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The First Rule of Chemo…

April 5, 2010

…is that I should not be allowed near the computer on days 4 through 6.

Oh people, dear people. I was so full of anger and sadness and woe and despair, Friday afternoon through Sunday evening.

It was a combination of feeling gray and blecch and depressed and, did I mention, blecch? With a topping of hot head break-outs due to what must have been wool in one of my new handcrafted hats that I bought from some evil stranger who’s selling toxic hats on etsy! Who sells wool in a hat to a woman who has sensitive skin? To a woman who doesn’t know well enough to read the ingredients of handknit/crocheted hats?

My head was hot and itched and throbbed for two days. I applied hydrocortisone cream. Again and again and again. Finally last night, I showered before going to bed and applied the zit cream my dermatologist prescribed to me many moons ago. (Expiration date is in 2008) My head itches a bit less so far this morning. Fingers crossed that freakazoid event is over with.

Anyone need some new wool hats?

The thing that finally turned me around, and headed me in the upward direction yesterday was a visit from my sister. She brought Easter dinner. But it wasn’t the food that raised me up. It was the companionship. We chatted for a little over an hour and it was exactly what I needed. I think she was more than a little surprised to find me so low. I started crying when I saw her and then she started bawling. Big baby.

The problem with me is that I’m a chipper beast. Peppy. Cynical, sure, but very funny and very peppy. So this is what people usually see when they see me. And when I’m not feeling chipper and peppy, I’m not seeing anybody. So even my family (except my immediate 3) never see me when I’m at my lowest. They think I’m doing fine. Hanging in there. Being a trooper. Being strong. That was the first time someone beyond the Immediate 3 had been fully exposed to the illness that is cancer.

The last time I saw my sister that emotional is when her youngest daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. She wasn’t this emotional even when our brother died. Then we were very sad and very mad. Yesterday we were very sad and very scared.

But my crying and her crying and our chatting was what I needed. After that, I felt less sorry for myself. Apparently, all I need on days 4 – 6 are people who I can get to feel as low as I do.

I love that you guys are trying to figure out what I should try to eat. I appreciate it. And I appreciate that you guys are offering up people in your life that I can beat up, to get rid of my frustration. So very generous of you! heh.

I’m just so thankful that it’s Monday and so far, I don’t feel grey and the blecch is going away. I might actually do something today. Something small and in the house. My energy is low and this is my week to stay away from sick people because my white count will be at it’s lowest. But it’s so much brighter looking than this past weekend.

Thanks for being there for me. All of you.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2010 7:59 am

    I’m glad you’re feeling better today. I’ve been reading, but have never been much of a commenter. That’s not a very good excuse, though. If I had a big, fucking gold medal I’d pin it right on you (well, maybe you your clothes, not your actual skin). It makes me so angry that cancer even exists at all.

    I don’t know any jokes, so how about one my four year old learned at school? Yes, it’s stupid, but oh well. That’s the best I can do “Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide!” I hear that at least 50 times a day and have to fake laugh every time.

  2. Gretchen permalink
    April 5, 2010 8:19 am

    I think you should totally try to find a wig like in this picture and wear it.

  3. April 5, 2010 9:20 am

    You just keep using this blog to get it all out and you can fool the world with your peppy and cynical self, we won’t tell!! 😀
    We love ya and are rooting for you on this side, I can’t fathom the ups and downs you are going through with all this.

  4. poolagirl permalink
    April 5, 2010 9:24 am

    One of my co-workers went through chemo about 18 months ago and he tried to be a hero. It didn’t work. I applaud you for being honest with how you feel and what you think your energy levels will handle.

  5. Lori in Houston permalink
    April 5, 2010 9:30 am

    Pizza. When I was undergoing chemo back in the dark ages, the only thing I enjoyed (and the only thing I could keep down) was pizza. Oh, and bananas too. But pizza tasted better!

  6. April 5, 2010 10:25 am

    When I was first diagnosed last year, my friend (a breast cancer survivor herself) said “Welcome to the Army.” I didn’t know what it meant at first, but after a week or so, I certainly did, and now you do too. Thank you for your note last week. I am thinking healing thoughts for you and your family on all fronts.

  7. Katherine permalink
    April 5, 2010 10:45 am

    Meant to offer up food suggestion earlier, but I have menopause brain and my thoughts have a half-life of less than two seconds. This may taste like ass, but it won’t taste gray. It’s kale (kale, bursting with health) cooked thusly: Cover bottom of big pot with too much olive oil, then add too much minced garlic (kind from a jar is fine) and saute until noisy but not brown and reduce heat to low. Then start adding bunches of washed kale, tossing it around to wilt. Cover, wait, add more kale as old kale flattens. At some point in this process, add (you guessed it) too much Braggs Amino Acids (or soy sauce or some other black, salty mess). Allow to cook covered and unmolested until kale is becoming tender. Then (when you can stay with it a while) uncover, increase heat and try to cook as much liquid out as possible. The result is delicious, slightly olive-oily, black kale. Ummmm, that’s good eating. And if it’s a bit strong (my last batch could bench press an ox) serve with a bit of something bland like rice ( preferably brown). Yum!

  8. April 5, 2010 10:54 am

    Good morning 🙂 Here’s to feeling better Monday’s! at least I hope your weather today is going to be nice — it’s raining here again. Blech. Blech. Blech.

    yanooooo I was all worried about saying something that was meant to be helpful or funny or supporting and then ending up not helping and hurting your feelings. But you know what, if you can go through chemo and continue to put yourself out there I can stop worrying.

    You’ve known most of us forever and you know we are all unorthodox in our own way:) And you know above all we love the crap out of you — so think of us all like these mother hen – sister – kinds of people who can hang on to dear life for and who you can beat the stuffings out of on a regular basis:)

    Deal? ha.

    smooches from Oregon — I am now going to face my day and attempt to be productive!

  9. April 5, 2010 11:46 am

    I interviewed Tim Conway a few years ago and he was hilarious. Everything he said on the phone was a line from his show with Harvey but it was great. You need to call Tim Conway. He will make you feel better…

  10. Claudia permalink
    April 5, 2010 1:33 pm

    Oh hey, it crossed my mind earlier that some cornstarch on your itchy head (use a makeup brush to dust it on) might make it feel better! I’m a big fan of cornstarch for the itchies, wherever they may happen!


  11. April 5, 2010 1:48 pm

    Sorry to hear you’ve been working on the Grand Funk Railroad all Easter week & end, singing happy Easter up your kiester meester. My dad used say that every Easter morning. Then we would have Crackling Rose wine with rabbit for supper, and he would say it 40 more times. Lovely.

    You are so lucky to have the family and friends that you have.

    You’ll be getting back your mo-jo in no time kiddo. Take care.

    Any chance you want to facebook with balonie? She is a royal pain in the ass and only has about 3 friends. I feel sorry for her. NOT

  12. April 5, 2010 1:51 pm

    Oooh if you are collecting people to beat up can I give you some of my students and all the pricks who wouldn’t stop talking in the silent study area of the library??? I’ll even throw in a stair well to throw them down because the lifts aren’t working 🙂 Glad the grey is wearing off a bit, sounds like chemo is PMS with extra attitude! Hope the head settles down, itching is the pits! Hugs Bels

  13. yaketyyak permalink
    April 6, 2010 4:44 am

    I’m so glad your sister was there for you at a time when you really needed her.

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