Episode XXXII - Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
Taxotere - 3rd Dose
I had some company for treatment. Some awesome company that did have to wake up early, during summer, to hang out with his mom! At least one of us was excited about it. If you have not figured it out already, it was ME!
He got up at 6 am to go with me and share the experience.
We went through my normal routine of blood work, nurse practitioner visit, and scheduling. He got teased and tortured by all the ladies! And he took it very graciously.
We finally made our way back to the chemotherapy treatment area and it was still very early. My wonderful son took great care of me. He got warm blankets, snacks, and water just for me when I needed it. He also had a few pretzel snacks himself! The benefits of providing such great care for his mom!
I had the best view in the entire place...
My treatment was the same as normal, no new surprises or outcomes. Well, except for the prank I pulled...
Of course, I had to play some trick on him. When I had to get up to go to the restroom, I asked him to unplug my machine. He got up and unplugged the cord. At that moment, I began convulsing and acting like I was in pain. He was totally freaked out, like he had done something horrible. Then I laughed and he gave me the stink-eye (as he should). When I got back from the bathroom he told me I should not have done that, as he was afraid he had killed me.
Good company & good care. He's growing up fast.
Basically, I was lucky because we hung out for a few hours while I got chemo-fide. My son was exactly the "old enough" age to be back with a patient. And it was an experience that was good for him. Plus, he earned his right to be there as he has spent some of his summer taking care of me (heating pads, water, food, & general help care). He needed to see that it was not some scary, evil place that tortured me with chemotherapy.
It allowed him to see that I was alright when I went to treatment. That it was not something to fear or worry over. He got a chance to see that really it was quite boring.
Resting those final minutes of chemo...
I was grateful to see my son's face during treatment and we were both glad to get back home. Last time after treatment I took a nap and woke up in crazy-town pain. Today I opted to avoid that mess and stay awake thinking maybe I could avoid it. About two to three hours after treatment it happened, oh it happened...
1. Pain. The pain was indescribable, but it came at me like I hit the wall. My back and legs were primarily affected. I think a truck might have run over me in my chair... crushing my body in the process.
2. My throat. Like it was on cue, my throat felt as if it had closed up and sores had attacked. From the mouth to the lower throat, I felt as if I lost the ability to speak, eat, or breathe.
3. Twitching. My calves and eyes (mainly left side) began to do some odd twitching and convulsing. Of course, that was additional to the hand shaking that I have continually now. I had no control to make it stop, but I just wish it would.
4. Pain. Did I mention the amount of pain I was hit with. Joints, muscle, & bone pain! Where are my pain drugs?!?!
In my head....
I can say the best part of my day was being able to share the experience with my son. To really spend time with him and allow him to take care of me. He was growing up so fast and really learning empathy.
I was also surprised at how a wave of side effects hit me. A wave of pain. A wall of pain. It happened so quickly and without warning. It was amazing how medicine can create such reactions.
I was glad to have the first round of Taxotere complete. I was not looking forward to my Neulasta shot tomorrow, but tomorrow was a new day...
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Episode Reference: The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe poem