Friday, January 21, 2011

Ahhh. Out of the Woods.

It's kind of cool when you feel like crap, because then when you don't anymore, it's like the skies part, sunshine floods in, and I feel weightless. Although maybe that's because I am weightless these days – literally. My fourth treatment was a week ago, and today, I feel AMAZING.

Folks have been asking me how I feel, and I say most of the time that I feel fabulous. And, mostly, that's true. But, it does seem that the drugs are catching up with me, just a little. There is a laundry list of side effects from chemotherapy, but I, my friends, have only about 3. One is balding. I have about 5 eyelashes left, and those little shits better not even think of letting go. The other is a shooting pain in my arm that radiates from my monster vein that gets shot up with a 5-hour IV drip every three weeks. The vein is getting inflamed from the toxicity of the medicine. The vast majority of patients who receive chemotherapy have a "mediport" implanted into their chest wall, where the medicine is injected into. My veins are so giant and juicy that they can just shoot em up outright. Awesome. It makes my whole arm hurt, kind of a lot. And, my fingertips get tingly sometimes, accompanied by a weak grip. I hate when Jon twists on NJ's bottle tops so tightly that I can't open them.

But that's not really the part that makes me feel the worst. It's the stinkin Neulasta, which Jon has been giving me. I think he enjoys it. Clearly, he's the sick one here. Days 4 and 5 after my treatments are getting fairly brutal. It's hard to go to work, to think, to get out of bed. But, I know it's good for me to get up and go in spite of it all. It's never hard to play with NJ though. She always makes me feel better.

Time stopped nearly 3 months ago, and now it seems to be back to its normal flying pace. Days seem different though. More palpable, sweet and long.

4 down, 2 to go. Can't wait til those little bitches don't get to stick me anymore, even though I will miss them bitches. I've sort of fallen in love with them. We laugh so hard. Yesterday, when I went in for my CBC check-up, I apologized to one of the gals when we were catching up before I went in to see Marina, my main nurse. "Sorry if I stink," I said. "It's hard to remember to take showers when you have no hair anywhere on your body to remind you. Thank God Jon brought me back some perfume from France." She said no one had ever told her that before, and then we were embarrassing ourselves in the waiting room, laughing hysterically.

Also when I was sitting there, I picked up a book that was on the shelf. I liked it – a guided journal for cancer patients to write their way through treatment. That's what I'm doing, right? Only now I'll write forever and ever after it's all said and done. And by that I mean until I'm like 100. After this crap, I better live for at least another 60. I'm fairly certain that I will. So, in the journal there was an entire section on anger. I would have nothing to write in that section, I thought. That is one emotion that I haven't had. I am not angry, nor have I been at any point during this whole ordeal. Maybe that will come later. But, I don't think so. I feel grateful

It is so rare that something happens in your life that unequivocally changes it, forever. And, so changes you, too. Nothing good comes out of anything easy. Nothing of real value, I mean. Growth, change, transformation, love, appreciation, humility, compassion, passion itself, truth, knowledge. I feel like an entirely new chamber in my brain has opened. Something has opened. Is that crazy? This life is new, and inspired. And, how can that NOT be a blessing. The best blessing ever. (Besides NJ, and Jon, and I could go on here, but I won't right now, but also the next thing.)

And, by the way, my tumor is GONE :)

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