"In hospital. Day 2. The thing is beeping. The bathroom stinks"
I took a note in my phone on Friday, and I'm sorry, but my suffering is a little funny now that I'm feeling better...
I'm home today after 3 days at Brigham, sparked by me spiking a fever and generally feeling like I was dying. I won't recount the whole horror of Thursday but let's just say it involved me curled up in the fetal position shivering violently, slash sweating profusely, and yakking for the first time since I was 12. Had a little thing called neutropenia - ever heard of it? Don't bother, just know it's terrible.
It went from the nurse saying, "Oh, you don't feel well and have a little fever? Well, it might just be the chemo...this regimen is rough..." (and me hearing this, wishing I could throw myself off a cliff) to - an hour later, after getting my blood work back - getting rushed to a private room and later getting admitted to the hospital across the street.
After a strange night where I was woken up by nurses for vitals every couple hours, in the morning I found myself with a mask around my face and blankets up to my chin as they wheeled me in for a cat scan. If I haven't allowed myself to feel like a sickly sad sack individual to this point - congratulations you disgusting disease - mission accomplished.
Great news is that after three horrific days, I'm home on antibiotics and feel like a million bucks - better than I have in a month - and I'm insanely grateful for how I feel. When this is all said and done, I'll appreciate every settled stomach, every eyelash, every regular bowel movement, every goddamn strand of hair on my head, every run I'll have the strength to endure, each breath I can take without heart-pounding anxiety, and any thought centering around something other than this horror show, that will be behind me.
I know I have about 4 more weeks of feeling terrible. They say there's no way around it, to a degree; how I've tolerated it so far, weekly, is about how I'll tolerate it each time, only it's cumulative so mayyybe a little worse. Hopefully I don't pick up an infection like this last time and feel especially, dangerously terrible, and I can get through his time. But I feel almost angry now, indignant, like - you know what, I will get through this, because if I can endure those last three days I can endure anything. F*CK you.
Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I guess.
PS: On a related note, someone posted about this and I feel the need to chime in - this mess isn't pink, by the way. It's more of a puke green or yellow or brown. Mustard if you will.
I'm well aware and you're well "aware" but make sure you're aware of the reality. Feel yourself up, get felt, up, and demand mammograms earlier if you have a strong family history and are worried and want a peace of mind. I feel like they've almost tinseled the whole breast cancer thing in pink to the point that people either think it's the "good one to have" (no, no it's not) or that we'll all be fine and dandy (no, not necessarily, we won't) and all this "fighting" and "battle cries" and "warriors" kind of turns people off at this point. And I cringe at that words too. We're just dealing with what we're faced with. Not always with a fighting spirit or dignity. Not always.
PPS: I'm also forever grateful for Mike who posted up beside me in what looked like an airplane bed for 3 days, watching Man in High Castle with me and likely trying not to vomit at the state of my gastrointestinal system, and to my best friends B + H for stopping by with pizza and pumpkin cinnamon buns, respectively, and distracting me from everything for an hour or two. I love you.