It is 10 pm, and I am feeling better than I have all day. Actually, I am probably feeling better than I have in days. I hope that I wake up feeling this good tomorrow.
Denial is an interesting thing. I can see now that I was in a bit of denial when this all started. I guess that because the prognosis is fairly positive, I thought “I don’t have real cancer”. It was like I was just taking the introductory course – the real stuff was for those who were sick, and tired, and got fatigued just standing up from their chair. That wasn’t me. Until this week. This past week has been much harder than the first three weeks of treatment. I have been nauseous, tired, and overall just aching. I walk hunched over, and slow – when I can get up at all. I spent the entire weekend in bed. When I took my shower yesterday, I had to get back in bed afterwards because it had taken up all my energy just to shower and dry off.
The hardest thing is that I never know what will make me feel better. My wife and kids see me looking like I am hurting,and ask me if I need anything – YES! I need to FEEL BETTER. Problem is, I have no idea what will accomplish that: do I need a steak sandwich, a glass of water, a heating pad, an ice pack, more pills, what? I honestly have no idea sometimes what I need. So we guess. I usually guess the steak sandwich.
It is also tough to know which aches and pains are normal, and which I need to tell the doctor about. My arms have been hurting for quite a while now, and my neck stared to really hurt over the weekend. When we went into the doctor for my shot today, I decided to mention it, even though I thought I was just being a baby and assumed they would just say to take more Tylenol and deal with it. It was a good thing that I did mention it – as it turns out, the PICC line that had been my savior for the past two weeks has now become my nemesis. It irritated the vein just enough to cause a couple of blood clots, and they had to remove it today. I am now on blood thinners for a while. I was worried that this would interrupt my chemotherapy, and that it might extend my treatments, but the doctor said that for now it should not affect the treatment schedule at all. I just have to stay on the blood thinners for a few months.
As usual, I am trying to stay looking on the bright side. I was a bit worried today as we were discussing what this all meant with the doctor, but it really is nothing more than a small speed bump on the road to recovery. Maybe I am still in denial, but sometimes a little denial can be a healthy thing.