I'm really emotional this week. Yesterday, I was working from home all morning and David was out. I was pretty busy and caught up in my own head, buzzing away on my laptop. About 3 hours later, David came home and while he was talking about his morning, I had a chemo brain moment where I kind of forgot we were together and then remembered. I don't know how to explain it. I didn't forget about him or that he existed. It's like I didn't fully grasp that he was there and staying and with me and then I did fully grasp it. It's almost like for a few seconds I jumped back to 2 years ago when we were just friends and then I remembered I get to marry this man. I became completely overwhelmed with gratitude and love, and just started crying while he stood there talking to me. He was pretty confused, but relieved they were happy tears. This poor guy. I don't know how he handles me.
I had another moment while texting with my friend. In the middle of our conversation, I switched in my head and thought I was talking to my older sister. My friend was telling me about her move to Philly and almost finding an apartment and I became very confused and couldn't understand why my sister was moving. I was asking her what she was going to do with her house. Was she going to rent it out? And what about her daughter? Was she going to make her switch schools? I just seem to short circuit mid thought.
I can't even blame hunger now because I can eat this week. Of course I was so excited that I ate way too much and made myself sick. Will I ever learn how to moderate anything?
My last THP chemo infusion will be on Monday. They'll also be taking blood to do my genetic testing for the BRCA gene mutation. It's pretty unlikely that I have it, but the results are a very big factor in deciding how the surgery will go. After this infusion, I start the second set of drugs, AC. I'm afraid of this one. I keep having to remind myself that everyone has different reactions. I stupidly googled it and found out that the nickname for this one is "Red Devil."
I'm doing my treatments in a different order than a lot of ladies. It seems like most do AC first, then the THP cocktail. People are telling me things like "don't worry you're almost done the bad one, the next one is easier." So apparently, I've been on the "easy" one, and in a few weeks, I'll start with the red devil. I'm really nervous about it. But maybe it won't be so bad because I'm kind of getting eased into it. The other ladies had to start with the full-on worst one. I got 2 months to warm up. This one will be every two weeks, instead of 3, so I'm losing that recovery week I've had to gain weight back. I never thought I'd be concerned about being unable to *gain* weight.
Aaaaaand cue the nosebleed. They're not as often as they were when I first started chemo, but they're way worse. I've started carrying gauze and toilet paper with me if I leave the house because they go right through tissues. I had to abandon the tampon idea. If your nose bleed is gushing, do NOT use the tampon trick. Those things are designed to expand. I left one in for too long and my nostril was the size of my eye socket.
So it feels like I've reached a lull for now. Things aren't great, but they're certainly not terrible. All I've really had to deal with are all the weird chemo side effects, but since I can work from home, I have everything I need here to handle them. I think it'd be a much different story if I had to go into the city every day. I know how blessed I am to have the job I do with my BFBF, my reliable and competent coworker friends, and the technology to be able to work remotely. I hear about people who continue to go into work every day, women who put on a wig and pretend everything is fine, or children who go to school every day, and I'm over here going, "How!?" That hospital stay was all I needed to become a full on recluse. I'm too afraid to get on the subway. I spent $80 taking cabs to and from work last week. I'm afraid to drive because what if I get too tired to drive back from wherever I am?
There are kids who don't fully understand what they're going through; who have to go into the MRI tubes, and get strapped to the bone scan table, and get poked and prodded, and lose their hair, and still go to school, and just have to trust that their parents know best. There are adults who are parents and continue raising their children with a smile on their face. There are people who have to continue going into the office every day because their companies don't have owners like mine, and they need the job because they need the health insurance. There are people who lose their health insurance because they can't work, but fight anyway and risk losing their houses. Some do lose their homes because of hospital bills, and *if they're lucky* have to depend on loved ones to support them or set up "Go Fund Me" campaigns and collections and fundraisers. There are people who have to go through this alone. And there are people who already know they lost, living out their lives on a tentative timeline projected by a doctor; finding a way to enjoy what they have left; spending as much time as they can with their loved ones, their children; and some even still working because again- health insurance. And there are doctors and nurses who have seen their patients lose their battles again and again and they also continue to go into work to fight every day. Those people are brave. Those people are strong. I am not brave. I'm just very, very lucky.
I'm not a big bible person, but I did go to Catholic school from grades 1-12. I still remember some of the readings. My favorite prayer is Psalm 23, but my favorite single line is from Psalm 46.
"...Be still, and know that I am God."
It stops me in my whiny, complaining tracks. I am safe. I am taken care of. I am loved. I am the luckiest girl alive.