Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Not You...It's Me

If I seem cranky lately, it's because I am at the point where all of this is just taking too long.  I have only two more chemo's to go, and I am impatient for it to end.  So please know "it's not you, it's me!"  Today was the 19th chemo day and after today there is only ONE more left!  I am feeling very impatient and tired of all this.  Getting ready for these mornings anymore is getting very automatic.  I take out my "chemo bag" and stuff all my necessary chemo toys and games in it.  I need reading material; crossword books for my husband; pens; a pad of paper (for note taking); my small make-up bag that actually has gum, extra pens, tissues, anti-bacterial hand soap, lipstick, and tums; a small calendar; a check for the co-pay (yes, there is a co-pay every time!); a bottle of water; and a granola bar in case the treatment goes longer than usual.  I then check e-mails from preschool, shower, slap some make-up on my face, and get dressed.  

Make up takes a little longer right now because I have lost my eyebrows. To help me make some eyebrows, I have one of those crazy plastic stencil eyebrow pieces that I apply to my head, brush eyebrow powder over it and VOILA!...an eyebrow!.  Sometimes I have to do it a few times before I get the eyebrows to look like they match in height and width so I don't look like "The Riddler" or a circus clown.  Make up is a good thing, however, when you have no hair as it enables you to make yourself feel more feminine at a time when you are feeling anything but!

When it is time to get dressed, I need to pick something that is comfy, warm, and with a v-neck or an opening so the chemo nurses can get to the port.  Since most of us tend to sleep (because of meds) through chemo, wearing something that feels comfortable is key.  That means something loose and soft like sweats.  It also needs to be warm because the chemo room can be on the cold side for the sake of killing floating germs and because it has some great big windows that the cold air slips right through.  But I love the windows (as do most of the people there) since they bring the outside in and there is always something to watch if you are tired of reading or talking.

When it's time to go, I feel my body already saying "NO....I don't want to do this again!", but I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and make myself get in the car and begin the ride to the "chemo castle".  Once there, it is sign-in time, wait for your name to be called, get weighed (I always feel like it's weight watchers all over again), and then find a chair.  Finding a chair is the most important part of the day.  You need to make sure it is a comfy one since you will be in it for 4, 5 or more hours.  You also need to make sure the "recline apparatus" is working (they are in the process of getting new chairs).  Finally, we look for a chair that has a "guest chair" beside it opposite the windows.  When we find a place that satisfies us, we settle in.

Today I am anxious about my port.  Now that it has proven to be temperamental, I worry about it working.  As all of the preparations were done to access the port, I just kept praying it would work.  Finally, the moment came and the fluid went in, and blood was returned....wait, no it wasn't...yes, there it is...no, it disappeared again.  The nurse told me to turn my head to the side and cough and VOILA again...It worked!  So now I wait for the report on the counts, I hear the clicking heels of my oncologist and find out the counts are fine!  Thankfully, I can get today's chemo and then there is only ONE more!

I am also cranky because I am feeling more tired that I did a few weeks ago.  By afternoon some days, I just need to go home and rest.  By night time, I just want to be home in PJ's as it is an effort to go out.  The "pins and needles" in my fingertips and toes is always present now and I have also developed the sorest legs that ache when I go upstairs or do a lot of walking or stay in one place too long (either sitting or standing).  So if I am not smiling as much as usual...."it's not you, it's me!"

I still place a smile on my face when I go out in the morning and for the most part, the days are good.  It's just that all I have mentioned is playing in the background while I that smile is showing.  Cancer is never far from my mind and it is a part of every day.

Now that there is only one more chemo left, I can make the appointment with the surgeon and then begin the plans for that part of this journey.  It has been a long time coming and we are headed into the curve before the home stretch.  However, if I seem anxious...."it's not you, it's me!"   Because I am....anxious about it.

I received this verse from a friend:  "God gives me power when I am worn out; and strength when I am weak. (Isaiah 40:29)  And this lets me know..."it's not me, it's GOD!"  And He will see me through and calm my anxious spirit, and help me to smile and give me strength and bring me peace.  And for that I thank God...literally! 

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