In all fairness, they did try to warn me. The nurses, I mean. Oh, sure, these women were offering up all their advice and knowledge to me about chemo, but how much did they really know? They've worked in the chemo ward for 15 - 20 years. Yeah, so? Have they ever had the poison pumped into THEIR bodies? Heck, no.
Why the bitterness, you might ask? I'll tell you why! Because I was told this isn't like the olden age of chemo! You don't receive your treatment then spend the next few months sick as a dog. There are far too many types of anti-nausea medications out there. If the four we give you this week don't help, by golly, we have a bazillion others to choose from. We'll tweak until we get it right. That's all well and good, ladies, my dear nurse friends who have never gone through this, but - What. About. Me. Right. Now?
It's Saturday! I'm suffering! All day long. Ok, I can't get comfortable. My whole body feels like it's been chewed up by a wood chipper, spit out, glued back together, run over by a steam roller, then bounced on like a trampoline - which is all perfectly normal. They're sorry I'm aching and tired, but we'll control your urge to hurl. Well, guess what? YOU DIDN'T. It was 4 or 5am that I woke up sicker than I've felt in possibly my whole life.
It was before Christmas I was told it was nothing to worry about. Now three months later I'm sitting on the potty with a trash can between my legs - thinking about all the doctors and nurses who down played this all the way. Would I have really wanted to know in December - almost exactly three months ago - I would be sitting sitting like this? Would I have wanted to know that I would end up typing on a public blog about a most humiliating position?
It takes a very close friend to discuss your diarrhea with, but I sit here tonight telling the world that I not only had diarrhea happening to me, but I was projectile shooting out the other end at the same time. All this with four different types of anti-nausea medicines engulfing my body. My brain is unable to wrap itself around how bad off I'd be if I had not been on any medication at all.
Knowing I had cancer in December? Not knowing how I would have felt to find out that early? Which meds might have worked? Right this minute? I don't know the answers - and it doesn't matter anyway. The best advice I've been given so far is 2 things: first is to start a countdown to my last chemo treatment (it's somewhere down on the bottom of the page here) and the second is along the same line - don't look at it as day by day, but as 5 minute by 5 minute.