The second treatment has come and gone. No reaction his time – luckily. Just got pumped up with a shit load more steroids! Whoop Whoop! When any chemo patient arrives at the infusion center they receive the same forms to fill out each time. And in my opinion the questions are horse shit. You’re there to get tortured. Let’s be honest, that’s what i’m voluntarily doing myself. I’m getting fucking tortured with each treatment. Yea Yea Yea I know there is no other option. But yes…..please have the balls to ask me how i’m “mentally doing today”! “Do you feel down? Angry? Depressed? Anxious? My Momma taught me NEVER to lie (or you get dish soap – which side note has also made me the WORST liar on planet earth. Honest to god, the worst. She’ll tell you to this day!) so I answered those mofo’s honestly. Yea, i’m anxious, angry, annoyed! YES to all! So this gal named Emma comes into my room before I meet with the big Kahuna. And in this very sweet, but also very high pitched EXTREMELY annoying voice introduces herself……she’s on my “mental health” team. “Now I see here you’ve answered some questions on your check-in forms and I just wanted to see what you’re doing to manage your stress. How are you feeling?” The internal rage begins to brew. Is this chick for real? What planet are you from, sister? How do you THINK I feel? Happy to be here? I’m not trying to off myself of course, and i’m sure she was concerned for my safety, but really…..she should have been concerned with hers! I’m a loose cannon! So I answered honestly. “I’m fucking pissed. Am I anxious? Yea…who wouldn’t be?” She said some bullshit about how I need to start meditating…..let me tell you. I can’t even concentrate on watching Scandal right now so meditating is out of the question. That’s how distracted my brain is. Let’s talk about meditation when this crap is in remission shall we? Now get out of my room. Well, bye girl! (<—-Ode to my gal Jen Sinkler for that one)
So my Dad and I are on our way back to the infusion center yesterday for a shot of Neulasta because my white blood counts are basically non-existent and this helps spur the production. And I ask him “Be honest….how rude was I to that gal?” And he says “Perhaps rude isn’t the right word…..but you definitely were quite clear on how annoyed you were with her questions.” Friends, I am not normally this way. Shit comes out of my mouth and I don’t even realize it. I’m not happy. I’m SO extremely mad about this. And what’s even more irritating is I can’t harness it. I can’t go to the gym and get rid of the stress…..because gripping a barbell has become increasingly difficult and my stamina is shit. I can walk! Perhaps I need to start shopping for a purple leisure suit so I can start mall walking around my neighborhood? Maybe with some hands weights… I don’t know! It’s a strange experience when you feel like your body, and spirit are rebelling against you. When I look in the mirror i’m starting to see a little bit less of my old self each time. I don’t recognize this person.
Perhaps I was a bit more optimistic my first treatment. Or maybe optimistic isn’t the correct word. Curious maybe? Anxious to get started? To see how I respond to the poison? This time there was no curiosity. This time I felt like I was standing in the middle of some train tracks staring down a locomotive. This time there was only rage. Rage because I now know the process. Rage because I know just how shitty i’m going to feel. Rage because i’m back on that fucking hamster wheel. Rage because I didn’t think the chemo would kick in so quickly. Rage because for those few short days before treatment that I do feel decent and the only thing I want is to do is spend time with my friends, but I have to toss out the disclaimer of “if you’ve been sick or been around someone who is sick, we can’t hang! See you sometime this summer!” Or for just one tiny second I’d like a time out to go on a date night with my husband without feeling so self conscious or embarrassed by the way I look. Maybe stay up past 8:30pm for some heavy petting, I don’t know! No hair, gaunt, wincing in pain, circles under your eyes so dark it looks like you’ve broken your nose. I miss feeling good about myself. But I suppose this is all part of the cycle, right? This is where i’m supposed to write some really uplifting comment about embracing the moment and learning from the experience. Well. Fuck. That.
There are no words that can properly describe how crushing this is. You don’t know unless you’ve gone through it. I feel like i’m losing a bit of control every day that goes by. The only thing i’m able to concentrate on right now is knowing that in 5 weeks (which seems like an eternity) i’ll get my first scan…….I’m imaging the Big Kahuna saying “you’re in initial remission – only 3 more to go” I mean he’ll say that, but I won’t actually know it because his accent is so thick I typically have to immediately ask his fellow what he exactly said because I can’t understand him. But what if he doesn’t? What if there is still disease detected and i’m staring at 5 more treatments? Like, can I do that? I’m not posing that question to anyone….I will do it. I’m the type of person who enjoys kicking life in the dick on the reg, but seriously. It’s completely thought consuming. I’m digging. I’m clawing. I’m trying to hang on to every little bit of light I can. But the rabbit hole is real fucking deep, friends. And it’s only continuing to get deeper.