Tuesday, June 26, 2012

True Blood

I was walking over to chemo today and met a new neighbor because I recognized her landscaper and stopped to say hello. Turns out she is an artist and is currently having an exhibit at the gallery in my studio building, I love the small world that is Providence.

I was a little out of breathe by the time I got here but didn’t give it a second thought because I was carrying my laptop and my overstuffed messenger bag and it’s sunny out. I got blood drawn which is always the first thing to happen, and I told my nurses that I still had the numbness in my fingers and toes. They passed that on to my doctor in the weekly game of telephone, and he decided not to do treatment today because we don’t want to risk permanence, if it’s still lingering next week, he’ll have to lower my dose. I was disappointed because I worry that delaying treatments is in cancer’s favor, and also because it extends my done date. My bloodwork came back quickly and my nurse asked me how I was feeling and I said “great”. I do feel great, I wasn't kidding, I feel just fine, I had a pretty relaxing afternoon/evening with little boy yesterday and a good morning. She started to laugh and showed the piece of paper to the next nurse and said “she says she feels great.” Next nurse starts laughing too. First nurse {and have I mentioned how much I love these nurses?} says, you’re not going home afterall. My white blood cells are great which means, since no chemo, no shots this week, rejoice! I am, however, having another blood transfusion due to crazy low red blood cells {which carry oxygen and give you energy}. Blood transfusions take forever, so it’s going to be a long day.

Apparently, I’m so used to struggling and feeling crappy that it’s become completely normal for me. So if I only feel a little crappy, if there's no glaring symptom, that equates to me as feeling great. I honestly and truly don’t remember feeling any differently, which means that when I’m done and I slowly recover from chemo, I might feel better than I ever remember feeling which is something wonderful to look forward to.

I really am surprised my numbers are so low, the other two times I needed transfusions, I was really dragging, but this, at least explains my difficult couple of days last week, why I got so emotional and why I just couldn’t handle a hyper, procrastinating, perpetually teasing, super-sized teenager. It helps explain why I’ve been feeling particularly overwhelmed, even though, aside from the numbness, I thought I was feeling pretty darned good. So comparatively speaking, I feel great, but I'm comparing myself to how I felt during the first chemo which was 50 shades of dreadful, I just have no clue anymore, what I'm supposed to feel like. I do, however, recall how good I feel after the Transylvanian special, so with no daily shots, this is going to be a great week.

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