Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Gnarly Truth

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1BC28RA8LLIl3I6fDMxzE95bGt-Kw-JUR
I am halfway done with chemotherapy. The truth is, these last six are going to be tough. I’ve been warned by my doctor, my Mom and other survivors that the days you feel good in between treatments aren’t as many and the length between the bad and the good days is much shorter. I’ve got new side effects popping up, my body is showing through lab results that this is getting tougher (having a low white blood cell count and needing extra hydration etc).

I now have this terrible taste in my mouth all the time, and food doesn’t have the same flavor. The tip of my tongue is numb and the days where cold doesn’t bother my hands or feet are gone. I wish I could explain how painful it is but just imagine trying to hold or step on dry ice. That’s what it feels like just to touch something cold. 

I have major chemo brain. Ask me how well I’m doing balancing my financial statements for work.... (thank goodness for help from coworkers). I’ve also repeated the same things to my friends via text on multiple occasions and they’ve always been gracious. If I don’t write it down, I will forget it. I might forget where I wrote it down at too. 

My port incision has never fully healed the way it should have, I’m still putting ointment on it daily to keep it from infection. I will end up with a much bigger scar there so I’m already planning a strategic tattoo.

Every day I wake up with a bloody nose. Sometimes it drips throughout the day. 

My GI system is still recovering from the massive surgery I had. I was told it could take a year. If you could see the basket of items the doctor has given me to help me with allllll the digestive issues you’d be surprised (not the kind of gift basket I’d like). And my gnarly scar still gives me flashbacks of the worst week of my life. I’m pretty sure I have some scar tissue build up in there somewhere because every now and then I will have pain. 

Some days I’m taking 4 pills a day. Some days I’m taking 12. Depends on where I am in the cycle. 

I have bone pain from the shot that is pumping my white blood cell count up. It’s not as bad as it could be since I’m taking some preventive medications but it’s annoying that’s for sure. Nighttime isn’t so fun. My poor cat thinks she’s settled and then I have to move my legs again! How dare I.
I celebrate being done at the infusion center but I still have chemo pumping into me 24/7 for the next 48 hours so I’m not really done until I’m unplugged from that. 

Sometimes I feel like because my hair hasn’t fallen out - it’s not real to people. Maybe that’s just a story I’m telling myself. But it is, my cocktail just spared the baldness for other things. I might look different from other cancer patients you’ve known. The thing is, I don’t post when I haven’t showered in 6 days, when I’m at my worst or when I’m in tears. I can write about those things but I’d rather not have it out there for all to see. I am going to be authentic but it will show in my writing. So you see me at my semi-best or best. Showered, makeup on and dressed, and still fighting cancer. 
I’d love the continued prayers- just don’t be surprised if I’m not “feeling better” as the days go on. It is what it is and the downhill slope is approaching and I am counting down the days. 

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