Anything new and life-altering… a job, a home, a marriage… presents challenges, along with something we refer to as a “learning curve.” Managing a chronic disease is no different. So just as week one of fighting the beast has brought me some lessons, so has week two.
Chemo came delivered from a single barrel shotgun instead of the double I got last week. I am learning that taxol, combined with carboplatin is pretty powerful stuff, a duo dose of poison that packs a whammy. But this week, on taxol only, along with a secret cocktail to eliminate dehydration and boost my low blood pressure, was a piece of cake by comparison. Yay! Will it always be that way? Beats me. I am still trying to figure this out, but I will take it. And I have discovered the beauty of
A good day… (cue soft music)
Even the fact that I spent the next day in the hospital didn’t damper my spirits. They drained three liters of fluid from my belly for the second time. It is called ascites. Don’t Google it. And yes, it hurts: they didn’t even give me a stick to bite on, much to my dismay. But I rewarded myself with a burger and fries after, which I am not supposed to have. I figured I have already given up beer and wine and ice cream, so I deserved it. I will need to have this done every two weeks until the beast stops filling my gut up with toxic sludge. I predict more culinary contraband in my future.
The rest of the week has been as close to normal as I have had in over a month. I had visits from friends, shopped for a smoothie maker, and even went into work for a short training session. I can’t begin to describe how good it felt to keep the side effects at bay, even if just for a little while. As my perception about life shifts, I have come to appreciate all things great and small. Each moment of ordinary has somehow been elevated to something special. And that is the miracle in all of this…one of many that I am discovering.