Thursday, March 30, 2006

chemotherapy (part 3 - the grim aftermath)

Two down, four to go.

Feeling a little "off" after this morning's chemo but OK.

Anxious, though, because last time I was fine for the first 24 hours and then...became very sick.

I spent the week end curled up in the fetal position, in agony, unable to deal with sound, light, movement (I read an interview with Melissa Ethridge yesterday, in which she described living through the exact same experience after chemo. I'm in good company). On the Saturday afternoon, I had the home care nurse come and give me an injection of an anti-nauseant which helped me keep the oral medicine down.

As for eating, once I could keep food down, chicken soup and soda crackers were the only item on my menu. That's tonight's dinner.

Once the nausea subsided (the following Tuesday), I started to experience the bone pain associated with the injection I get to keep my blood cells up (at $3,000 dollars an injection, which I'll get each round of chemo), an unbelievable case of the jitters and restlessness (like I'd had three pots of coffee injected directly into my bloodstream) and a weird twitch in my hands (couldn't knit or type). Turns out that was a side-effect of the anti-nauseant.

We've tinkered with my drug regimen slightly this round and I'm going to acupuncture tomorrow. Hopefully that will help. This is all so surreal. I still can't quite believe I'm this person with cancer and seven different prescriptions to take at bedtime.

On the other hand, when the fog lifts and the nausea subsides I feel joyous (I have a friend who is going through this at the same time I am and she describes this feeling as euphoria). I feel so damn grateful not to be sick that everything seems wonderful. I have grabbed onto those days and carry them with me because I know they'll come again.

I've been listening to a lot of music lately. The album of choice today is Casino by Blue Rodeo, in particular the tracks "Till I am Myself Again," and "What am I Doing Here?"

Not very subtle, I know.


Suzanne said...


Hang onto those good days and may there be more and more of them.

Imran Ali said...

Difficult and bad days come and go. Show the stability and you will not loose.

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