Facing The Chemo Demon

This demon is a bit of a tricky one because I’ve had to make friends with this one. Although it seems to bring out the worst in Pain. I think Pain feels a bit left out, and so it reacts in a sort of passive-aggressive temper tantrum forcing me to pay it some attention.

I have always been a person who can deal with pretty much anything that life throws at me. I am also that person that celebrates being different to everyone else. However, when I’m in battle with my demons, I also like to know what to expect as this makes the battle easier to deal with. This is simply not possible because, as my doctors say, I am different to everyone else. So I have figured that I will continue on my unique journey, and I will create my own survival guide in my dance with the demon, Chemo.

Day 1: Insertion I know that this day is going to be a long one because that is one certain thing the doctors have told me. I arrive at the hospital with my comfy blanket, my iPad to keep me busy and snacks. Snacks and fruit juice are important. The nurses will take your blood and check your weight, then take you through to the chemo room. It’s quite scary the first time you walk in there – like something out of a mild horror movie with people all plugged in to drips. Some asleep, some watching TV and those social ones who like to talk about every bad ailment they have and compare whose is worst. I’m the quiet type – earphones in my ears listening to Queens greatest hits. There’s something about Queens music that ignites an energy to get up and fight. Although getting up was not an option. I was plugged in to the drip line for the next 3 hours. And in true fighting spirit, I fell asleep.

I was gently woken up by the nurse and sent on my merry way. One of my beautiful friends fetched me and took me home. Now this is when the uncertainty starts. All the information I had been given as to what COULD happen running around my mind. I found myself sitting and waiting for it all to happen. Instead, I carried on like normal. I didn’t feel any different. I ate dinner and watched TV for a bit with my housemate, took the meds they had given me for nausea and pain, and went to bed.

Day 2: I’m Tougher Than I Thought I woke up this morning feeling completely normal, other than the usual battle with Pain. I ate breakfast and even took a slow walk to the shop, much to my own surprise. I was pretty chuffed with myself. This isn’t so bad after all. I can eat and drink like normal. And I’ve got more energy than I’ve had in weeks. Clearly Chemo is not so bad after all.

Chemo and Pain

Day 3: The Downward Slope Still feeling quite brave and relatively normal, I decided to venture out for the day to 2 of my very special friends for lunch. I was feeling a bit tired, but I knew I could nap there if needed. I was still managing to eat like normal. Just after lunch, I could feel myself slipping into a fatigue that I cannot explain. It’s like the body just says sleep. So I lay on the couch and slept. I was home by 6pm, and in bed by 7pm. Sleep was all I wanted.

Day 4 & 5: Explosion These 2 days are a blur to me. Pain had a full on temper tantrum as Chemo whispered in my ear: “It’s just me fighting for you!” Pain had crawled into every fibre of my body. I could not move without it taking my breath away. Pain was in my bones to the point of it feeling like they were going to explode. I continued to use the morphine, upping the dose to the max, but it simply just took the edge off. The only relief was sleep. As long as I did not move, Pain’s sadistic claws could not hurt me. These 2 days tested me emotionally and mentally. I found myself crying for no reason, getting irritated at stupid things. I was intolerant of other people, when usually I’m so patient. It made me realise that I need to be selfish for a change. It also made me realise things that were genuinely upsetting ME. Where are all my so-called friends? It made me see who is genuinely there for me. It made me learn about what values I cherish within myself.

Day 6: Standing Up A week. That’s what it is… a week. I now have a survival guide for my dance with Chemo, and I’ll be so ready for Pain’s temper. I still need that nap but the relief of being able to move again is incredible. I’ve survived the first of many dances, and I’ve definitely come out stronger and wiser. I know who I can rely on, and who is simply just masks on a wall. But more so, I’ve learnt that I can overcome this, one dance at a time, because I have created a survival guide.

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