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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Champagne and Creme Brûlée

It is day six after my third round of chemotherapy.  This has been a tough round again.  I have heard that it gets worse as you go along because the drugs build up in your system and the side affects accumulate, I guess I just didn't want to believe it.  I've been keeping a very low profile this time around - hardly a Facebook post to speak of - and haven't been entertaining any visitors.  Yes, The Oasis has been closed while I skulk around the house from room to room trying to keep from vomiting and making sure a toilet is always nearby.  I'm not in a "feeling sorry for myself" mode, I'm in a "I feel really shitty and this sucks" kind of mode.  Once again the questions of how can I continue with this and how the hell will I handle it when Cancer raises it's ugly head again with me - assuming I can become symptom free this time around, are going through my head.

When one first faces cancer it's all new, so you have no idea of what you are in for, but once you get through a few chemo sessions and you're looking down the long road to recovery, then it becomes a living hell.   A few days ago I started watching (and then stopped after three episodes) a program called The Walking Dead.  I didn't enjoy the show very much but there was a line said by the main character Rick in the first episode that really hit home.  He said he felt like he was living a nightmare and was sure he would wake up, then he realized it wasn't a nightmare, it was real, this was life now.  That is how I feel having a serious life threatening cancer.    Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and still think it must not be true, surely it is all just a bad dream.  I feel like I am one of the Walking Dead.

 Many people have had cancer and travelled this road before me and I had no idea how hard it was for them.  When you get cancer you do become one of the Walking Dead and no matter what you do, or how much money you have, it isn't easy.  I mean look at Steve Jobs, he had all the money in the world and I bet his treatments were just as horrible and he suffered just as much as anyone else.  There is no getting off this track once you are on it.  You have to just continue walking, plodding and sometimes crawling through each treatment, each session, each day with the hopes that you will at the end leave the Walking Dead and become one of the Living in Limbo's.  Yes, not living, but Living in Limbo's because this nasty disease looms over you for the rest of your life, so you are never normal again, you can never just do anything you want and not worry that it will bring back the cancer.  Those days of drinking a bottle of bubbly without a care in the world are long gone.   I will forever be worrying if I'm triggering the cancer or if the sugar in the alcohol is feeding a tiny little cancer devil in some other part of my body that will eventually raise its ugly head with a  resounding "Gotcha Sucka!"  Perhaps this is punishment for not eating my greens.  I've never liked greens and now I have to eat so many of them I feel like a rabbit gorging on a garden and it makes me ill.  YUK!  Life was not meant for greens, it was meant for champagne and oysters followed by a damn good steak with a damn good Cabernet and topped off with Creme Brûlée and Cognac.  Oh and did I mention all of this being served to you on some tropical island by some snooty french waiter while you sit in your $10,000.00 Versace dress.  Now that's the life!  I guess if I had a defined amount of time to live and a massive amount of money I would do just that until I wan't well enough to cut and eat my own steak, then I'd get the french waiter to serve me champagne and happy pills until I saw the other side.  Oh it's so nice to sit here at The Oasis and fantasize about all this, I haven't felt like hurling in at least 10 minutes.  As a matter of fact the only irritating thing is my left arm from the Vitamin C IV I had yesterday.

In my previous blog posts I spoke of my decision to proceed with Vitamin C IV therapy and yesterday was the first day.  It was a disaster.  Dr. A was lovely, no concerns there, and did her best to make me feel at ease.  I sat in a little room watching her fill an IV bag of Vitamin C with about 6 or 7 other medications including B12 complex, magnesium, trace minerals...and on and on.  I don't remember most of them, just that it was freaking me out.  While she was doing this my left arm was heating up getting ready to be assaulted.  The first needle to go in was a charm, not much pain and in a good vein, so Dr. A injected the yellow medicine, then attached the IV line.  It was as I was getting comfortable that the trouble began.  The needle which was in the crook of my arm, slipped out of the vein, so the IV infusion was now going into my body not my vein.  Mother......s.......that hurt like you wouldn't believe.  Finally we stopped the IV and tried to jiggle the needle back into the vein, with no luck, the more we jiggled the worse it got, so out came the needle and on went the heating pad to prep me for another one.  This one wasn't so good, the vein was smaller and it hurt a lot going in, then it hurt the entire hour that I sat there with the fluid dripping into me.  It also creates the most disgusting metallic taste in your mouth and there is a horrendous smell, similar to the smell you get if you open a tightly sealed vitamin bottle and stick your nose in it.  Try it, you won't be impressed.  I left there wondering if I really can go through with this twice a week???  I was nauseous and had a massive headache going in and left feeling even worse.  This stuff is supposed to boost my immune system and help keep the cancer at bay, so taking it is the right thing to do, I'm just going to have to figure out how the hell I can manage it.  With chemo, I don't have a choice, I have to go, but with this I do have a choice so I"ll have to muster all my strength every couple of days and just suck it up.  I am getting my Port-a-Cath installed on the 7th, and will ask if we can use that to administer the Vitamin C IV, wouldn't that be great :-)  See lots of silver linings here.  Speaking of silver linings I had a little laugh with my girlfriend Lisa (thanks for the amazing Banana Bread by the way), about how this was the craziest weight loss program ever!  I can think of many easier ways to lose those last 5 lbs, however this one worked like a charm.  

I'm going to go and try to make this day a better day now.  If I can get through without the insane nausea I'll be happy.  I did take a heavy anti nausea drug this morning which seems to be keeping things steady, mind you I haven't done much yet.  Oh and I found out that one of my nausea drugs is the same drugs they give to Schizophrenics, so I decided to avoid that one for now.  

I hope the rest of you peeps in the real world are having a great day!  Have one on a patio for me!

Michelle

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