Friday, November 21, 2008

I haven't been able to walk since last Friday. I am so relieved the pain finally went away a couple of days ago- being stuck in bed is so disheartening.

I have a lesson for you today: appreciate your body.

Your body, this amazing thing that houses your consciousness. Touch something right now with your fingertips- the keyboard, the surface of the desk, your face. Feel it. Know that I can't. I will never be able to hold your hand and feel it in mine like I did before. Walk around today, feel the sun on your face. I used to walk around everywhere. I miss it. Taste something today, really taste it. Feel how satisfying it is. I haven't even been able to chew food for the past few days. Oh, what I would give to be able to eat curry again.

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I've been hesitant to describe my chemo side-effects on the blog, if only because they're THAT horrible and there are people who read this thing that I miss kissing. I suppose that's why I don't want to show anyone my baldy head either. But... fuck that. I'm here, all alone, going through this alone. We're all human, and what I'm experiencing the most intrinsic, human thing of all- suffering. Probably more extreme mental and physical anguish than most people ever experience, but relatable non the less.

Plus, I would have been grateful to know what really happens before I started. I went into chemo thinking my biggest issues would be hair loss and nausea. Hi-fucking-larious.

Here is an example of my last two weeks with the adria/vin combo. Adriamycin is a powerful antibiotic, killing all of the good bacteria in your body, while vincristine is a nerve toxin:

1.) Mon-Tues: The actual chemo days are not so bad. You sit in a chair for 8 hours hooked up to a machine and feel slightly flu-like when home. Fun times in the near future!

2.) Weds: Wake up vomiting. Extreme nausea and fatigue that lasts about a week. Trip to the ER due to vomiting, fever, and an internal infection.

3.) Thurs-Fri: Drug induced stupor in bed. The fatigue feels like you've got cabin fever within your own body, or restless leg syndrome, but all over. Your body is exhausted and nauseous but your mind is healthy and awake. This disconnect is horrible. Minutes seem like hours. Around Thursday the nerves in my feet begin to hurt. By Friday it is excruciating to walk.

4.) Sat-Tues: Still can't walk, still fatigued and in bed. The nausea finally subsides.

5.) Weds-Thurs: Finally, my feet feel normal, but now I wake up with a mouth full of sores due to thrush. The sides and back of my tongue are covered, and they go all the way down my throat. I can't chew anything. I start to slur my words. The pain is horrible. Also, be grateful your shit is normal and lasts 5 seconds and is generally uneventful. Those chemo mouth sores don't just stop at my throat... They go all the way down my digestive tract. So be grateful your shit doesn't feel like satan riding a motorcycle straight from hell and out your ass twice a day. It is seriously THE WORST pain I have ever experienced.

So.. here I am, Thursday with thrush. You get to read it for 5 minutes, but I get to live it for the next four months. Jealous much?


olivia said...

ugh. baby, to read you are gong through so much pain is definitely heartbreaking.
as a friend, i wish i could undergo some of the pain for you. it sounds like so much for one human being to be burdened with... but as with all negativity comes some positive. i'm sure the balance existing in life will grant you the best positives once the worst has passed.
i love you.
hang in there.
hang onto bravery.

eppie said...

as difficult as it was to read this particular blog and think about what you're going through, your satan riding a motorcycle analogy was painfully funny.

Anonymous said...

Despite the side effects, you were able to chronicle your days. I never did that. Because of that, I am able to forget how I felt at each moment. It was only, what, three, four months ago, but so long ago in my head.
You made me remember, like a flash back, how I felt. Wishing I was not sick/nauseaus/in pain/shitting myself. Thank you. Thank you, really. Because, now I appreciate my body, how I feel this minute. I appreciate my neuropathy, and will take it over chemoness.
I'm not an inspirational quote person, but I liked this, on a magnet my aunt gave me.
If you're going through hell keep going.

kaylin andres said...

sara- yeah, I can't even remember my side effects from a month ago. Chemo just makes life a blur. I like that you say you appreciate your neuropathy- I guess I will too once this is all over! <3

MorbidKitty said...

You'll be able to eat curry again soon. :) Things will be back to normal when it's all over.

one thing that helped me w/ nasuea...was salt and lime....lime in water. I took it as a replacement for the naseau pills which made things worse. It helps with upset tummys especially. Maybe it could help you. oh..and Red Vine licorice. There's something about it that helped. :)

Krystal in TN said...

I wish I would have had the insight that you bring into the "cancer hating" world last year. Your words bring so much realization to what the body endures as the meds slowly take away your life to try and save it. Thank you for being ballsy enough to share the truth.