I had been lulled into complacency. I am halfway done; my fingernails and toenails are toast. I am accustomed to the neuropathy and learned to work around it.
OK, I have to look forward to one really bad weekend out of three, for twelve weeks. Meh, no big deal, I'd say, referring to my pregnancy and 30 weeks of horrendous "morning sickness" morning, noon, and night. Zofran would reduce the occurrence from every-two-hours-like-clockwork to maybe twice a day. Chemo? Piece of cake.
Nausea-while-pregnant contains a sense of immediacy. From onset to expulsion could be a matter of seconds, after which I always felt much better.
Chemo-nausea is a constant knot in your gut, a gorilla-sized fist around your duodenum. The Zofran seems to keep expulsion at bay, leaving me to wonder if NOT taking it would somehow alleviate the problem.
The knot hunches in my gut and forces me to not to want to even THINK about food. Water makes me queasy. I know I need to stay hydrated, so I sip some of my daughter's Juicy Juice. That didn't taste as good the second time.
I was certain that Miss Survivor I met a couple weeks ago was completely full of it, that no one who goes through Chemo really digs being a member of the Pink Ribbon Brigade--never mind I have, at times, sat in a waiting room with Pink Ribbon Brigade herself. Certainly, if your life isn't consumed by it and you move on and put it all behind you like a bad dream, why would you talk as if being a "Survivor" and having had chemo is Just the Totally Coolest Thing?
Because once you feel the gorilla's hand around your duodenum, and he won't let go, and you don't know when he will let go and you realize "Fuck. I've got three more rounds of this." You think to yourself, "there had better be a fucking medal at the end of this shit."
But there is no medal. And there really is no acknowledgement. Not the kind that fills the void like you need it to. You have just ran a marathon and earned a Ph.D. and no one is there to acknowledge your accomplishment. You did it. You completed. You survived.
Now you have this invalidated void that is only filled with hollow gestures of Awareness Walks in which you get to stand out as a Survivor, while everyone else is a Supporter.
...and at this point I can only speculate on the perspective of Miss Survivor and what her needs were that she attempted a bond with me and seek my acknowledgement. But in a few months, my coworkers (as much as they talk) will drag me out for the big Komen Walk in October.
Will I dig in my heels, stubborn as I am, or do I pink-it-up with the Brigade? (I do have the wig. It is fully paid for by The Company.)
I type this out on Day 4 after treatment. I was determined to go to work today, and I was glad that Stepmom offered to keep Daughter this morning so I didn't have to worry about getting her things together as well while I fought of waves of wooziness. I made it to work and nibbled on some trail mix and cereal, then some sugar cookies I found in the breakroom. Drinking is still difficult. Several weeks ago, everything tasted salty, which was annoying but tolerable, now everything tastes like plastic and my stomach thinks I'm consuming chemicals.
I went for a walk at lunch. I don't exercise now for the sake of excursion, rather than as a cleanse. A mental break, a minor achievement, fresh air, sun, and doubled up shirts with a sweat belt--my goal to move the toxins through my system as fast as possible--and hopefully work up an appetite for when I got back. I forced myself to drink water to replace that I'm actively losing. It was the most I drank all day.
I think it worked. I was exhausted, but I felt better. While not restored, appetite at least exists.