7 weeks ago, October 18th, I was in chapel hill to get and begin my new experimental medicine (it has no name but has been well received in the countries in Europe that are testing it also). Before beginning the medicine they want test results of all kinds, so I spent two days in Chapel Hill doing every test they required and being tortured in the process. (the torture should have been foreshadowing... oh, that was me foreshadowing that it gets even worse)
On day 1 I was at the hospital for 8 and a half hours. In the process I yelled at a little asian man, told a noisy group of what looked to be season one of grey's anatomy that I hated them, and said fuck a lot. I was not on my best behavior by any means but I was tired, hungry, and very angry that I had been stuck at least 6 times in various vein finding expeditions.
On day 2 I made amends with the little asian man when he was the poor unfortunate soul in charge of doing my bone scan (he looked ready to cry when he called my name and Alas, it was me coming towards him from the waiting room, his very own personal Ursula) and that bone scan lasted about three hours. But I was nice to him. We cracked jokes.
So on the 18th, I knew I'd be getting these test's results back. and Granted I'd been on a treatment hiatus for a few months, but I wasn't really prepared for what the scans showed. Which tells me that my mother was very unprepared for what the scans showed and with my dad at work it was just the two of us sitting in the room staring dumbly at Dr. C as she listed off all of the places I had cancer unaware that this list was much longer than the one we had heard in May from Dr. K. So i ask her to tell us all the places she has on her scans so we can be completely informed about what I've got going on cancer wise.
Shoulder Blades -Both Sides
Left armpit lymph node
Ribs -Both Sides
Hips -Both Sides
Possible spots in the Lung but they're too small to tell and regardless this medicine will treat whatever cancer I've got.
Well, hmm. That's a whole lot of cancer that I've got going on. So I begin the medication.
In the beginning it's not so bad.
Then it gets worse.
Then it gets much worse.
Then it gets better.
Then it gets worse again.
and before I know it week 8 is beginning and I've got my fingers and toes crossed that we'll find out after a CT and Bone scan on friday that this DAMNED drug is doing what it's supposed to.
I started out achy. Never comforable. Sleeping entire days away. I stopped eating and drinking. Ended up nearly dehydrated. Have recently started barfing up neon yellow medication reminents. I lost energy for doing the simplest task. Walking down stairs, walking to the car, walking to the bathroom, walking to the closet. Putting on clothes, showering, leaving the house, going to work, driving across the street to meet Misha for a bagel. These things should be a breeze. Instead after attempting or doing any of the above it feels like i've been trying to do them all in gale force winds. Just standing sometimes makes me feel ill. I look terrible. Lack of nutrients has made my hair disgusting, my skin disgusting and pale, I've lost over 25 pounds and can't bring myself to really wear anything other than pajamas for what will surely be another fun-filled day watching terrible television at my parents house either on the couch or in my parents room.
I tried to work. Just two hours. enough to get me out of the house. but I couldn't do it. and the last day that I worked, I couldn't even make it a full hour. I came home and cried and yelled at anyone (or any family pet) that came in my direction. It was sad and pathetic.
My real dad and I started a weekly outing on Thursdays. He takes me to Barnes and Noble, just so I can get out of the house. But just getting dressed to go wipes me out.
My dad and I made plans this past sunday. We were going to go see the Harry Potter movie at 4. The attempt at getting ready to leave the house had me exhausted and frustrated by 330. We couldn't go because my stomach hurt, I was emotionally drained and so physically incapable of just getting myself downstairs. It was also hard for him to see me so upset and feel so useless in the situation. (which he isn't. Love is never useless)
My friends are all busy with their own lives (thank heavens) But social outlets have become a burden. I avoid my phone like the plague. I act selfishly and keep to myself. Because I can't stand listening to their future plans while I'm throwing a pity party in my living room. Because I don't want them to know how unhappy I am or how exhausting it is trying to sound upbeat and happy and healthy on the phone for fear that I make one of them sad during this holiday season. I am jealous of the lives they are leading. I'm angry that I'm not making plans for New Years Eve that don't include my couch and mom. I don't return calls, I don't make them. I'm just waiting for the one that tells me that Mary Adelaide is having her baby. So I can be thankful for one joyous moment in the midst of the black cloud i've surrounded myself with.
P.S. this blog does not accurately describe the struggle I'm having with being happy and supportive for my friends and wanting to tell them the truth about how terrible I'm feeling from this medicine but don't due to shielding them from the more negative aspects of what has mostly been a pretty painless experience until recently.
And yes I am aware how absent God has been in this post. He knows how angry I am. I'm more than sure that he is well aware. But I can't lie. I know there are people incredibly less fortunate than I. and I should have so much to be thankful for. But I'm not feeling so thankful today. And I'm not feeling so Blessed. And you can't lie to God. He knows. No matter how happy the right side of my face is, God knows the left is twisted with anger.
A couple of months ago Cancer hadn't really stolen that much from me.
Today it feels like it has robbed me of a future. Or at least the Future I had planned for myself.