We arrived at my first chemo appointment at 7:45 am, and left at 4:45 pm. Long day, with a 45-minute drive added to each end.
My SiStar, Kitty, dedicated her day to keeping me company, and comfortable. She watched over me like an angel hawk. I know she is exhausted tonight, as I know it’s more stressful to be the one beside the bed, ever vigilant.
I have to admit I was anxious last night and a bit fearful while packing this morning. I took along everything electronic and paper that might occupy me during a long day, as well as healthy snacks, and good water. I even remembered to take my ‘education packet’ that outlines everything I might expect by way of side effects – listed by drug and by percentage of occurrence. (Nausea is near the top of every list.) I didn’t take the packet out of my bag though, just decided to experience whatever came. I didn’t take anything out of the bag to occupy my time, either.
No nausea came. No side effects other than sleepiness, which I managed to dispatch with several naps. Many of you know my favorite quote is, “Everything happens for a reason…I make up.” * And so, I will attribute my good fortune to your love and prayers and white light. People are practicing Reiki on me from afar. People are meditating with me from a geographical distance, and sending cyber-hugs, well-wishes, and prayers for healing, in several faith traditions. Your cumulative care helped me have this experience today.
My immune system, which will be ‘knocked down’ significantly by chemo, is much stronger than most peoples’ immune systems. I’m not bragging, I’m just stating a fact from my experience, and I do consider myself lucky. I very rarely get sick. Hardly ever. (It really only happens after I claim to rarely get sick – but this is a function of The Law of Magical Consequence.) I attribute my strong immune system to eating plenty of dirt in my time, and to not being overly concerned with general cleanliness or antibiotic soaps. I’m not suggesting you practice my methods, just saying they work for me. Please note that you may experience different results, and you should probably consult your physician before beginning a ‘dirt regimen’. Or, perhaps you shouldn’t consult your physician on this one, as it may result in a referral to a psychiatrist.
The protocol for dealing with an immune system damaged by chemotherapy has been to administer a drug to help build more white blood cells the day after chemo. Not long ago I would have had to be driven back to Louisville the day after, just to get a single shot. Here comes a miraculous piece of bio-technology! As I sit writing, I can see a small, green light flashing under my shirt. It’s reminding me that it’s prepared to deliver a dose of Neulasta to me at approximately 7 pm tomorrow. It will beep several times, then start delivering the drug through a needle it already inserted beneath my skin. I’ll be able to watch the handy fuel gauge indicator move from ‘full’ to ‘empty’. Then the green light will go out and a red light will come on. That’s when I’ll know it’s safe to peel it off and throw it away. Of course, I won’t be able to throw it away. It will appear as a component in some future artwork I create.
So, I am grateful for you all today, and grateful for dirt. And for medical technology – it’s not what it will be, but it does have its successes. I know it’s possible I will still be nauseated at some point, and I may fall prey to some infection. But I’m so pleased and amazed that this first treatment brought surprises and miracles. It bodes well, Dear Ones.
*I so wish I could claim authorship of the quote, but it’s the brilliant Andrew Boyd, author of Daily Afflictions – The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe. Check it out if it sounds interesting. Warning – you must be droll, and not offended by profanity or sacrilege, in order to appreciate this book.
Published on CaringBridge.org — December 7, 2016