Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cuz I am Feeling Good

So I am happy to report that my first round of the new cocktail went off without a hitch. Now I am not counting all my chickens yet as I know side effects can be slow to come up but I am taking this as a big fat positive! I was very nervous when I walked into C-Town yesterday morning, grabbing my number and waiting for my turn to get the usual blood test. I always people watch while I am sitting there waiting…seeing the faces I recognize, the ones I don’t, reading the emotions on everyone’s faces. You can always pick out the first timers to the C-Spa – the look of sheer terror tends to give them away. I know this because I was there before too. Holding back tears and filled with such dread over what could or could not happen. I make a point of smiling at everyone whose eyes I meet. It is my way of giving off some of my positivity or letting them know that yes I have cancer but I am also ok. So as Elgar’s divine music filled my ears, I began to feel ready for my next cocktail (or maybe it was the mixture of the valium and strong anti-histamines I took!) regardless I was prepared.

It is nice to know my way around C-Town and to be familiar with the C-spa routine but it is especially nice that I am able to say hello to so many people I know now. Most of them are nurses who know me as the “English Patient” and greet me with a warm hug. They put me at ease and I know they have my best interests and comforts at heart. Once I get the all clear from my blood work which surprisingly was just on the border of what they consider acceptable to receive chemo (damn white blood cells), I am ushered to my chair and its showtime. Most of the nurses know about me and my anxiety (or sheer hysteria) over getting the IV put in and seeing as I decided not to get the arterial port, I am facing down my fear of the IV needle. I put on my favorite song and start doing my meditative deep breathing as the nurse finds a friendly and willing vein in my hand and poof she is in first try! High five to my girl Ingrid!! So nearly 3 three hours later I am good to go – filled to the brim with my toxic cure and imagining the medicine surging through my body killing off every nasty cell it sees and literally defining cancer combat!

When I went home I felt weird as usually it is just a matter of time till the sickness hits and I am confined to my bed riding out the waves of pure hell. This time there was no throbbing headache or tsunami-esque nausea; I actually went home and ate half a pizza! It was fabulous and after a small nap I was even able to take my daughter out alone to drop by a birthday party and pick up some much needed Ben and Jerry’s ice cream from the store. It was a miracle and boy did it feel good. Things were really starting to look up and suddenly the next 11 rounds didn’t seem so difficult to get through. And despite having my usual 4am wake up (thank u cortisone) this morning, I had another great day and am really doing well. It is refreshing to feel human again minus a few eyelashes. 

And I would like everyone to send lots of happy thoughts to my dear Captain AC who is embarking on her C-Spa voyage this coming Monday. I have reassured her and told her that she will never have to go through the first time again which perhaps offers her some comfort during a very scary time. I have bestowed on her all my C-Spa secrets like never eating your favorite foods on game day, walking every day no matter how close to death you feel, sweet potatoes are yum when u feel like nothing else, sedatives are completely justified, water tastes awful the first few days so mix in some juice, and every treatment you do is one less you have to do later. What I so wish is that I could be there on Monday to hold her hand as the first drops of her cure begin to flow as I know all too well how terrifying that moment is. But as I have said before we do this to give ourselves long and happy lives and remove the worry and the cells that simply don’t belong in our bodies. In reality there is no option here because we choose life.

Good night,



  1. Captain AC here!!! You got it all right Kate Warrior, - am pretty scared but with your example before me and your C Spa secrets, I feel it will go well in spite of my fears. So delighted that you got a break on this session and feel good and hopeful. I wish you more like this. Not fun to be on the Big C vessel but if we have to be on, it is much better being two some. Looking for bright sun and smooth sailing... Much love

  2. Wow! Wonderful to hear that your first round of the new cocktail went so well and you are taking this as a big fat positive! This is a good sign as it means that your immune system is getter stronger and you are on your way to recovery.

    It is very considerate of you to offer Captain AC comfort and courage before her C-Spa. Now you know how to support new crew member of the Big C vessel with your first hand experience, that's what suffering has taught us. I am sure Captain AC will survive well as she is surrounded by love and caring people.

    I am happy that you feel things are really starting to look good and the next 11 rounds won't seem so difficult to get through. It surely is refreshing to feel human again minus a few eyelashes. So just keep up with this positive thinking and look after yourself well. You are getting closer to the end of the dark tunnel and soon you can embrace the smiling sun and the bright sunlight.

    Hugs and Prayers!

  3. We are so happy that you are taking round 2 of C-spa well my dear northen friend. It might be the belly, but I get all emotional when I read your blog, even more when I read it to John. It's amazing that you can be there for your mom, even if it's by distance. I'm sure she felt your hand holding hers on Monday.

    You way of seeing life is really helping me to get ready for that soon new adventure and I hope that you will be back on less bumpy ride life style in no time. John has started to threaten me to take video of me getting off the couch as we saw your footage last June when we visited...Can you believe we haven't seen each other since then (we both got married (us twice) we're getting growing family (yours in height)).

    Much love from the South ;)
    Lina, John and Junior Jo-Li