January 6, 2020

A Day In The Life of A Cancer "Treatment" Patient

Waking Up

...is a challenge.

5:30 a.m.
Wake up and say good bye to my son and tell him I love him as he goes off to work. That might be the last words he hears from me so I try to sound as upbeat as I possibly can.  I don't know what the day will bring.

Now that I'm up I remember my body hurts.

I remember I don't have anywhere to go.  I remember I don't WANT to go anywhere...but I'm up.


I just lay there and think about getting up, dressed and heading off to work.  Something I've done for over 30 years and I figured out the other day that I've had 18 different jobs.  Sitting there WANTING to do that.  Good grief, never thought I'd WANT to be able to go to work, but now I do.

That's not my world now...

...so I get on my phone to see what's happening in the world.

I'm just trying to make sure no major/crazy issues are happening in the world that would leave me in limbo during cancer treatment. That's a fear....I'm half-way through Chemo I need to finish that, have surgery and radiation. If the world can just keep it's sh*t together that long.

Cursing - I used to curse like a sailor in my 20's and 30's.  I abruptly stopped once I heard my son curse when he was in his teens. Now after going through this sh*t; I'm cursing in my head all the time.  It's so insane going through this...please someone who is/has gone through this and has NOT cursed in their head reach out to me because I'd like to meet you. You don't exist...this sh*t is crazy.

7:00 a.m.
I can still be on the phone just seeing what's happening. I run across an article about the police chief where I used to work is retiring at the end of the year for 2 months then coming back for 6 more months to get them thru the Republican National Convention.  I think back on working the Democratic National Convention...great times and I need to write an article about that experience...  Then I go back to thinking about what the Chief is trying to do and HOPING that:
  1. I'm alive long enough to receive my Charlotte pension, and 
  2. The pension fund in NC isn't bankrupt by the time I get it.

8:00 a.m.
Think about getting up but it takes so much energy, so I decide to stay in bed and do some bible study.

I'm up to Joshua Chapter 18.  I have to have three bibles to really understand any of this and one of the bibles is the Good News Bible...which has pictures.

All I keep thinking as I'm reading the bible from Genesis to Revelations (including the Apocrypha -hidden books) that IF GOD WANTED ME DEAD I'D BE DEAD.

I stayed in the book of Numbers for a very long time...so long, so long... because when I got to Chapter 16 I was dumbfounded. It is about the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. God opened up the earth and the men, their families, and animals went into the earth alive. Instantly God killed them. I just kept reading that chapter over and over again. It was no joke.

I can do about 30 minutes to 1 hour of bible study and then I want to fall back to sleep. It's heavy material.

9:00 a.m.
I have to get up.

I take a shower and the hot water feels good on all the pain spots over my body. Physically taking a shower takes A LOT of energy.

After I take a shower I have to get back in bed to rest for 10 minutes BEFORE I can wash my face and brush my teeth. I don't have enough energy to continue to stand up.

I make it though that and then have to do my saltwater baking soda gargle or I will get mouth sores. I do that and then put on Oil of Olay on my face.  My eyebrows are almost gone now. My eyes look like my mom's when she was sick.  I could always tell when she was sick or getting sick by her eyes.  My eyes look like that now. No life.  Dead. Bloodshot. I get over that I'm looking at myself and I look like my sick mother then I put on chap stick all over my lips or they will crack.

Almost done.

I put on my underclothes and then lotion my entire body because my skin feels and looks like leather. I don't recognize my hands and feet. Oh my poor feet.

11:00 a.m.
Somehow its 11:00 I don't know how that happened.

I put on some clothes - Shorts and a black t-shirt.

The phone rings. Crank call.

I'm hungry but don't want to eat.  My chest hurts. I go get water.  Just stay hydrated that's the best I can do. Then no, I need to eat something.  Grapes, yogurt and nuts is all I can manage to eat.

I get back on line and read about a lady who "battled" breast cancer and has died of the "complications of cancer". Her name was Wendy Chioji.

I just keep thinking once you think you've "beat" cancer you don't.  It comes back with a vengeance. You're just buying time. Then I look out the window.  The wind is blowing.  It looks like it's going to rain.

12:30 p.m.
I go downstairs to get on line on the laptop to see what checks have cleared the bank. Still wondering the easiest way to get money from the VA credit union to the NC Credit union so I can actually make money on the money sitting around in a little to no interest account. I don't feel like dealing with that today.

I turn on NPR and listen to them talk about stuff.

Half the day is gone. I'm just grateful I'm up and can get out of bed today.  

I'm grateful I'm not getting Chemo today. This sh*t is hard. Ridiculously hard. I'm hungry again but don't want to eat.