Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I have started chemotherapy. So far one round of R-Chop down, two to go. I figured that I'd feel pretty much ok after a few days, being that my body was "healthy" going into that first session. It's demoralizing to now understand how wrong I was. I keep praying that the usual side effects won't hit me, yet one by one they seem to be coming.

I'm not coping well either. Oh I tell people that I'm lucky this was found at stage one and that things are "as good as can be expected," but how in the world could someone know what this feels like unless they'd gone through it themself? A friend (Julie) has been most helpful, sharing her personal journey and warning me of some early symptoms of side effects. If only the doctors could have warned me in advance of the heartburn and GI troubles.

Today I have had chest pains. I don't know if this is related to esophageal spasms such as I experienced over the weekend, or something worse. Tomorrow morning is my visit with the oncologist's office for a blood draw. I can't wait to tell them yet feel wimpy in bringing up every little pain or ill that I feel. But I'm entitled, right? I'm having to go through massive poisoning, essentially. Why shouldn't I complain if I'm not comfortable.

Many nurses around the hospital have said my particular Oncologist is "into comfort" for his patients. I'm not sure I see evidence of this and it has me more than a little ticked off, really. I don't even officially see him until the morning of the next round. That seems rather callous of him. I get the blood drawn and he looks at the results, but I have to wait 10 more days to know where I stand? This is not right.

I learned several years ago when my husband was gravely ill that the best advocate to the medical constituency that one has is one's self. It's just a shame that I haven't the energy to fight or to demand. I have to rely on others to do that for me as my husband relied on me to advocate for him when he was unconscious. Problem here is that I go to the appointments alone. So much for backup.

I'm terribly resentful of this whole process and what is being done to me, regardless of the fact that it's saving my life, potentially. I want to be wholesale taken care of through this. I don't want to still be pickup up my family's dishes and doing their laundry. That seems unfair to me. And as much as they say they are stepping up I see little evidence of it and I am getting madder by the day.

Chemo stinks. Being sick stinks. Relying on others stinks. Every single thing about this stinks except that it was caught early and is curable because of it. I guess I have to hold on to that.

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