I think I was hit with the reality stick this past weekend. Up until this point I've been feeling pretty good, snapping my fingers, smiling, two-steppin' and all that jazz to the tune of Cancer. "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" by Puff Daddy and Mase (yes, circa 1997) was my theme song. Then my body said, "uh wait Missy you do have Cancer and you will feel bad some days." I had my 2nd treatment of chemo on Friday and it hit me a little harder than I had hoped. My parents were in town and I think it was really hard for them to actually see me in the hospital, let alone on the oncology floor receiving poisonous drugs in my veins. I can only imagine how it must feel to have a child go through something as scary as Cancer and I wanted to show them that I was ok, I can do this and be fine. And I really was at first. My aunt Ethelyn and my roommate Tiffany also joined me and we laughed, joked and of course had a few photo opps (see above). My mother and I even did a little wedding planning on the side--passed hors d'oeuvres vs. hors d'oeuvres stations, so many choices! I was so busy running my mouth that I didn't realize the nurse had already given me the first 3 drugs, she had to show me the empty bottles to prove it to me. But the 4th drug took a little longer than expected, there was some pain as it flowed into my system so the nurse had to keep adjusting it and I kept thinking, "wait, I'm not supposed to feel pain! I didn't sign up for this" There was a part of me that thought I would be the "straight A" cancer patient...you know, the one that got through this whole ordeal with no pain or discomfort...ha! But the reality is that pain and discomfort kind of go hand in hand with the chemo, so it is what it is.
On Friday night I felt fine. Then Sat I went to my best friend's house for a BBQ and ate much more than I should have, still no nausea though! My cockiness was shut down on Sunday when everything hit me. The nausea feels a little like the morning after drinking too many cocktails...not that I ever have personally experienced that :)...but it never goes away no matter what you do. Then my mouth and ears started to hurt...the chemo attacks all the fast acting cells in your body and your mouth contains many of these, hence the hurting. I have this weird feeling in my mouth that I can only describe as "spicy" and I am NOT a fan of spiciness (I have a very bland palate) so this isnt fun for me. So on Sunday I kept it low-key, I hung out with my Mommie and Daddy (yes I'm 26 years old and I still call my parents that...I tried to stop in high school but to no avail, they're even listed in my phone under those names) and I admit I didnt want them to leave the next day because at a time like this you really just want your Mommie and Daddy right? But I sucked it up and tried to go about my normal routine because I think thats the one thing that will bring me through this whole ordeal...normalness. I need to feel like I haven't succumbed to this disease and I didnt let it get the best of me. Monday was bad, Tuesday was better and today I'm maybe at 85%.
I think one thing that has helped me get through this process is the love and support I have received from so many people. On Monday night when I was feeling especially sorry for myself (pity party for one please!) I got about 4 cards in the mail and it was so good to know that people were out there praying for me and wishing me the best. What I have to keep in mind is that it could always be worse. I've read of people literally disabled by the side effects of chemo and unable to go to work, walk down the street or do anything. I do know that I am lucky and reality is I don't have a choice so I have to do my best to get through it. So I've decided I need a new theme song, hmm...something by Beyonce perhaps?