Post Chemo-Half Past Dead

Chemo Yucky5:47 am Sunday Morning

Sleep does not caress me. I feel hollow. An emptiness is rising from the pitt of my stomach and it reaches out to my throat.

A wave of nausea rises. I think of many things, my thoughts are overwhelmed and I can barely see four months from now when I will be able to overcome anything, anything at all after this is done.

My ovaries feel like they have stopped working, like two sirens the rocks groan in my belly.

Outside my window, birds chirp happily, oblivious to my state of being as I am consumed by physical misforturtane. Will relief ever come?

3:41am Monday June 8

im on a physical roller coaster, and theres no one to blame.

I feel so hollow. My head hurts so bad, I can’t sleep. My stomach is so ill. I try to switch my body positions, but none of them work. its 3:41. I want to curse someone, maybe the doctor who told me taking this drug will be nothing in comparison to chemo, its equal hell in my mind. I think in my mind, if perserving the slight chance of fertility is going to be like this for four months, I might just take my chances, I’m not opposed to adoption, especially if I work the papers out now, maybe I’ll have one in five years. Ha Ha Ha.

I nod off to sleep around 5am and awake again around 6:30. I can’t imagine going to physio, although my chest has started to feel tight once more. I call at 7am and cancel my 8:15 appointment. Massage therapy will have to wait. I leave a message for my nurse practitioner, I’m so frustrated at my body for being so annoying. “Common’ and get your damn act together, I spit at my brain.” I’m very angry.

My nurse calls me back and with sympathy in her voice she asks me what I’ve managed to get down these past days, and I shouldn’t feel so crappy this being day 5. I told her about the mini hamburger (the Harold and Kumar go to White Castle burgers and a baked potato I asked Delasi to make), and the bite of chicken finger that I had attempted to eat along with the 1 L of apple juice over the past two or three days. I briefly mention the chocolate pudding and crackers, but feel no need to add in the popsicles and jello. The nurse wants me to come to the Cross.

The greatest tasks for the day involve getting dressed and eating a bowl of cheerios. I lie down, and at ten to twelve, Ebby knocks at my door. “I’m not sure if you know, but it’s ten to twelve…” Ten more minutes before my punctual dad shows up.

“Oh don’t worry, it doesn’t take me too long to look fabulous these days. Ten minutes should do.” I laugh and she laughs back. Man I’d feel sexy in a big oversized shirt and polka dot rain boots right about now. I remember how Delasi saw my haircut for the very first time on Saturday, and in my dire physio state it was in a bam-bam style pony tail. She didn’t comment on how fabulous it looked.

In ten minutes I had ran my fingers through my hair, slipped on my hat, brushed my teeth and threw on some clothes. Okay semi-fabulous.

By 1pm I was at the cross. I had NEVER thought the day would come where I would welcome an IV, NEVER had I thought the day would come where being poked FOUR times with a need did not make me flince. Today I wasn’t bothered. My nurse told me my stomach troubles were probably the result of puking all day on Wednesday. I was given an acid reducer drip, an anti-nausea drip and saline solution. In about an hour and half I was done, and with new prescriptions in my hand: more anti-nauseas, stomach settlers, and sleeping pills. I cut my nurse off as she explained about the sleeping pills, “Trust me.. I will try anything now, I just want to feel better!” My nurse then explained how instead of day 7-14 where usually blood counts (in terms of my white blood cells) are down, mine has already dropped. I’ll have to be very careful not to contact any germs.

“Some people whiz through chemo, unfortunately you got the raw end of the deal. Don’t worry there is hope…we’ll try another whole new drug concoction for cycle 2.” That fills me with hope. She asks me about my hair.

“Nope, it hasn’t started falling out yet,” I say with a smile. When she leaves I notice a handful of strands on my pillow. I lovingly and delicately transfer them to my dad’s lap, as he disgustingly flicks them off.

Finally done and not feeling much better. By the time evening comes I’m eating much more than in the days past and have gained a bit more energy. Mom becomes my hand and foot genie. Thank God for family. Honestly, I can only take things hour by hour because of the way things are. If you aren’t feeling physically all there, sometimes all you can do is lie in bed and muster enough strength to sip some juice, even if it’s hard to swallow. What makes this tolerable is the many words of encouragement from friends and the constant help of family. Yes sometimes it’s great to hear “You’ve got a shitty deal.” Because sometimes that’s just the way it is.