Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Not a Good Day - Reality Stinks!

In the still hours where most people are sleeping, I’m letting a tear slip out from the constant strain of this disease. The induction chemotherapy was wrapping up last night and as advertised, I started to go down. The fever, chills, cramps, and otherwise general bad feeling just intensified and the medical team went to work. Antibiotics, antivirals, an x-ray, and an extra blanket all told me they were shifting into high gear. As a by-the-way, if Costco starts stocking blanket warmers, I’m getting one.  I can’t tell you how comforting that warm blanket felt in the midst of all of all the hub-bub. Charles Schultz said that “Happiness is a Warm Blanket” and it really is!

That warm blanket really was the highlight of the past 24 hours. I’m not exaggerating to say it was literally the worst I have ever felt in my life and unfortunately, I think it’s safe to say that wasn’t the last night where I’ll be wiping tears away. There are people in far worse condition than I and honestly, as I was laying alone, it wasn’t fear of dying or being alone. I think it’s just an overwhelming feeling of all of it. No one thing is that bad, but when you add it all up, it’s a big honkin’ horse pill to swallow…and I’m just gagging it down because like it or not, it has to go down the gullet.

So, here’s where things may get a little graphic, and I think it’s important that I give forewarning about it because being sick with cancer isn’t a sterile thing.  It’s messy, it’s awful, and it robs you of every dignity you otherwise had. I also want to write this out because I remember reading some rather stark and less-than-pleasant details on my friend’s blog who is on the downside of AML. I think that if someone reads this in the future, I don’t want to be stark or gross, but I do want to be honest about what’s happening. Again, not fun, not pleasant, but neither will I sugar-coat it.

About 7:00 last night when I started crashing, I just wasn’t even strong enough to unplug the IV pole and walk ten feet across the room to use the toilet. The nurse brought in one of those commode chairs and I bristled at the thought of using a bathroom in any place other than, well, a bathroom, but the alternative wasn’t a good one either! Over the course of the night, I performed my duties many times and the diarrhea that made it into the little pot meant I was clean in my bed. Small favors, indeed!

No less than ten times did the IV alarm go off and wake me up and I have to say that constant, rhythmic beeping was akin to a Chinese water torture, yet I just didn’t have the strength to do anything about it. I’ve spent most of the day just sleeping, unable to really eat, not feeling like doing much of anything other than just sleep.  The doc says that for a couple of days, that’s probably OK, so I will probably return to that regimen when I’m finished here.  Taking a shower was today’s delight and I think that’s why I have any energy at all.  That, and my “Cancer is my Bitch” t-shirt arrived.  I’m wearing it proudly right now.

OK, no eloquence tonight, just the facts…I’m going to sleep.

Thanks all…stay strong, be well.