I have chemotherapy tomorrow, for the first time in very nearly a year. I remember the Rituxan (b-cell slaying) treatment clearly from last time, and it felt like this: first I fell into a chemical sleep; next I was hit by steroid-induced mood swings; then I felt a caffeinated restless high from some other drug; and finally I sat through a slow day of watching the drip-drip-drip from the IV as the drug slid into my veins. The needle gets pretty damned uncomfortable, especially if there is scar tissue in the vein, but now I know to tell the nurse to change the vein if it hurts too much. These are long days of sitting around, and toward the afternoon I’d feel mounting claustrophobia and a sense of enormous accomplishment when they finally unplugged the needle from my arm.
I’m so happy to be on the way toward getting rid of cancer again. I’m keeping my thoughts positive because we caught it so early. I know exactly what to expect, which is very different from the fear I felt last time. Last time was much more like this. This time I’m going to consider chemotherapy a much-needed rest day to focus on the health of my body and mind.
I’m letting myself rely on more people this time. My mother is funding my unpaid time off from work (thank you so much, mom!). Friends (thank you, Cris and Theresa) are babysitting my child when D. is at class tomorrow night, after treatment. And I’m taking the next day off from work instead of trying to be a hero. I also have a big bag of snacks and crafts all prepared, and I’m ready to face the comfy chair and the roomful of other people quietly fighting for their health. I’m even letting my husband join me for lunch in the chemo room this time — last time I didn’t want anyone to see me there, being so weak.
Four treatments. Tomorrow at this time, I’ll be able to happily say, One down!
Let’s go kick some a$$!