Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Intravenous Domestos - part 7

Mentally I felt good about getting closer to the end of chemo. However, physically I felt horrid. I had stopped having the dream where I have an allergic reaction to the chemo and end up in a coma for six years, so that was a good sign. My hair had started to grow back, so I was looking less like Uncle Fester and more like a chia pet. However, my eyelashes and eyebrows were still absent. It also felt good being able to start making plans, without having to check where I am in my chemo cycle. The accumulative effect of chemo was getting to me, I was chronically exhausted and even moving my arms and legs was an effort. I was sick of the side effects and just wanted my old life back. Intravenous domestos number seven went pretty much the same as the last few. It was long, horrid and tiring, but I managed to survive. I had gotten used to the side effects and was dealing with them better. My blood levels were down and I was being held captive at home, as there were so many viruses around, it was best to avoid people. Which meant no work for me. It was like being a caged animal. Although, to be fair in that first week post chemo, I did manage to get out twice. Once to go to the doctor and the second time was to go to the butcher. Talk about living it up! In hindsight, it was best that I wasn't allowed in public. Given that I was sporting the super hot trifecta of cankles, shingles and baldness, I didn't have the strength to fight off the hot men who would no doubt be chasing me down the street.

It was at this point that I started to think about going to a support group. I had thought about it early in my diagnosis, as there is a specific group for young women. When I looked up the topic for that week, it was about young mothers who are dealing with breast cancer and children. I didn't think it would be relevant or appropriate to go along and talk about my 20 half-babies on ice or Barney. Lana and I had our own support group and she was a great source of information and has become a good friend. Single women who are dealing with breast cancer have different issues to deal with, such as the egg harvesting and being alone in those dark lonely hours. I wasn't totally alone, I did have my family, friends and Barney. It is surprising how a six month old puppy can show more compassion, care and love then some grown men. When I was feeling better, Lana and I decided to go along to the young woman's support group. However, the speaker for that week was a man who was talking about dealing with a partner who has breast cancer. As we are both single, it wasn't relevant for us so we went to dinner and a movie instead. It would be good to have a support group specifically for single women, with topics that are relevant.

I thought I was coping well mentally with the past few months. I am a talker, so talking to friends and family about what I have been going through is a huge help. I have also found it beneficial to write the blog and get these thoughts out of my head and out into the world. A lady I had met at chemo had recommended a psychologist who specialises in women who are going through breast cancer. Although I felt I was coping ok, I didn't want to find out that I am not dealing with it and have it bite me on the ass in six or twelve months. So, I made an appointment. She was very friendly and easy to talk to, and telling my story in an hour was quite emotionally draining. However, she did give me the 'sane' stamp of approval, so it was good to know that I am dealing with it now.

It was also in this week that I had my radiation planning day - which meant tattoos! I wasn't so worried about the radiation as I had gone with Lana once and it seemed quick and pain free. I think that if I can cope with chemo, I can cope with anything. I posed quite a challenge to the radiation staff and it took them an hour to find a position they could radiate me in. As it turns out the position is on my belly with my arms above my head, they say it looks very uncomfortable, but it is the same position I sleep in, so I am well in my comfort zone. If it wasn't for the freezing room, the radiation machine and the four people staring at me half naked - it would be just like having a nanna nap! I must say I was a little disappointed with my tattoo. It isn't even worth showing anyone for sympathy as it is the size of a pin prick. I will be surprised if the radiation therapists will be able to find it.

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