The first week of the new round of treatments went well. A few hiccups, but overall not too bad. Get this. A very typical side effect on Taxol is neuropathy in the hands and feet. Guess where mine landed? My face! Oh Yah, cause that's not weird feeling like you want to scratch your numb tingling face and neck off. Brilliant!
The second and third week started off in a similar way. After chemo, there is a burst of energy from the steroids which lasts, and lasts. I stay awake all night doing.... nothing and everything. Insomnia? Awesome! Tuesday morning is a blur. Then next few days I struggle. I realized that I was crashing throughout my days. I would start to feel like I was getting sick. You know, light headed, dizzy, hot, cold, then hot again, tummy growls and general blekkiness feeling all over. THAT feeling. I discovered that I needed to eat quite frequently throughout the days or I would get this "crashing" sensation. Then, once I have indulged in some calories and protein, rather than thank me, my stomach says what the heck am I supposed to do with this? And it gives me grief for the next hour or so. It's a lovely circle. The next thing I noticed was an ache in my chest and my heart was pounding. This was happening a few times a day. I noticed I was really struggling to get to sleep at night and then my mind would take advantage and run wild. Really? This round was supposed to be easier. What's going on?
An old acquaintance had come to call. I didn't recognize my visitor at first, but slowly, after a week or more, the face became familiar. I love having company and spending time with family and friends even when I don't feel well. I welcome the distraction... but this was different. I didn't invite this acquaintance to come back. I think they knew they were unwelcome too, because they didn't bother to let me know they were coming. They didn't barge in and announce their visit. They just subtlety came in through the back door and made themselves comfortable. I was never told how long they planned to be around and I certainly didn't get a room ready for them to enjoy an extended stay. Yet, none the less, I had a guest.
At first, I attempted to be hospitable and welcome my unknown guest with gracious hospitality. I made room in my schedule, cleared the evening calendars, and opened my heart to this visitor. I was attentive to their needs and gave without holding back. With each passing day I became aware that my visitor was taking up too much time and my chemo symptoms were getting worse. I needed to rest more. I wasn't getting enough sleep. I needed to take it easy and relax. My mind was on a roller coaster. I was starting to feel anxio..... anxious! Wait a minute! I know you! Your ANXIETY! You have not come to be an innocent guest. You have come to leach my energy, steal my life, and utterly destroy me. I recognize you and I assure you, you are most unwelcome here. I would never willingly open my home to you.... but without realizing it, I did. I would never invite you to reside in my mind and yet here you are.
I need to ask you to leave NOW! You're not wanted and I have other more pressing matters to attend to.