Remembering Tori: Kindness rocks comfort bereaved Shelburne County mother
SHELBURNE COUNTY - The grieving mother of a vivacious 22-year-old woman who died in January says she continues to be comforted by family and friends.
HEY THERE… IT’S ME KATHY BY KATHY GOLEMIEC
How was your week? I hope you had a better week than I did.
I got a heavy chemo drug on Thursday. I was scared beyond belief and my anxiety level had reached the outer limits of the anxiety hemisphere.
I wanted to say, “don’t do this. I’ll go home and take my chances.” But after having a reality talk with myself and letting common sense kick in, I sat back and looked at Alice and said, “let’s do this.”
The first 15 minutes are the most crucial in getting the drug Docetaxel. It’s in those 15 minutes that if there is an allergic reaction, that’s when it will happen. My vitals were checked and monitored continuously. My fear level was so high I started talking and talking and more talking. When I get nervous, I ramble on about everything and nothing.
Then in what seemed like only a few minutes, Alice said, “you’re past your 15 minutes and you did great.” Woo hoo… no more reaction.
The rest of my day went well, except I kept waiting for something to happen, some delayed effect, a pain, ache, anything, but nothing did happen.
Friday was a great day. A little too great because I had energy beyond most of my healthy days. I don’t remember taking steroids in the past, but in the last three days, I had 14 of the little pills. I’m sure I could have jogged to town and back a few times.
Now I know what all the fuss is about over those pills. I guess I can’t take my bike to France! But they wore off so you can call it the woo before the ohhh because everything changed on Saturday.
I got up thinking it’s still not too bad. My first mistake was thinking because using the bathroom was painful. My urine was bright red, which scared me really bad, and that only happened a few times but it was sheer pain to use the washroom. It was like being inflamed from my throat all the way down through my urinary tract. The only way to make the pain subside was to lie in a fetal position for about 20 minutes and hope I didn’t have to drink water anytime soon.
On Sunday, I couldn’t eat and everything tasted like salt, including water. Anything I would try to eat didn’t stay with me long and I went through six Imodium just in the morning.
So there’s another burnt area. Remember the radiation I had done on my right shoulder last month, well the burn is coming out now under my arm. It is badly blistered and very painful. I am putting pure aloe vera on it, but that is only keeping it moist and I want it to dry out and heal. If you see me walking around with my arm over my head, you know what’s going on.
I went to the hospital on Monday and they gave Ensure to try for food and it isn't too bad. I was expecting worse, but it’s still not my idea of a yummy diet.
I went back to the hospital again this week because I felt like I was falling apart. Every joint, muscle and tissue in my body was hurting and my system just wasn’t working right. It hurt to smile and my eyes were running and my makeup was running. I only take Advil for the pain, so I thought it might be a good time to try something more.
The doctor I saw gave me a shot, yes, a needle, and I said, “thank you.” She said it was like Advil but five times better and no side effects. I would still know who I was and what I was doing. So I was OK with that. I don’t want anything that alters my concept of what I’m doing every day. I want to live every minute and know it, but less pain would be good.
The medicine she gave me helped. It didn’t take it completely away, but it made it tolerable and for me that’s a great thing because I can smile again… woo hoo. Hopefully, the chemo meds will wear off by next week since I have three weeks before the next treatment.
On my regular life side, I decided to get some guppy fish. I asked my father to pick me up a few when he was coming to visit. I meant four so he got me seven and most are females and going to have babies anytime. One started having babies when I left for the hospital Monday. There were three babies and I was so excited because I never had an adventure like this before, but when I got home in a few hours, I had 50 baby guppies. Ha, I have a fish farm. Now I have to set up two tanks so one of them can be the nursery.
Weight wise… my pants are falling off, but it's a hard way to lose weight.
Have a great week folks and keep the compost lid closed. The horseflies are out.
Kathy Golemiec is a resident of Westville chronicling her struggles and challenges as she undergoes cancer treatments. Her column appears weekly in The News.