I've been so adamant about using the "adventure/journey" analogy, yet over the weekend I did encounter a storm that really threw my journey off track. Let me share!
The evening after my first chemo treatment I had a small headache. The next day it was a little worse, tension'y, and the nurses said to take a Percocet, if needed. I took a couple of Ibuprofens, that was it. On Thursday, a little worse, but nothing I couldn't manage with regular over-the-counter stuff. By Friday morning, I took an 800mg Iboprofen and called the doctor. They said to take a Percocet and call them in a couple of hours. I did, didn't do much. Friday night was hell, but since I was already awake at 4:30am, I went to yoga and enjoyed being able to semi-release the headache for a bit. The beauty of being at yoga is that one of the class members is an oncology nurse! She said I needed enough drugs in my system for them to overlap and begin to work, not just one, then a day later another. She said, "Go home, take drugs, get some protein in your system, rest."
I hurried to the store to get some plant-based protein, then home, just in time to have a crazy anxiety attack, of course brought on by not eating and pain. (I hadn't eaten much this past week, chemo totally took away my appetite.) The horrible pain - think of it as a vice-grip pressing on both sides of your head, pushing your brain to the top of your head, and waiting for an explosion any time - or a migraine x a billion, was more than I had ever experienced, and certainly wasn't what I was planning on - I was waiting for nausea and sore bones!
All that I wanted was to lay down and die, oh, and my mom! Now I have a want you/don't want you relationship with my mother. She's my next-door neighbor, and she knows too much about me as it is, and crap, I'm a big girl, I'm an adult, I shouldn't need her. I had decided I would only involve my mom in certain portions of my journey, and I would keep her as uninvolved as possible. Except - oh I needed her on Saturday morning. She crawled in bed with me, I curled up in a ball, and cried and cried - mourning needing her, mourning the loss of my normal life, and crying because the pain was so absolutely horrible. After the Percocet and anti-anxiety meds kicked in, I slept. Scott paced the halls, wondering what he could do, full-well knowing his duty was to love and support me.
By then my children knew I was a mess - and Tyler and Jenna were both at the door checking in, and worried. Interestingly - I had a small appetite and was able to eat enough to keep the meds in my stomach.
I really don't know what happened the rest of Saturday, but I made sure I was taking Percocet every 3.75 hours, and by about 10pm they were pushing past the pain. I semi-slept on Saturday night, but I was able to sleep on my side, something I haven't been able to do in a month.
On Sunday morning, I woke, expecting the day to be a normal Sunday, but nope - still pain. I popped pills again, and by around noon, felt a little peace. I went for a stroll around the block, with a friend who kept me balanced, sat on the porch and enjoyed the sun, and slept. Noise of any type has been my enemy, and my home was nice and quiet.
I had dinner at my parents on Sunday night (Scott was working all day Saturday), and 6 year old Tyli made the evening worthwhile.
By then I was down to 1/2 a Percocet, but my anxiety had kicked back in, so I went back to my med cocktail to sleep last night.
However - when I awoke this morning - I was a new woman. A little memory of a headache, a tender stomach, but nothing more! I walked for 40 minutes, had a little breakfast, and now I'm working!
Let me say this though - I will never, never, never do the headache thing again. I kept copious notes, and my doctor will definitely hear my story on Wednesday!
And lastly - pain meds cause constipation - lovely!
So, I think this journey is going have its flat tires, trees falling
over the trail, rainstorms, and delays. I also think that sometimes I
will not be able to fix these issues that are making my journey hard
with kind words and green drinks. I've learned this weekend that you
fight chemicals with chemicals, not with pink pruning shears. I've
learned I need folks covering my back, but that ultimately the
journey is mine to drive. I've learned that being prepared doesn't
necessarily mean I have all the equipment I'll need - being
prepared also means being teachable and accepting.