HEY THERE….IT’S ME KATHY, BY KATHY GOLEMIEC
How was your wild weather week? Mine was filled with deep thinking and wonderment.
Going through this disease emotionally is like camping through a windstorm in a tent – you never know where you will end up, your thoughts are in all directions.
My friend Mary is there with me every time I see my oncologist and she tries so hard to be strong but I can see it in her eyes and the trembling in her voice when she says, “I know it will be OK, just you wait and see.” That is not what she’s thinking. Ha, sometimes I have to calm her down so I don’t have to worry about myself. Then when the doctor walks in the room, I can always tell by his face if it’s good or bad. The visit last month… not so good.
He asked me what I had planned for the summer, I told him nothing really. He said, “Well I have a plan for you. I am going to start you on a heavy chemo again. What do you think of that?”
It took a moment for it to sink in, then my heart sank. I could feel the tears well up in my eyes and I didn’t want to cry. That would set Mary right off, so I wiped my eyes and said, OK, lets do this. I guess it’s going to be a hairless summer and fall again. I will fill you in on what it’s like to have no hair in the heat and the cold another day. It’s no fun.
So the doctor’s plan was to have radiation done on my hip to strengthen the bone so the hip would not break during chemo or I would really be in trouble. Well those of you following my column know that has been done. Those of you just starting, you can subscribe online to The News and go in the archives to catch up. Some people tell me I’m like Another World and Comedy Central all rolled into one. Ha.
When I left the doctor’s appointment, my mind was going every which way. I was scared, sad and bewildered. I even did the “Why me?” and I never do that. After every appointment Mary will call her husband George and tell him the news. This time she called him and said to meet us for lunch at Barb’s Diner in Westville.
The food was great as usual but the conversation dragged, mostly Mary saying you will get through this. You’ve done it before. That’s right, but what scares me is last time, I was in the best shape of my life. My body was ready for all the torture I would put it through to fight this disease, but this time I’m not so sure. I’m not in shape. I haven’t felt like doing any kind of exercise in a long while and I haven’t been eating like I normally do. I guess it’s time to sit myself down and have a pep talk with me.
Well the plan is to start heavy chemo next week. Monday I will have to go to learn when and what pills I have to take before the treatments. Tuesday they will give me two medicines in IV. I’ve had these before and my body does well with these. Wednesday is going to be a new drug for me and Thursday is the big one which is also new. Not looking forward to that one. They will be giving me all the new drugs separately the first month to make sure I’m not allergic to any of them. The second and all following months they will all be administered together in one IV. Thank goodness I got the port in. But I still have to get blood work every month and that means needles. Did I ever tell you I hate needles? Well I really, really do. Before I get the heavy chemo on Thursday, I have to take pills in the a.m. and p.m. on Wednesday and then again on the morning of the chemo. The doctor told me I have to make sure I take them or they cannot give me the drug. It’s too dangerous to take without the help of the pills. Oh that sounds great. I’m going to have to put a chart on the fridge so I can remember to take them. I forget everything. That’s why I usually say, Hey there instead of hi and your name. I can’t usually remember it. They call it chemo brain. Ha in the ’70s they called people with slow memory brain fried from illegal drugs. Ha. Oh well, I guess it’s just a part of the fight. People ask if I’m scared. Right now not as much as if I were to see a needle coming at me. Well keep your fingers crossed that I can take all the drugs. I’ll let you know how it goes. Weight-wise… pants are buttoned. Wooohooo.
Have a great week folks… and I saw fruit flies near my bananas.
Kathy Golemiec is a resident of Westville chronicling her struggles and challenges as she undergoes cancer treatments. Her column appears weekly in The News.