“Nobody does cancer like you do!”
“They (the nurses and doctors) will never forget you!”
“You almost make me want cancer! How do you manage to make even cancer look like an adventure?!”
I take those comments as compliments! Yes … I am giving cancer a different (fresh) face and attitude. You get to see the highs and lows of Lisa (Heather, Sophie, Roxy, Pink & Storm). I have to do it my way … or the highway! It’s not all T&A … (breast surgery and a needle in the butt). But there might be more T&A!
Who says you have to be sad, negative, scared, hopeless all the time? My doctors tell me that attitude is half the battle. I do believe in reinforcing positive thoughts … so let’s give this a herculean effort to be happy, positive, fearless and hopeful.
I can swing from one extreme to the other in seconds.
Thursday 6am: I’M DYING. Of chemo. Day 3-4 seem to be my worst in the post-chemo apocalypse. I look like a zombie … dark circles under my eyes and patches of hair. On those horrific days, I contemplate peeing the bed … because I just don’t have the strength to get myself up. But I remember that I am the one who will have to clean it up, so I slide down the side of the bed to the floor and sit … waiting for the rolling wave of nausea to subside and to find my strength. Then I crawl to the bathroom and heave myself up as best I can. Sweat beads on my face in an effort to move and not vomit. I can’t make it the first try.
I laid my cheek down on the cold tile of the bathroom floor and hold on, waiting for the tummy tsunami to recede. My head is pounding. My eyes are dry and unfocused.
I sit up and prop my head against the wall, while reaching onto to the counter to grab my anti-nausea pills with trembling hands. I’m so weak that I shake. I gulp down one pill without water because I can’t stand to turn on the taps.
My head is back. Eyes closed. I sit for what feels like an eternity. Maybe I drift in and out of sleep.
I reach for the digital thermometer to take my temperature … just in case we have another cellulitis crisis emerging.
It’s thankfully normal … @ 37C.
I can’t eat much. Chemo 1 staple was plain English muffins. Chemo 2 staple was plain greek yogurt and cold applesauce – had to be cold – in small amounts. I drink litres of water to flush the toxins and dying cancer cells out of my body. It’s cruel. I have to get up to pee.
The fatigue steamrolls over everything … every bone, every muscle, every thought. It’s indescribably intense. It permeates every fibre of my being. Deep, drugged, heavy, foggy, acute fatigue.
I sleep most of the day and into the night. My dogs stay by my side, especially Annie, my beautiful mixed Husky rescue. She is my heartdog.
Friday 6am: I’M DYING. Of boredom. Day 5 dawns a new day and the chemo after-effects have rolled out like a bad thunderstorm … leaving a beautiful & colourful morning sunrise. I can tell the second I open my eyes that today will be a good day.
I bound out of bed to open the curtains and exclaim “What a beautiful day!” to the rain and the clouds.
I should be catching up on dog hair, laundry and emails. But who wants to do chores when you’ve just come back from the brink of death? Surely, I deserve a bit of a break?
I try watching movies, but nothing captures my attention and keeps it.
I can’t sit still to read, but don’t think I have the stamina to walk my dogs in the rain.
I contemplate building a new POF profile with Heather & Sophie but talk myself out of it. I can just see Dr. D shaking his head at me! No men. Ugh. He’s tired of cross-examining their motives – and mine – in our sessions.
So I bake bread and make beef stew in my Instant Pot. Nothing like homemade stew in under an hour from chop to serve! If you don’t have one … get one! An Ottawa invention … it is an electrical pressure cooker. The opposite of a slow cooker. And completely safe! I love mine.
I buy a last minute ticket to a Beach Party. Only in Canada can I swing from making beef stew to getting into my flip flops for a party!
Tipsy girlfriends and hiccuping laughs! We crash onto the scene with flair! And I just won’t let go of that big, black Orca …
Naughty and Nice!
And the best people in the world!
Does Joey remember busting out of the bathroom and dancing by the sink?? Did you crawl out??
Some of the photos have gone in the vault!
I’m not so sure I should have been out and about without a mask (I forgot to bring one) but it sure was nice to see my people and bump elbows with them! And heads! And Orcas …
I slathered on Purell with my lipstick and refused all hugs – hope it doesn’t offend anyone – but I am approaching my nadir – meaning low point – nadir is the point in time between chemotherapy cycles in which I experience my lowest blood counts. But I am feeling I am on the upswing.
I have a week left of feeling “normal”, then back into chemotherapy.
What else can I get into this week?!
Lisa (& Heather!)
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© Lisa Jobson 2017