It's a very strange phenomenon when you, and pretty much everyone around you, is waiting for your hair to fall out. Craziness of life #314. You pull at it every now and again. You keep an eye on your pillow. You glance sideways in the mirror when you pass. You promise yourself that *this* weekend you will be sure to go shopping for head coverings.
These chemo drugs took a really hard first pull at me. I've been pretty sick. But a lot of it I think has been due to the fact that I was not properly informed from the get-go. Not anyone's fault, just the fact that I didn't realize the apparent importance of what I take for granted. I mean really informed of the significant things that would begin to take place. I had no idea of the many important details of maintaining certain functions of my body that I just, for lack of a better explanation: I just took for granted.
Like proper oral hygiene. Yes, I brush and floss, everyday, a couple of times everyday (until the cows come home.) People love my smile. I love my smile. I have carried little plastic poky things with floss in my purse as a regular part of my make-up bag forever. Daily protocol for a life time. But that's no longer anything near the all of it. It's a drop in the bucket for this chemo mouth. Now I need pharmaceutical strength "Magic Mouthwash" (or something like that. A concoction made by the oncology pharmacist, Glenn, whom I love). I need that for this chemo battered mouth that brought me to the doctor's office with thrush and a need for some new meds and a liter of fluids yesterday afternoon.
Or just how peristalsis works when your brain is being directed by unfamiliar neural messages that are telling your body what to do now. My poor body (whom I love and trust with my life - ha!) doesn't know what to do with these new messages coming in. Sometimes things just don't happen as planned and my golden timepiece springs crazy somewhere and starts a whole new thing. I won't get specific, but food/nourishment/energy comes in and then realizes things have changed. And I'm stuck with it for days.
And the skin of my face and scalp, usually rosy -glow -and -smooth tingles and burns with a zillion (it feels like) minuscule little itchy burny tiny blisters that can hardly be seen, but to each little nerve ending are screaming to get this toxic chemo poison shit out of me.
All these small changes that I would barely blink at on a normal day. But over these past few days I have realized that I have to keep vigilance as if over this highest secret mission, one that could take me down with a single slip up.
Tonight I sit feeling 1000 percent better than I did this morning or even last night. But it is a teeny tiny tightrope I feel I am walking. So carefully. Hyper-vigilant that I don't make that one, oblivious nasty slip-up into the chemo underworld.
Thank you to Dortie. Chemo nurse from Denmark. You, my dear, made my day and coached me strong again.
And the rest of my reality show? The backstage stuff? Is to come home to the exquisite colors of these flowers. The vibrancy as I walk in from a backdrop of wet gray to the naturaul neons of orange and green and yellows! A beautiful delivery from Matt's business partner that says hello I'm thinking of you.
And an envelope spread open all over my bed of my favorite music from guitar pickin', long time friend Anne in North Carolina.
And a fresh out of the bathtub shiny little face, who with the help of some scothch tape, sports a moustache that he says matches my flowers! He is the flower gnome.
And cards from those who know me and number my children from one to five. And cards from friends of my children whom I have never met.
This morning I was absolutely certain that I could not take another (and definitely not three more)
treatments. I couldn't imagine it possible. And now, I've gotten some relief, exhaled.
I have written March 13, 2014 on my calendar as next chemo day.