I received a card the other day from a friend that spoke of the dance we experience in life and the need to just keep dancing through all life shows us through the hills and valleys. I liked that imagery and it had me thinking of this graceful waltz back and forth through a room full of other graceful dancers. It's how I feel sometimes as I amble through this chemo dance.
It's not always graceful, however. In fact, many times it is downright clumsy. But the new chemo treatment on Tuesday was a graceful one. Mainly because of the Benedryl. Let me explain. It seems that Taxol is a drug that can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people. To protect the patient from this possible reaction, one of the pre-meds given is Benedryl....50 mg. in fact. Enough to probably put an elephant to sleep; and certainly someone my size. I didn't really think about it while it was dripping into my vein. I was more worried about that "severe allergic reaction" in spite of the protective Benedryl and kept thinking how the chemo nurse said she would "have to watch me for a while" after I was getting the Taxol. That was enough to scare me! So, the Benedryl was dripping but I was just panicking in my seat. Until suddenly, the bag was empty and it was time for the Taxol. Only, I felt like I had been shot by a tranquilizer dart! I only had time to say to my husband, "I'm feeling really funny!", when I fell back into my chair and fast asleep. So I had no time to worry about my reaction to the drug. And in fact, thankfully, there was none. I was gracefully floating across the chemo dance floor in a Benedryl dream. It was even hard to wake up to go the bathroom and then home. Once home, I fell asleep again for a few more hours. It was a wonderful thing! And now, I get to experience this each week for the next 12 weeks. A wonderful, graceful, flowing dance of peace and contentment.
What's even better is that today, the day after treatment, I feel very good. I'm not sure how long this will last, but it is in stark contrast to how I felt with the "red devil". The day after her treatment, I had the headaches, the "unwell feeling" and the buzz of the crash to come. But today, blessed relief of feeling good! They did tell me that after the second or third day I will probably get some aches and pains that will last a couple days, but I can deal with that easily after the "red devil" and her violent tango. There are also some side effects that will come after more of the treatments, but then again, maybe some of these I might escape. Time will tell.
For today, I am gliding across the dance floor free of pain and nausea and able to move freely when and where I want. And for that, I am most thankful and feel incredibly blessed. Even if it is just this one day.
We will see what the rest of the week brings. The next treament will be next Tuesday, and then again for each of the next 10 Tuesdays. That is, unless my counts are down, I get sick, etc. If that happens, it may be a little longer.
What I am looking forward to is springtime, with its dance around the Maypole in a celebration of new life. That's the dance I look forward to the most!