Uh yeah so this whole “I’m-gonna-keep-y’all-updated-day-by-day” bullshit obviously didn’t work. I mean, I did day 0, so that was a pretty strong start, eh?
Okay but I guess I’m using too much of my limited brain power on figuring out the days. Like, midnight starts the new day, BUT my chemos are hung at like 10pm and go until 10pm the next night and FUCK I’m just one big ball of WTF. Anyway. Whatever. Here’s some updates on things:
First of all, my armpits smell fuckin’ rank as SHIT. Like, I didn’t realize my body could smell so horrible. Okay, that’s not true, I know that my body can smell a hell of a lot worse, but SHIT my pits have never been this awful. I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s like a haunting combination of BO and burning plastic. Or maybe cheaply made plastic products from China, I don’t know. It smells toxic, but in a different way than my chemo farts, if that’s any indication of the level of toxicity we’re talking about here… like my armpits were hate-fucked by a melting plastic dildo. That’s my final try at accurately portraying the level of “sweet-Jesus-what-is-that-smell” radiating from the hairy crevasses beneath my arms.
Secondly, chemo is a fuckin’ bastard. Fuckin’ hell! All is well, I think, just starting to feel bleh and ready to be done with this garbage. FUCK!
Last night started one of the higher-intensity chemos, so I have four more round of that bad boy to go. It runs over two hours, so physiologically it’s easier for me to deal with than if it was running 24 hours straight like the other chemo– Topetican or some shit like that. This heavy-hitter that runs over two hours has the potential for capillary leakage which is why I have to have an IV steroid beforehand to help limit that. Because yeah I don’t really want the chemo getting outside of my circulartory system. That’s what it’s called, yeah? Yeah. Chemo brain for the win, yo.
Speaking of chemo brain, though, that shit is real life! I’ve experienced it before (yknow, since I’ve undergone four previous rounds of chemo– cheers!) but never to the extent that I have been feeling it this time around. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that since I was taken on as a pediatric patient (thank you thank you thank you to the doc who took me on to get me down to 7E!) I now have to be treated as such. Peds patients undergoing chemo for blood cancers (I’m totally guess at that, but it makes sense to me, cause, yknow, that’s what I’m undergoing and I’m basically a peds patient– back to the story, though!) also require IT (introthecal) chemo. So it’s a lumbar puncture with chemo put into your spinal fluid; yknow, casual stuff. I guess it’s like a spinal tap or something? Sure, sounds good to me.
Anyway, I’m knocked out on my Jackson Juice (propofol) so it doesn’t really matter to me what they do when I’m under. And when I come to, I actually don’t feel the injection site which is a nice little bonus. But what I do feel is the chemo brain. And holy shit fuck does that hit hard and fast! It starts out as a sort of haziness of the mind, almost like I’m dreaming and can’t tell if the things that I am experiencing are real life or a dream. It becomes difficult for my mouth to keep up with the words my brain is producing while I talk, so I trip over my words more often than usual (which, let’s be honest, is a good deal of the time) but then as I struggle to keep up I can lose my train of thought. That bitch leaves the station and doesn’t look back! Bitch. I also am much more forgetful than I would be otherwise. Not to say I always remember everything, but with chemo brain I tend to ask a lot of the same questions over a short period of time which I’m not sure is more obnoxious to me or the people that I’m asking.
So it’s a pretty fun time, as you can imagine. I mean, if you didn’t already think this wild ride was a fun time 😉
Other things that have happened regarding chemo over the past few days that I totally DROPPED THE FUCKING BALL is that I was on one type of chemo that required me to shower, have my PICC dressing changed, have my bedding/clothing changed every six hours for 24 hours. Thank Jesus that this was just a one-dose ordeal because that shit was fucking annoying. As shitty as I sometimes feel my situation is, I know that it could always be worse. Little annoyances like the every-six-hour deal can be something that some people undergo for days on end. And here I am, with one little dose (I didn’t even have to finish the last bath/change thing because they talked to a bunch of people who decided the dose was low enough that I wasn’t at risk for the skin irritation they were looking for) and shit mad respect for the kids that can do that shit for days. I was a puss about it, gonna be totally honest. Started out strong, there, for a little bit… but that midnight and 6am shower were straight from Hell. And the dressing changes?? Fuck! As great as I’ve been with my PICC line this time around, dressing changes remain the highest stressor. I would gladly take three nupogen shots a day if it meant I never had to have my dressing changed ever again. Ugh. Anxiety through the fucking roof! But again, I only had to do undergo like five changes– and most of them were just gauze and tape, not the actual dressing. I swear, as badass as I feel sometimes, I can totally pussy out at some weak ass shit.
I think today is technically day 4 (gonna try to not hurt my head too much with figuring those specifics out), but I guess what matters is that this show is on the road! Every day that passes is one closer to returning to normal– and this time, for fuckin’ REAL. ‘Cause you know you’ve been in the hospital for far too long when 1) you know just about all the names of all the drugs for different purposes, which ones work and which ones don’t so you just straight up ask/sort of tell the nurses or docs what you want. 2) you become so comfortable with the routine of hospital living that more often than not you can sleep relatively well through the night, trusting your subconscious mind to stick out an arm when it’s time for late night/early morning vitals/lab draws/etc 3) you’re basically bff’s with a lot of the nurses/docs/staff 4) the days cloud together so much that what feels like three weeks turns out to have actually been over five or six.
Oh, also, 5) you know the code to get into the tub room. Have I talked about the tub room yet?? It’s a fucking magical place, with a huge ass recliner bathtub that goes up to 109 degrees… throw in some bubble bath, turn the lights off, and shit, man. That room makes the whole living in the hospital thing a bit more bearable. Bareable? Gonna claim chemo brain and laziness on that one. Sorry not sorry.
Alright, I need to go clean these pits… the smell is making my foggy chemo brain even worse… dear God.