So I self consciously slide the bag to the side, trying to pull the line so no one else notices, and slip it under my purse before I order. Even though its hot, I pull my sweatshirt over the tagaderm covering the needle in my chest. I find myself doing that a lot. Feeling hot or uncomfortable so people don't see the new me. The bald, fat, scary looking cancer patient. But what I can't stand the most is the pity. Trust me, I have plenty of self pity. Enough for the whole world. So you, dear strangers, can save it and send me your love instead. Mmmmmkay?
Yesterday, I had my first of the rounds I never thought would happen. Technically, treatment plan wise, its my 2nd (of 4,) consolidation round. But it feels like the first since last week was, for so long, what we were told was the finish line. Now, its six weeks from yesterday. Plus back to work full time, possibly the entire six weeks. So yes, a bit challenging. I've been feeling, physically, a lot of the effects of the chemo a little more strongly. They include mild neuropathy- numbness and tingling in my fingers, increased fatigue, general weakness, sore all over. The steroids have given me my least favorite side effects actually: thinning of the skin (really attractive,) to the point where you can see my veins and actually the grey of my port. It's disgusting furreal. I also have what's called a "buffalo hump," a redistribution of fat on the back of my neck which I try not to look at in the mirror. Weight gain is also courtesy of the steroids. Like its not bad enough to be bald, I have to be uglier, too. But.... Alas, treatment is saving my life. I'm grateful. The hair will grow back, and with a little discipline, those extra pounds can be taken care of too. I'm also amassing a majorly gorgeous scarf collection, which should transition nicely into my fall wardrobe once I have some hair and no longer need them.
More good news is, some friends here are having a benefit. This is going to help us tremendously, emotionally and financially. The bad news is, my friends and family from home pretty much suck. Oh, there are a select few. If you're reading this, you're probably one of them. You know who you are. Those who are brave enough to actually pick up the phone. Friends get a pass on visiting, but family does not. And I have yet to receive one family visit. It's fine, its cool, its just fucking goddamned cancer. No bigs! I'll be just fine! (Is the sarcasm shining through effectively?)
After I wrote my last blog, the response was overwhelming. Every single comment surprised and touched me in a special way. It made me realize there are a lot more out there of you than I knew, and that means more than any words I could possibly spin to explain. I am humbled, and "thank you," is the best I have. With each and every additional comment, tears were welling in my eyes. To know you're still here and pulling for me, means the world to me.
Tonight, I'm blogging from the guest bed. Jack has developed a penchant for sleeping with mommy and daddy, and since I have the infusion pump/huber needle situation going on, I don't want to risk him pulling it out and/or a leak situation, which could be really harmful. He normally sleeps within inches of the site. So, he's with Daddy, and I'm over here cuddling my fur baby Beau. Lola is also banned, although she's a great cuddle buddy, because she gets a little thrashy and could pull out the line. Actually, come to think of it, Lola is the number one candidate for accidental chemo rippage and spillage. So, she's downstairs in the princess suite.
I've been up since my four am bathroom break, when a case of the "what ifs," got me and I lay here worrying. My metho is set to stop this time at 6:15 so by the time it was 5:30 sleep was no longer an option. So I came here to talk to you guys about it. I haven't blogged as much since there is little to report. I am definitely experiencing more sadness and frustration as we near the end. It was probably impossible to maintain such a cheery attitude all along, but I'm still trying to stay positive. I know I can beat this and I've been able to avoid the "why me," kind of BS sadness. But I have a little daily cry. And I say its not fair once in awhile. But then I look at baby Jack and this all seems worth it. I would do it all again for that amazing little boy.
It's time for my infusion to stop, so I gotta go wake up Jim and have him unhook me and flush out my port and all that good stuff. Then, I'm hoping to catch some zzz's before my visiting nurse gets here at 7:30.
They did a blood draw yesterday, so I will have a number to post from the home lab tomorrow, but not the Mayo until later in the week. I will update as soon as I know.