Thursday, August 26, 2010
Movin Right Along
The past few days have been looooong. Day 6 was our trip to Radnor for fluids. Day 7 was our return trip to Radnor for a throat check and more fluids. Too many rides in the car for a girl with an upset tummy and a proclivity for motion sickness. While we did manage to outsmart the fever (so far) this round, I ended up with a mean sore throat and that old familiar “hit by a truck” feeling on Day 8. I would like to officially credit my mother for the pre-Day 7 hydration idea (although, for the life of me, I’ll never know why the nurses didn’t think of this on their own). I suppose instead of being hit by an 18 wheeler, it was just a little old 12 wheeler this time (is there such a thing?).
Basically, everything just hurts. I’m not trying to complain about it (although I have requested a pill, in suppository form, that somehow inserts a rainbow into one’s body), just trying to describe the sensations that go along with the after-effects of chemotherapy. Everything just hurts. Soreness comes and goes in different places in my body, from the back of my neck to my underutilized leg muscles. Dizziness comes if I try to hold my head up on my own for too long (in excess of 30 seconds) and a round trip to the toilet can get my heart rate a-pumpin.
But today is better than yesterday. I took a bath (with salts – thanks again, girls) which improved a number of sticky situations. Most importantly, I smell a lot better now. Also, one of my two remaining incision stitches finally worked itself out (one biopsy stitch still protrudes annoyingly from my chest). Finally, my head feels minty clean (I lose even more itty bitty hairs while bathing due to the lathering of shampoo against what stubborn follicles are still attached), and now dressed and back in my chaise, I can feel the cool breeze blowing by my scalp.
An important package arrived this afternoon. Fresh off the UPS truck (with melted ice packs included) is a 3 lb. bag of white m&m’s! Many of you who have been following this journey from the beginning will remember my all-important image of white m&m’s (standing in place of my rock star white blood cells) kung fu fighting the blob that is my (no longer as cancerous) tumor. HI-YA! It helps, when I am chained to my bed (or luckier, to my chaise) for hours or days at a time, to have a concrete image to look at behind closed eyes.
It goes this way with children, too. They like to have material objects to help them understand concepts and/or things they cannot see, such as cancer. This led to my idea to bring in white m&m’s when I go to see my students in September. Hopefully, it will help me both explain to them why I won’t be back right away, and try to answer all of their impossible questions. At the very least, they’ll get some chocolate out of the deal. Can’t lose with candy…