Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cement Trucks and Gravy Trains

Cancer Vixen described it as a cement truck unloading into your veins. Yep, I'm gonna say she was right.

Yesterday at about 4:30 I had the Neulasta shot--the one that will help prevent the white blood cell massacre that occurred on day 12 of the last chemo round. Not a big deal getting the shot. I'm getting surprisingly used to needles and shots (I'm sure I've lost count at this point). And I felt pretty good afterward. Just a little tired, but I'm sure that had everything to do with the pre-Neulasta cocktail. Which, sadly, is not what you are thinking. It was a "cocktail" of Claritin, Benadryl and Tylenol. Washed down with Gatorade. Mmmm. Yummy. I didn't have nearly as much energy as I had on day 3 of the last round, and I have to say, I was a little disappointed with that. I keep searching for the slightest silver lining with this whole cancer thing. (Did I mention my weight was exactly the same at the second visit, by the way? So no weight loss either!!). I napped, I watched TV with Chris for a bit and then I zonked out. Notice there was no blog post last night? Too, too tired. But of course, I'm taking the steroid medication and drinking a lot of fluids, so naturally I have to get up and head to the restroom a couple of times a night. Which is when the cement truck hit.

The first time I got up it felt like somebody was pushing me back down. It wasn't painful, so much as, just, wow, each of my limbs now weighed 200 lbs. How was I going to lug all four of them to the restroom? I managed, swinging them along into some kind of momentum, and then took a little more Tylenol while I was at it. Then I quite literally fell back into bed, ever so thankful I didn't cause the bed to crash down to the bottom floor. I stayed in bed most of the morning, and no, I didn't make it to Walk with the Animals. Somehow I knew the "Walk" part was going to be a bit difficult. But Chris and Seamus represented and Chris dutifully had folks say hello to me anyway, so I felt not quite as left out. I think this may be the first Walk with The Animals that I've ever missed--and this is the 17th one! But here's what I would have seen in person:

That's Brein and Roryann, (drumming up votes for the blog poll), and then RHSPAC's new Executiv Director Denise Perry,
and the folks at Ruff House Doggie Day Care who take care of Seamus when we have doctor's appointments and the like. And then just a general shot of the festivities. I told you, Chris was just keeping me in the loop.

It has taken most of this day for the heavy feeling to mostly leave my legs. But my neck, shoulders and arms are still pretty "heavy." And I have a hard time swallowing--and my tongue is swollen. Yeah, I didn't know a tongue was "bone" either, but there you have it. Maybe that's the antihistamine effect. I don't know. I just know it needs to stop.

So the cement truck arrived, but so did the Gravy Train. Yesterday (pre-cement shot) Stacey Aldstadt came by and brought lunch (Subway sandwiches and Lay's potato chips!). She also drove me around on a few errands so Chris could stay home and watch the March Madness (he deserves this). Oh, and I went out in public with just the "exotic scarf" look. It was a little warm for a wig, I thought. Plus, come one, the scarf is Coach. Then after we got back from the cement shot (2 hours there and back), Barbara Abel came by with dinner (California Pizza Kitchen) and a few girlie gifts for me. And today, post-Walk, Kristin Tillquist came by with lunch (Simple Simon's!) and a bag of totally indulgent magazines for me. Which is perfect given that my limbs are trees and I need to stay in bed until they return to their normal-ish state. Kristin even brought a magazine of short hair-dos, which was totally clever. Lots of styles I'll be able to try out by the end of this year (fingers crossed). So yeah, there's my silver lining. I have good friends and they continue to show up bearing food and gifts. My dad and my brother both checked in on me today by phone too, so that was also nice.

By the Sunday following chemo round 1, I was able to go into my office. I don't think that's happening this time. But, I am hopeful the stack of files and mail that I brought home and that my ever-loyal and hardworking paralegal Laureen Pittman dropped off on Friday can be attended to in the comfort of my home office. There just isn't room in there for me and the cement truck anymore. Or the tree-limbs. Always room for the Gravy Train though. Just ask Seamus. The gravy train has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated by Seamus.

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