Chemotherapy Treatment Number 9

Only four more. That’s what I keep telling myself and what my people keep celebrating. To the outside world, four more sounds like nothing. But to me, the person going through it, four more is the worst. I am just done with this. And this treatment was probably the worst of the lot. Not because of symptoms or pain, mentally I am just done with it all. img_8462

I woke up done. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to feel crummy again. Mentally, I was depleted. Maybe it was the horrible weekend of pain from the Neupogen shots. Maybe it was the overcast weather. Or maybe the four more has the opposite effect on the person in chemotherapy. It’s like “get this over with already!” Because four more is still two months. Four more is a build up of 8 poison sessions that have left my body weak, my stomach in constant turmoil, and my muscles atrophied (vocab word for my ninth graders). As you can see, when I am mentally depleted, I sleep through chemo. I just close my eyes and hope that when I wake up, it will all be over. img_8459

Valeria picked me and Mom up yesterday morning. Valeria has been one of my constant rocks throughout this whole process. She is consistent in making sure I am well and taken care of. So, that helped get me out of my funk a little bit. And when we got to Day Care, all of the nurses did what they do. They greeted us with kisses and kindness. They have become my family, which is both wonderful and difficult. I want to be done with this whole process so badly, but I love these women in my life.

The port needle was inserted and the routine began. And as soon as the loopy drug hit, I went to sleep. I was probably the most boring patient. I didn’t even really notice the different transitions of the drugs. I simply slept and woke up half way through the tinfoil one, which was when lunch was delivered. But I wasn’t really hungry. I even left my lovely sugar-free ice-cream untouched, which is unusual for me. But I just didn’t feel like eating. Again, my stomach is ten kinds of messed up and my taste buds are crazy. Everything bland tastes horrible and anything flavorful hurts my stomach. It’s a twisted world. When I finally did wake up, I had some great conversations with Valeria. We talked about school and her upcoming 50th!

Four hours and ten minutes. We were done. The chemos are getting shorter and easier in process, but they are getting harder for me. Despite my colorful tights and Flintstone socks, I just could not find the energy. As my British friend Chris says, I cannot be bothered. Ok, I could be a little bothered…these socks are amazing! Thank you, Mrs. Shrum!

At home, I couldn’t get comfortable on the couch. My stomach was going crazy. And so I put on some classics, The Princess Bride and Sister Act. They did make me a little happier. I have noticed this weird pressure on my chest after chemo. The doctor prescribed antihistamine in case I am having an allergic reaction. But those didn’t help as much. It is a heaviness with shortness of breath. I think the drugs are effecting my upper respiratory track. Which is probably why stairs and even long walks are so difficult now. Exercise is something I cannot wait to do again. I feel so sedate. Then there was a Queer Eye to finish and phone calls to make and then bed.

So that is where I am. Now, only three more. But I have a feeling these are going to be some of the hardest for me. Maybe not the last one. That one is going to be a big old celebration. But, these next two are just another chore I have to do and don’t want to do. And the only consolation is that I got to get out of the Teacher Training Day this week. At least their was one silver lining.


4 thoughts on “Chemotherapy Treatment Number 9

  1. Dear Sweet Kim, I have been thinking all week how to write you to prepare you for the feelings of coming to a close with chemo, and here you are writing exactly how I felt for my last chemo. I remember waking up and sitting on the edge of my bed and feeling “I am done with this” I absolutely did not want to move towards another chemo. Everyone kept saying, you are almost done and were all joyous… I just DID NOT WANT MORE CHEMO. So you expressed your feelings and probably most people going through chemo their exact feelings. I can imagine your blog being so helpful to so many people who feel exactly like you do, but don’t have the talent to express their feelings like you do. You have every right to feel this way. I only had 4-6 (see I can’t even remember) chemo sessions of adriamyacin (the red devil) and I was done mentally and physically before the last one. These last treatments are probably the most important ones to get every last stubborn cell. It is Ok to feel down at this point in treatment. You will do what you have to do and you will get your life back. Complain and bitch ally want. You are not only my hero, but everyone who knows you feels the same way. Your blog is helping so many people, so keep up the honesty.
    PS…since the antihistamine snit helping your chest discomfort, I would call the doctor and be explicit with your discomfort. Ask if this a side affect that people have with your “chemo cocktail “. If yes, what else can you do about it, if “No” what is going on??? Sending all my love and hugs to you beautiful girl!
    You look fabulous with no hair! I hope you are enjoying your showers. As soon as chemo stops,you will have hair sprouting and you will have more curls and waves than you know what to do with!!!!


  2. Kim,
    All I can say is I am so incredibly impressed by you.
    Judging by the shows and movies you watch I’m guessing you might not have the movie Rocky in your collection. But if you haven’t seen it you should (unless you really hate watching guys punch each other a lot )
    There is a scene in the movie that reminds me so much of you. Rocky is fighting Apollo Creed, the heavyweight champion of the world. Round after round after round, Rocky takes a beating. He gets knocked down time and again but he just keeps getting back up. Near the final round of the fight, Apollo lands a barrage of hard punches and knocks Rocky down a final time. Apollo walks back to his corner with his arms raised in victory. He is certain that Rocky must finally be done because nobody could get up after that. And then Rocky pulls himself to his feet one more time.
    When Apollo sees that Rocky is standing again, the look on Apollo’s face is incredulous, as if he is thinking, “What are you?!” And in that moment Apollo realizes he will never defeat this guy. Rocky will just keep getting up and going back into the fight. Exhausted, Apollo staggers back to face Rocky again, but he has already lost.
    Rocky wins with the sheer force of his will. He wins because he refuses to stay down.
    If I have ever seen a real life Rocky, it is you, Miss Kimberly Coyle.


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