26 days A.S. (after surgery)
I’m usually pretty stoic about my health problems and treatment. When I had a tube put down my throat at 11pm in the hospital because I wasn’t moving anything through my sleepy intestines (ileus), the nurse was astounded with how I handled it. She said most people cough or gag and I just sat there silently even though it felt horrible. One benefit of being a patient for so many years is knowing how to suck it up. Please, any designers out there, please create a new nasogastric tube for hospital patients. You’ll make a zillion dollars while helping patients not suffer. Win-win.
Anyway, I found out this week that I must start chemo next week. So soon! I thought I had a couple more weeks. Apparently, I have a better chance at survival (eeks) if I start chemo earlier than later.
I burst out crying when the doctor informed me yesterday. Once I process news, I handle it well. But I hadn’t processed this and it feels too soon! Or, maybe I just need to start since anticipation is always worse for me than the reality. But still, I don’t have time to boost my immune system! I CAN’T HAVE RAW VEGETABLES & FRUIT (arrgh, first summer in California)! I don’t have time to get any work done! I don’t have time to write thank you notes to everyone! I won’t be able to fly for 5 months! For many people that doesn’t sound like a big deal but I feel physically uncomfortable if I don’t have a purchased plane ticket (my gypsy blood). Plus, that means I won’t be able to see my precious nieces and nephews in Seattle that are too small to fly to California. That’s the toughest one.
Thankfully, I have a car now and can ROAD TRIP on my good days. So many cool places that I can get to in Southern California. The doctor said to continue my life as I would normally. I hope I can still work on my computer. I have given up on teaching cooking classes or trainings this summer because I can’t book them ahead without knowing which days will be good or bad. Urgh. I love working. That’s another big bummer. I’m trying to believe I’ll have minimal side effects but I am so sensitive to so many medications, who knows what will happen. This is what scares me the most. My sister was so sick during her six months of chemo…
I’m also tripping out about losing my hair! My eyelashes! My eyebrows! How strange it will be. To be a bald woman. What a perspective on things it’s already giving me. Taking my hair for granted! Such a seemingly small thing. But so huge to our identity. I’m getting a wig made out of my own hair (bob or long? I can’t decide) next week. Weird. Any advice on how to handle this experience is welcome.
I don’t want to do this. I really don’t. I mean nobody wants to have chemo. But that’s the overwhelming feeling I have. Very scared. I know I’ll make it through and it’ll be okay. But still. Every three weeks for five months – a total of six treatments. I have to get my head on straight. Let go of the fear. It’s hard to do but I know it’s a must. Everyone tells me chemo is a mental game. Positive outlook is a must. I can do this. I have to believe that. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.