(Really Sour Lemons)

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Truth.

This is not a post to invoke sympathy or pity. Positive thoughts, prayers and comments are always appreciated but I'm not writing this for that purpose. I just want, no, need to tell it like it is.

I'm having a hard time writing this... I don't want to be negative, but my goodness, how can I not be if I want to tell the truth? I don't want to sound like I'm whining and I don't want to appear weak. I know others who are going through tougher regimens. But I would be doing myself an injustice if I skipped this part and sugar coated it into the background. My goal is not to scare anyone, but to be truthful.

The Truth is... chemo sucks. No surprise there, right?

This round of chemo, round 5 out of 6, really kicked my ass this time. I knew the side effects were cumulative, but still... Last Tuesday was a normal day of infusion, but the night time began the nightmare. Severe lack of sleep despite sleep aids. Wednesday I completed some work and went to get my Neulesta shot but was so out of it. I told myself I'd take Thursday off. I packed a few orders and parked on the couch watching bad daytime TV and Lifetime Movies. My bones began to ache. My heart started fluttering. My stomach felt like it had a brick in it. My muscles ached and started spasming. Restless legs and body. My fingers and toes were numb but at the same time sharp little pinpricks would stab them. My head was dizzy and my balance was off. That lasted all day and into the night and I thought I might just die on Friday and Saturday. My brain didn't really care. I think I left the couch about 4 times to pee. I'm grateful MrC and LilC were home from school because I was scared to be alone. (They probably don't know this.) I couldn't function. I couldn't get up. I drifted in and out sleep all day, trying to get comfortable with my aching bones and muscles. Hat on, hat off. Hat on, hat off. Etc. I ran a slight fever those two days. Not enough to call the doctor, it was only the mid 99's and I was told to call when it's 100.5. But it still made me feel like crap.

MrC took care of everything, setting up play dates for LilC, driving her, making dinner, going grocery shopping, packing orders, etc. I just lay there and didn't care. That's the part that scared me the most. My brain wasn't functioning like normal. I had no energy to even think. I just wanted to cry. And slip into an oblivion where everything goes away...

Today is Sunday. I feel a bit better today. Walking across the house exhausts me but I'm awake and vertical. I even sat at my desk for a few hours and worked on some art work. I read and answered some emails. My stomach feels like the Ferrets are playing toss with bricks, but I was able to eat a sweet potato for lunch and a chicken breast and rice for dinner. And some ice cream to cool my mouth. My mouth feels like my taste buds are burned off. This I expected. But I didn't expect my mouth and the sink to fill with blood when I brushed my teeth with my Winnie-the-Pooh toddler toothbrush! I can feel more mouth sores forming as I write...

I'm scared.

I'm scared about what the next cycle will be like. Every cycle has been worse than the one before. Exponentially worse, not just a "little worse." I am 5 days past my infusion and I am already feeling anxiety about the next one. I don't want to do it. I find it hard to breathe when I think about it. I have to keep telling myself that it's my last one. That's the ONLY thing that calms me down a little bit. But then I think, what if it kills me? Wouldn't that suck?

I just want this to be over. I know that tomorrow I will feel a little better. (My rational brain is coming back.) And the next day will be better. And so on. In a week I'll start forgetting how bad I actually felt. (Isn't the brain amazing?) In two weeks I'll feel good, normal even. And I will do what I can to recover my strength and repair my cells so I'm in the best shape I can be for next time. And soon it will all be over and I can start living a normal life again. Although that's a misnomer because I have a feeling things will never be normal again.

But for now I'll deal with the guilt of "cancelling Easter" for LilC... not a chocolate bunny nor a colorful Easter egg was to be found here :-( I'm so sorry.


  1. Lisa you have really captured how hard chemo is as well as the paint and feeling. What a wonderful hubby you have. My friend Kay was unable to read this blog after the first description of chemo as it brought it all back. that was 5 years ago. it must feel so lonely and frightening.
    Sending all the positives I can
    Hug Monica

  2. Oh Lisa--sending you a big hug. My heart is with you!

  3. Wish there was something I could do! Can we try again for mother-daughter mani's/pedi's right before the next round? April 21st?

  4. I love you so much, Lisa, and I want this to be over for you. I am positive LilC is fine with no bunnies. She probably wouldn't have been able to enjoy herself much if you'd attempted to 'pull it off'. I'm counting the days to your last treatment, and I will be so ready to celebrate with you when this is a bad memory.


  5. My dear friend, how my heart hurts for you. I am grateful that you wrote this out, "valuable information for those who may follow", as it were. I know very few bloggers will clearly paint this picture.

    Like Effy, I want this to be over. I want you to be able to art out the pain and bad memories, I want to see your newly grown hair streaked with pink, to show the world that you are a victorious Warrior Queen. I love you. I believe in you. I am praying for you. (((((HUGS)))))

  6. I wish I could say something that would help to lift things for you; make things easier to bear somehow. Just know that you are loved and you are awesome. *true fact* And you'll soon be over the last hurdle towards having your life back. xxx

  7. I'm so sorry you are going through this - it's almost over. [[[hugs]]]

  8. Once again I don't know what to say. You are loved and we hate for this to be happening for you. Or for anyone. Cheering from the sidelines and praying for my girls to be spared. Love Lori

  9. I am sorry this is happening to you and I wish I could make it go away. You are such a kind, caring person and have always been positive and keeping me in line, this crap isn't fair. It makes me angry that you have to deal with this. Just know that I love you so so much and will always be here for you if you EVER need anything!

  10. Oh Lisa!
    I wish we could pray this all away for you - truly I do. You are NOT whining- you are blessing us all with reality. None of us wants to be negative, think negative, sow negative but sometimes life is, indeed, negative. On days, or weeks when my pain levels make putting two coherent thoughts together to blog about I feel badly about it - but that's the hand I've been dealt. I am grateful that I have this nd not what you are stumbling through ! Some days the best thing you can do, for yourself and everyone else, is to heave this off of your chest ! Thank you for sharing your journey.

    Of COURSE you're afraid - you would be crazy not to be! I'll send blessings your way and prayers that this nightmare will be over soon. Hang in there - you have a fan club!

  11. Lisa, my friend. As hard as it is for me to read this and see in my mind's eye what you are describing (I mean, I can easily visualize what you are describing - but it's HARD for me to "see" it without feeling pain), I'm positive it must not be a tenth... no, make that a HUNDREDTH of the pain and agony you must be feeling. I wish I could take some of it away from you. You are so brave and strong - I love and admire for enduring it all with so little complaining. Big things are in store for you in the future. Never doubt that. I don't. You have my heart. xxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooo <3

  12. It's okay Lisa to say those things, to feel the, to rant about them even. I can't even imagine. At the same time you continue on and are an inspiration and teacher for the rest of us. What's a chocolate bunny when you are there?
    Hugs and warm fuzzies.