XLIX - it feels like this has gone on forever...
Neulasta Shot #8
I had a rough night of side effects. The last chemo did a lasting number on me!! However, there was no time to dwell on the nausea, pain, or discomfort... it was time for the dreaded Neulasta shot. The LAST Neulasta shot... the FINAL shot!!!!
I am thrilled that it was the last Neulasta... hopefully ever!!!
I took the shot and I took the consequences. I spent the week feeling horrible. I was so miserable that I even opted to sleep in rather than get up to help my mom get the kids ready for school. I continued to be so miserable that I opted to stay in bed rather than get up when they got home to help my mom check on homework. My main goal of the week was to painfully make my way out of bed and attempt to eat dinner with my family, even if it was in the lazy-boy rather than at the dinner table. That tiny goal took many days to accomplish. Mostly I spent the days hurting or sleeping, and using the heating pad almost non-stop.
The pain from the Neulasta shot was unlike any other pain I have ever had. In general, the bone, joint and muscular pain was so excruciating that the ability to move or function was almost impossible. The idea of getting up to go to the bathroom was mentally crippling. A tiny movement could trigger pain in areas that you were unaware hurt until you moved. When asked what hurt I would say something like, "My knees are bad (pause), but my thigh bone really hurts too (pause), and my calf is bad (pause), my back is the worst (pause), my jaw is killing me (pause), my hand and feet are horrible (pause)... forget it... everything is the worst." There was so much pain in one body that you could not even figure out what to focus on!!!
In addition to the Neulasta side effects, there were also the chemotherapy side effects. The crazy bloody noses, crying eyes, hand/foot pain, edema, nausea, and bone/joint pain... as well as all the other things that were bad, but not bad enough to matter because the other issues were more problematic! It was amazing what you can endure!!!
The sun will come out tomorrow.. ("Tomorrow" song from Annie)
And like normal, I had to push through the pain and focus on getting better. So the following Saturday I got myself up, dressed, and I walked. While it was only about 3 block to the neighborhood stop sign and 3 blocks home... I walked. Even if I moved slowly, I forced myself to place one foot in front of the other. And even though I paid for it with a fever and almost debilitating pain... I walked. And I would walk again the next day. Even through the pain, I would begin to get my life back to normal!!!
In my head...
The dreaded shot will be no more! It was the final step in the chemotherapy treatment and it was now complete. I can officially say that I have finished chemotherapy!!!
I am not sure if I will ever look back at these shot weeks and laugh. They have been some the most difficult times during my treatment, as well as only highlighted the challenges I was already facing. Sometimes I have no idea how I survived and functioned during those shot weeks, but I am grateful to my family and mom for jumping in and helping out. While I could have done it, I am so grateful that I did not have to do it!!!
“What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?
I wish I knew... Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can...”
- Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Episode Reference: Good Intentions, Toad the Wet Sprocket song
"I'm not afraid things won't get better
But it feels like this has gone on forever
You have to cry with your own blue tears
Have to laugh with your own good cheer"