I was feeling pretty good after my last post – just extremely fatigued. By Monday I was complaining to my oncologist that weekly is too often to come in. He says I need to “because you’re complicated”. Yeah, I knew that already. Alan tells me all the time.
I had more wacky blood work related to my liver and I begged for no further scans or results this year. But this wacky, lesser-important enzyme was six times over the limit so we negotiated from a CT down to an ultrasound to check my liver, spleen, kidneys, and some other parts to make sure it was the treatments and not more melanoma. Fortunately they found no evidence of melanoma, just some inflamed angry organs shaking their tiny sinewy little fists hotly and shouting “ENOUGH!”
Unfortunately that night I started have some muscle and joint pains. Which only got worse as the week went on. It was Zelboraf again. Thursday Alan took the day off to take care of me. I’m insisting “This is going to clear up!” even though my neck muscles were so sore and weak I couldn’t hold my head up and I couldn’t get around on my walker. What 43-year-old soccer mom doesn’t have her own walker at the ready for such occasions?
A good friend came by a couple of weeks ago and she was surprised how well I was doing. I admitted I’d just gotten up from a nap, but other than exhaustion was fine. When she saw me Thursday she said jokingly, well it was a relief to know I wasn’t Wonder Woman, I was making this cancer thing look a little too easy. She was kidding. She feeds and prays and loves on us. You are not allowed to flog her like Reunion Guy.
I have been lucky this year, it’s a miracle I’m looking at 2013 at all. It is so hard though, when I’m ill and the kids are scared. Over and over my mantra is “Thank You God that this treatment is working” and I envision myself healed. Sometimes, as I grit my teeth and scream. Just all part of the little adventure people.
Friday morning I was very short of breath because the muscles in my chest hurt so much, which was scary. In completely logical fashion I announced it was too painful to move, it was my LAST trip out of bed and Alan was going to have to figure something out. So he picked up the phone. He’s good at that.
By lunchtime I was snuggled into my beautiful (no joke) brand new penthouse suite at Vanderbilt’s Oncology Critical Care Unit. I wasn’t that sick, this area is for stem cell transplant patients, etc. but it is where I landed. It was probably 400 square feet, beautiful, and it was much nicer than any of my dorm rooms. It was a bathroom you could play baseball in. There should have been a guitar on the wall. All the nurses wore cowboy boots. Really. Sort of…
Mom had arrived for backup and we all agreed it was my nicest hospital room yet. So quiet. So peaceful. So gross when I ended up laying in a flimsy bed pan full of my own warm urine, spilling it in the bed because I was too weak to get off of it. It was made of yogurt-container strength plastic. Wonder Woman was nowhere in sight.
I escaped after one night, sent home with pain meds and steroids and I’m getting around by myself which is good since I think the Ipi colitis is setting in. No kidding. Back to the Dr tomorrow anyway.
I don’t know how people without faith get through cancer. I couldn’t do it. As I prayed with my children last night, “Thank You God that our family is together and even though we live in a world with cancer, pain, and evil that we cannot escape or understand we are greatly comforted to know there is a place where none of this exists and you hold 26 new angels in the palm of your hand.”