So it has been a full week since my last entry and lots has happened. It was round 2 of the C-Spa experience and they again refused to offer me a manicure and facial! I mean didn’t I get the full package deal or what? Things did get better overall but there were some other bumps in the road that have prevented me from writing until now. Main reasons being – I actually would get nauseous whenever I would sit down and try to relive the experience and I have been literally too tired to type or string together an idea that made any sense.
Today has been the first day I didn’t feel like I was walking around with a suit of armor on or had my head stuffed with stray which all in all makes it a damn good day.
So how did round 2 go? Well it started out promising as I woke up energetic and calm, did some yoga, listened to relaxing music, played with my daughter and took a valium! When I walked into C-Town for the first time sporting my new “Cancer do”, I finally looked like I was meant to be there which was weird for me. Given that I was no longer a C-spa virgin, I was seated with everyone else awaiting our blood results. There were all sorts of people there – some my age, some older – everyone looking a little on edge yet trying desperately to look relaxed. Now blood tests are to me now what massages were to me a few years ago – mandatory and weekly! One little vial is what stands between you and your magic cocktail because if your white blood count is too low, you’re outta here. I really wasn’t that worried as I wasn’t on the most toxic stuff and I had done all the right things – slept a lot, stayed active, eaten healthy foods, no alcohol, no coffee, lots of green tea and even started acupuncture! It is actually funny that this is probably the healthiest I have been in years yet here I am getting treatment for cancer! Little ironic no? So anyways – I was quite shocked when they told me I was 0.1 below what they considered adequate yet they were going to go ahead anyways and give me a special injection to help the process. Is it strange that I took it as a personal defeat that my white blood cells had retreated in such mass amounts? Hello little guys – can’t you help a girl out? Unfortunately much like cancer, this is another thing that is completely beyond my control. So after another botched vein by the same nurse and a few tears from myself, I was hooked up and ready for my magic cocktail. It went okay however I have discovered that any food I eat on game day, basically makes me want to vomit when I get near it anytime after. My foods to avoid so far…red pepper, multicolored pasta and vanilla shakes oh my!
Once I got home I was watching the clock like a hawk, waiting to feel the rush of the tsunami flipping me over and over, thrashing me around like a ragdoll. However there was a strange calmness and I even managed to eat. By 5pm I was so excited that I phoned my mom and sister and shouted “I’m alive!” Things had definitely improved and I was really pleased. The next morning, I even made it to acupuncture to jump start my appetite and really felt in control. Now unfortunately that little injection I mentioned earlier joined the party that evening and was thankfully administered by a friend of ours who was a nurse as there was no way in hell I or my husband was jabbing that giant thing into my belly. So for those not in the C-club, this injection which costs a hefty 10,000Kronor a shot (roughly 1200 Sterling) stimulates white blood cell production in your bone marrow. Very interesting concept yes but unfortunately the side effects made me feel less then peachy. By Sunday evening every bone in my body hurt from my jaw to my rib to my shin. It even hurt to lean against a pillow for Pete’s sake. And Monday was even worse. I could barely get out of bed and I never struggle to get of bed when I hear my gorgeous daughter calling for me from her bedroom. It was so demoralizing to hit such a low when things had been going so well. I guess this is the price you pay for staying healthy and alive! So here I am 3 days later and I am good people. My energy levels are returning, my spirits are rising and my taste for chocolate has returned! Hurrah for me!
I am now spending a few restful and well earned days by the sea with the people I love. And I am now walking around in public with my head bare and doing it proudly. I even went shopping today and didn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed. I think I have realized that there is no reason for me to hide who I am and what I am going through. There is no shame in cancer. My head is a testament to the warrior I am and what I am going through. And there is no absolutely no shame in that.
Special thoughts go out to my Captain AC today who is beginning her own journey through the great big C. My strength, my grace, my courage, and my ability to love have been taught to me by you. Be strong warrior.
Goodnight and good day wherever you are,