointment with Dr. Dailey was short and sweet compared to my past appointments when I would pelt him with a long list of questions each time we met. Now things are clearer and more straightforward: we're finishing this course and getting it done. It's nice knowing there are no more unknowns.
The chemo infusion itself went fine - no problems. We played some Gin Rummy, read trashy magazines and watched some funny videos as I tried to demonstrate to my mom how Facebook works. For some reason I do seem to get more effected by the drugs. I feel very, very woozy during certain moments - wasted almost I'd venture to say. Like I had too many glasses of bad Franzia. I get very flushed and my mental processes certainly slow. For example, I was reading the newspaper and asked my mom: 'Who's playing Monday Night football tonight?' Chemo day is Wednesday. Yikes.
Once I got home I was also more nauseous than I've ever been before. I spent much time in fetal position on the couch, Sammy highly concerned about my well-being, then even got so far as to crouch by the porcelain throne for a bout. However, I am proud to say that I did not vomit and I hope I can make it all the way through treatment vomit-less. It's the small victories, right?
I'm looking forward to a time when I can make advanced plans again, when time isn't divided into "good days" and "bad days," when I don't get breathless walking from the parking garage to my office, when I don't have to talk myself through things in order to stay focused, when I don't forget things that I just heard one millisecond later if I don't write it down, when the at times painfully embarrassing - and frustrating - effects of chemo brain subside. But it will all come in time. Right now I'm taking the bone pain, aches and fatigue in stride knowing that it's all part of the healing process.