Friday, April 10, 2009

Lousy, crappy, crummy, rotten, terrible, sick

The most common question I get is "how are you feeling?" It's an obvious question to ask someone that's been receiving dense-dose, very strong chemo therapy every other week for 5 weeks and is obviously bald. The first 2 rounds I bounced back after a week - relatively - and had a week that I could carry on my life and do OK. I worked, I drove, I went out to dinner. I've hit the point in the A/C (Adriamicin & Cytoxin) treatments where I don't think I get the bounceback. I had my last (3rd) treatment a week ago today - and mornings are when I usually feel my best and then I fade during the day and into the evenings - and I'm sitting here feeling just rotten. Chemo-sick is unique, there's nothing I can say to someone that hasn't experienced it to convey or compare how I feel to anything in normal life. Queasy. Nauseous. Weak. BLAH. If you woke up in the morning and found yourself feeling the way I feel, and someone asked you how you were feeling, I believe your response would be something like, "I really feel like shit. I think I need to see a doctor." I'm trudging along, life goes on around me, but I feel more and more detached, more stuck in the miserable rut of rotteness that is my life right now. I rest - A LOT. It's not like I really have a choice, I mostly just feel so bad that moving from room to room in my house is a chore. Eating is a chore, drinking water is an unpleasant, difficult chore. Taking a shower is exhausting. Brushing my teeth is an unpleasant chore (raw, peeling gums, sores on the corners of my mouth that feel like big paper cuts that will not heal, tons of bleeding). I haven't left the house in a week.

It's Good Friday, my child is off school and blissfully sleeping in - that makes me happy. We have plans on both Saturday and Sunday evenings this holiday weekend. My entire family is coming over Saturday night - the 1st time we've all gotten together in a year. I assumed I'd be over this round by the weekend and all would be fine - now I know it just ain't so. I'm not canceling, I know they'll understand if I just get in a comfy spot and sit with an afgan on my lap and don't move much - like an elderly, ailing great auntie or something. My sister in law was saying she'd make a ham, some casseroles, etc. - normal stuff for an Easter family get together. All I could think was NO! No cooking or big meal serving - I'll be tempted to help, I'll be no help at all, I'll feel guilty - UGH. Pizza - let's order pizza & wings and eat off paper plates and call it done - please!

Sunday is my husbands family Easter dinner & joint birthday celebration for my boy and his grandfather, who share a birthday. My beautiful baby turned 16 yesterday! Unbelievable. His sort-of, on again off again girlfriend type person took him to the high school fashion show last night. He got semi-dressed up, and looked so incredibly handsome & happy. He got incredibly sick my first two chemo's, his illness kicked in and the episodes lasted for days & days. He's lost so much weight, he's SKINNY and it kills me. But - this time he did not get sick. We'd been having him stay with friends for a few days each time, this time he came home Friday night and didn't spend a night away - and he did ok! That was a huge relief. From being so sick the month prior he was buried in make-up work - which stresses him out ,which usually makes him sick - it's a vicious cycle. But he was methodically working his way thru it, doing quite well. Except for his horrible ENGLISH TEACHER. This woman is just awful, heartless, sarcastic, difficult - just a freaking nightmare. His other teachers have been kind & understanding, they appreciate that Kellen is a good boy, he wants to do well, they respect how sick he gets and his limitations when he first gets back from being very sick - they work with him and help him get the work done and be prepared when he does the make-up tests. Makes sense, no? This woman is THE WORST, she's the opposite of all of these things, it's like she feels incredibly put out by it all and she wants to punish him. COME ON. You've got a sick kid to begin with - and now he has to deal with his mom doing what I'm doing? And YOU are feeling put out? What a miserable excuse for a human being this woman is.


Blogger note from Kelly: I was so in a bad place yesterday........It bothered me last night that I knew I'd written such a negative post, exposed my stressful/nasty school encounter I had this week. Soooooooo. Decided I'd feel better if I came and deleted it - and I just did. I NEED AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT.....I'm mulling that over and I'll let y'all know if I figure out how to de-funkify myself. Last nite I just lay in bed feeling miserable. Real Time with Bill Maher came on HBO, and his guest was the glorious Gore Vidal. He had me laughing out loud! I think I'll download some Vidal to my Kindle and see if he perks me up. /// End of Edit

The thing I find is helping me the most with dealing with the endless feeling awful is to think of it ending. I have my final treatment in a week, God knows how awful I feel after getting another jolt of these particular poisons - but then that's it. NO MORE. Never take the Red Devil Adriamicin again! I work thru this one more time, wait it out as it works it's way thru then out of my system - and when I finally start feeling better in a few weeks - I'll keep feeling better, they won't hit me again! THATS the only good thing I can focus on, it's the prize I keep my eye on. Until then - I'm sorry that I have nothing good to say when you ask me how I'm feeling right now - it just is what it is, but I do know it will end. I also know the Taxol will bring on a new host of problems, I'll have complaints about those as well - but then I will remind myself of how I feel RIGHT NOW, and it will help me get thru those, I just know it. "At least I don't feel that awful A/C chemo-y feeling! Thank God for that!" I cannot wait for the day.


  1. Oh I can so relate ... chemo sucks.

    Hang in there.

  2. after my second AC, my ass was glued to the recliner until i started taxol. you've described the feeling on AC so perfectly. but trust me, once taxol starts, all that queasiness will go away!!! and your mouth problems will disappear! get your doc to give you an RX for atarax for the neuropathy caused by taxol, and you won't suffer with the incessant itching on your hands and feet. you're going to sail through taxol and feel good!

  3. Thanks so much for saying exactly how you feel because I feel the exact same way! Just finished round 4 of A/C and it kicked my tail also. Hope you have a good Easter and enjoy pizza and wings on paper plates.

  4. Kelly, I hope this Easter Sunday was a better day for you. Hugs.

  5. You're doing great, just a bit more to go. . .