I started out yesterday psyching myself up, thinking- it’s just one more. You have done this before Jodi, this should be a cakewalk. You got this! Just do what you did last time when you were preggers with Cora. No surprises right? At least I know what to expect. These are the mantras people have been telling me, and what I’ve been telling myself. Well… guess what! We were all wrong people, ALL WRONG!!! My cycle 2 chemo session was nothing like last time. Nothing at all.
Yesterday was a complete and total shit show. Nothing, absolutely nothing went as planned. I didn’t get to finish the chemo session because I kept having a reaction to it. At one point my throat had become all scratchy and phlegmy. I had never experienced an anaphylaxis reaction. But I guess now I know— an itchy, scratchy throat is no good. That whole, my throat is closing up on me feeling is no good. My nurse Sandy stopped the infusion. The medical team didn’t want to push it and see what would happen. So they pumped me full of even more steroids and Benadryl. We waited an hour and then tried restarted the chemo again. This time my heart started racing. We then had to stop the chemo all together. At that point I was on the verge of some serious ‘roid rage. Of course my heart rate was elevated! I had more steroids in me than Derek friggin’ Jeter or A-Rod or whoever. I knew the steroids were meant to enhance my performance but instead all they did was jack me up so much I felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest. The team said we had to stop because the baby’s health was in danger at that point.
And while all this was happening my veins were totally blowing it. Trying to get an IV in my teeny tiny Jodi sized veins was no picnic. Dana Farber actually has a limit as to how many sticks you can give someone. I had limited out for the day. So, now I need a port. A port (which can be hooked into any time without a new needle stick) is usually something simple, but because I am pregnant, not so much. I can’t get the ‘twilight meds’ (think Michael Jackson) that keep you awake but In La-La Land. So now I get to have my port surgically installed. Flippin’ great!
My heart rate wouldn’t come down for the longest time. I almost won myself a night in the cardiac ward…gurrr. Like I said, total shit show. The cancer monkey was flinging it everywhere! I did get to leave the hospital though. I left feeling discouraged, defeated. I left with a whole new set of anxieties. Yesterday (for the first time ever in the last 4 years) I felt like the cancer won. I have never felt this way.
When I was in the waiting room yesterday, before chemo, there was a woman who was also waiting. I noticed her right when she was wheeled in by her husband (I assume its her husband, or male companion of some sort). I noticed she had no hair; she was covered in blankets and could barely speak. Her lips were dry and cracked. She had no fat on her body. I could see all the bones in her face. I could see her cheek bones, her temporal bones. I could see the outline of her jaw bone. I’m could see she was close to my age, maybe a little older. I know I have bitched about how awful my chemo day was. I know that for now, I will be ok. My chemo day was just bumps in the road, getting things off to a rocky, extra spicy start. I know that I’m not out of tricks. But, I could see the woman in the waiting room’s bag of tricks was almost, if not completely empty. I could really see her. SHE is fighting for just one more day to be with her husband, to be with her kids, her family. Just one more. I’m asking everyone reading this to pray today (now!) for that woman and not me. I don’t know her name but God does and I’m sure he is listening. I know my chemo day didn’t go to plan, but I believe I’ve got plenty more than one day left. I hoping I have thousands and thousands more. Time is precious people. You never know when you might be praying for just one more.