Giving it my best shot

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kathy G

How was your week? Mine was like the weather, hot and cold.  One of those don’t know if you’re coming or going some weeks.

 

It’s steroid time again and that means heavy chemo as well. The day before chemo, I take two pills in the morning and a half hour after taking the pills, I get dizzy and flush. It looks like I’m having a hot flash from the neck up. That must be what people mean when they say they are going to blow their stack.

 

I have been having pain behind the eyes and an upset stomach.   A couple of hours after that, it’s go, go, go and my whole place starts to get scrubbed and my brain is on fast forward.  I live in a small two-bedroom mobile home that is older than me, but I think it’s great. I take two more steroids before bed which I think are to wear out your brain with staying up all night. I sure get a lot of creative thinking done.

 

In the morning, I take four more steroids before I get my treatment, but the effects of the pills are different in the morning.  The overdrive is gone which may be from the anxiety of getting ready for chemo, but the headache is in full gear.

 

I have to take the pills before the treatments or I won’t be able to get the chemo. It’s too dangerous without the steroids and my place does get shiny clean so that is a good thing.

 

Chemo went okay. They tell me if I don’t have an allergic reaction on the first or second rounds, it’s very unlikely I ever will. A round is a chemo treatment every 21 days in my case. I have two rounds down now and four more of the heavy stuff to go and we will see what happens.

 

Sitting for six hours with hard meds running through your veins is not anyone’s idea of a great way to spend a summer day.  Most people would think of it as torture, but for me I see it differently.  I see it as another chance. It’s another try to beat this disease.   When the heavy treatments are done, things will look up again. I am not just hoping on it, I am counting on it. I have a lot of living left to do yet.

 

I feel scared I have to go through this, but I also feel good that I am getting the chance to be able to. My motto has always been… fight, fight and give it your best shot.

 

Well, two days have gone by since I had chemo and I feel blah. I can’t think of another word for it.  I am so tired that I can’t get up off the couch.  Every bone aches and it’s not in the joints. It’s in the middle of the bones and every tissue on my body. Even my socks hurt my feet when they are on, but I am too tired to take them off.

 

I don’t want any food because it all tastes like different chemicals. It has no taste or it’s grainy and hard to swallow.

 

My brother James tells me I have to think of it as survivor mode. He says, ‘be like your favourite survivor guy, Les Stroud, Survivor Man’.   I think his show is great and I learn a lot from him.  If you don’t feel like eating, do it anyway. Just eat the foods that give your body the most strength and nourishment so it can repair itself. You’re not doing it for taste, you’re doing it for survival.

 

Now, like that toilet paper commercial, let’s talk a minute about your behind… ha.  Everything that goes in your body has to come out in some way and for me, it’s day four for diarrhea.  As you know, heavy chemo is killing everything that is fast growing, so it’s toxic.

 

Getting it out of my body is excruciating. Even a cup of coffee, soup or anything else comes out in a few minutes and its burns.  I’m glad for baby diaper cream and pay more for the soft toilet paper.  I am also really happy for Imodium because I use a lot of it when the elimination process starts.

 

I am starting on day five after my treatment. That’s the days when my blood county starts to fall so keep your fingers crossed that I don’t get a fever or end up in the hospital again.  I am also getting a high pitch ringing sound in my ears, like if you were standing under high voltage wires.

 

I still have hair… woo hoo.  The only thing is that I look like Beetlejuice.  I’m beyond a bad hair day. The great thing this week is my granddaughter turned 11 years old on Sunday.  When I first started this fight, I didn’t think I would get to see Vada turn one year old and now it’s 11 years later.  I know have another little granddaughter Emma who is one. Their smiles make every pain worth the fight.

 

I also have a new batch of guppies this week. Weight wise, I’m now under 150 pounds….woo hoo.

 

Have a great week folks and yes, those long leg spiders are everywhere.

 

- Submitted by Kathy Golemiec who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.  She writes a weekly column on her experiences.

 

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  • Vicky Graham
    August 15, 2014 - 15:16

    Keep up the fight . you make me cry and laugh every time I read your articles. Woo hoo and rock on!