Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chemo is HELL!

I’m almost at the home stretch and yet these chemotherapy cycles keep getting harder and harder to handle. In case you are not aware, chemotherapy infuses just enough toxins into your body so as to just about kill you. I'm amazed by the fact that they know the right combination in order to avoid killing you. The problem is, you then spend the next week after chemo wishing they would kill you because living requires too much energy. Chemo is HELL! Childbirth was a cakewalk by comparison. Singer Melissa Etheridge described it best when she said, "It's the closest to death I have ever been. The chemotherapy takes you as far down into hell as you've ever, ever been.”
Chemotherapy is equally a modern marvel of science and a special delivery straight from the fiery depths of hell. I’d love to pretend it is anything less than that, but it’s not. Every three weeks I sit in a lazy boy, stuffed with warm blankets (if needed), my laptop and a tv, receiving several hours worth of IV bags. It kills your cells, both healthy and cancerous. It takes you within an inch of your life for at least seven horrible days, and just when you start feeling better, it's time to go back for your next treatment. There’s something about lying in your bed wondering if this unfamiliar feeling of what can only be described as dying that gives a person some time to think and reorganize your priorities. It is the ultimate boot camp for survival, patience, faith, and self control. Chemo is bone pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, cold sweats, muscle cramps and spasms, losing your hair, and a constant terrible stomachache.
I've decided that I could be the military's secret weapon because I swear I am shooting fire out of my butt every time I go to the bathroom. I could end all war with the chemical warfare going on inside this body! I think that, like childbirth, if they told you what to really expect from chemo, nobody would do it. If I had only known what havoc it would wreak upon this poor body, I might have run away! It might make for a nifty party trick and it certainly gives the saying "shit-fire" a whole new meaning!
But on a lighter note, Hannah got her driver's license today! Watching her drive away this morning by herself was a little heart-wrenching. Now, don't get me wrong, this is a fabulous thing and I'm happy this day arrived. It's just that it makes you realize how fast they grow up and just how soon they will be leaving you. Time is fleeting and cancer makes me live with this realization every day.

1 comment:

  1. Chemo is hell ... I just don't know how the body can take it.