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.

Views: 96

Comment by JMac1949 Memories on June 10, 2013 at 10:20pm

I'm thinking that whatever goes down, you'll keep finding ways to cope.  If things go south on you, then find people to lean on.  They'll be there when you need them, you just have to let them know when you need help.  Not an easy thing in my experience, acknowledging that you're in need of some help... but I've discovered that the people who love you and your real friends come through.  Be better, be well. R&L

Comment by Arthur James on June 11, 2013 at 12:42am


I have never asked questions about nausea,

but You helped me Understand without asking.

I, as a lay-person think antibiotics as chemo.

But, I do identify, the best I can my`Empathy.


Antibiotics can save a life, but also nearly kills.

I was on IV's for two months. I felt nausea,

but surely not as severe as you. Pregnant?

I haven't gotten pregnant. Pregnant folk?

They usually gag-dry-eave gasp to see.

Women see me and begin to gag bad.

Gagging isn't fun. I drink goat milk.

It puts the body back into good tune. 

Comment by Forest Green Magazine on June 12, 2013 at 4:09pm

This sounds much, much worse than the experience of your pregnancy. Just awful. I could tell "this too shall pass," but that probably wouldn't be much solace in the present moment, even though it's true.

I guess it's some consolation (however slight) that you see your plastic surgeon as a Greek god. (I've been reading ahead.)



Comment by Forest Green Magazine on June 12, 2013 at 4:10pm

P.S.: Glad to see you're writing again. I always take that as a good sign.


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