Saturday, December 17, 2011

On the rebound

I had my first chemo session at Dana Farber and all appears to be....pretty good! Not that it was a walk in the park, but I haven't vomited yet so that is good, and I feel like I am on the rebound.

Thank you for all your good wishes and prayers. It definitely got me over the hump. 

When I initially learned that I needed chemotherapy, four years ago, I didn't want to go to Dana Farber. Everyone there had cancer - I really wasn't ready to identify with that group, or to regularly see people in various stages of disease. In the past couple of years, I must have adjusted my self-image. So, I didn't have to gear up much to go, and I was even looking forward to a new environment.

Or so I thought. On Tuesday morning, prior to leaving, I was snapping at people more than usual, but hey, they deserved it. And maybe I was impatient with the kids, but perhaps they were taking too long to get ready for school. 

BUT, when I started to tell my mother how to cook, I realized that I crossed the line into insanity. Or stupidity.

If you have met my mother or been graced with her cooking, you know that there is nothing I can do to improve it. For those of you who don't know my mother, here are two bits of information that might give you a little context:
1. She was born and raised in Italy
2. She cooks almost all day long, stopping only to clean up, and she makes everything from scratch

I eventually got off her back and into Dana Farber. Again, everyone there was extremely kind and patient with me. I didn't even mind going into the building. I had a surprise visitor who has become a friend (woo hoo - Thank you!) and met up with another friend who is also doing chemo there. 

Usually I feel so nauseous just going into chemo that I can't swallow the anti-nausea meds. But this time, for the first time in a long time, I was able to hold that at bay and swallow the pills they gave me. Thank you again for your prayers for this! 

The pills knocked me out and I slept through chemo, then got wheeled out in a wheelchair because I was still very out of it.

Ugh - just writing this feels gross.

My chemo regimen is the same: I went home with my own little personal chemo pump, that I wear for two days. They gave me one that is smaller than the one I had been using for the past few years, and that was nice. Maybe that is a very thin silver lining, but I'll take it. 

After about 48 hours of wearing this pump, I can opt to disconnect it from my body at home. I prefer to have the nurses do it in a medical institution. I'm not good at it, and, I want all the medical stuff OUT of my home. 

So, a friend drove me into Dana Farber, and they gave me a seat while we waited for the machine to finish transporting the last few drops of chemo. Then I got an injection to boost my white count, and went home to shower the whole experience away.

Now I'm on the upswing. That doesn't mean that I feel great, but I am out of bed and walking around. I got to attend the boys' Holiday Assembly at school. And my stomach and mind are finding their way back to normal. This process may take a few days, but I'm happy to be on my way.

I get three weeks off until my next chemo (January 3), so I can enjoy the holidays with my family. I am really looking forward to the downtime! 

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts and smiles and warm wishes! Have a warm and wonderful holiday spent with those you love, and laugh when you can.


1 comment:

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