Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Grumpy McGrumpypants

I've decided that for the next 6 months, while chemo is in full swing, I shall legally change my name to Grumpy McGrumpypants.   I shall have a constant look of agitation, please don't talk to me, look at me or ask me to smile, just a general look of grumpiness.  

First round of chemo is done and over with and I will sing all praises to my saint of a husband who rarely if at all complained about feeling like crap.  The routine of chemo goes as such:  

Monday- wake up feeling great, drive to the hospital where I will sit for the next 6 1/2 hours getting pumped full of life saving poison.  My butt will start to hurt, my legs will begin to ache but as a whole my general disposition will be only mildly grumpy.  

Tuesday- wake up feeling like I have the flu, just blah all over.  I'll create a new rendition of Achy Breaky Heart, but it will be called My Achy Breaky Legs and I will complain about such achy breaky legs all stinkin' day long.  My general disposition will quickly decline to a perpetual state of pure grumpiness.  The pump that continues to administer the lovely chemo will become my fashion statement constant companion.  At times I will forget such companion and walk away from the lovely pouch only to be tugged back, cringing in the hopes that I haven't just pulled the needle out of my port.  That should only occur twice per day. 

Wednesday-  I will awaken to such achy breaky legs feeling much much better, and in that brief moment feel the sensation of... gasp... Happiness!  Only to have it crushed by the pit of my stomach churning in a fit of nausea, oh joy.  With such nausea, the return of Grumpy McGrumpypants will ensure that my day is right on track.... Grumpy.  I will take a prescribed anti-nausea drug, a fabulous drug that works Yet, doesn't work since all I can do the remainder of the day is sleep, grumpily sleep.  During this day of grumpily sleeping I will have a brief moment of happiness as I travel back to such hospital to have the pump removed and loose my sense of style companion, good riddance.(at least for another week and a half)

All attempts to brighten my days are quickly thwarted by the desire to drink cold drinks, lets be honest Sonic Coke with Lemon but the burning sensation in my mouth when I attempt such brightening is far to uncomfortable......grumpy.  Any smiling I do, any laughing I do, all happiness seems to be squelched by the case of the grumpiness.  So just ignore the woman with the grumpy face, the mom scolding her daughter for getting sick again, the nagging mom asking for the billionth time "Have you studied for that blasted ACT yet" That's just Grumpy McGrumpypants, she's only here for 6 months, she's not staying I promise, my kids sure hope she's not staying, I hope she's not staying.  

And for the record, I'm just trying to keep it real.  My next entry could introduce Bi-Polar Becky and her happy delusions of grandeur.  Yep, it's gonna be a fun 6 months in Summersville. 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Slaying Dragons

My good friend and neighbor, Heidi had posted this comic featuring a cross between two of my favorites.. Disney and my newest idol, Wonder Woman. Slaying Dragons... Defeating Evil... Saving the Kingdom... Staring Chemotherapy.  Tomorrow I go an start my quest, I go and create my own cancer fight story. 

From the beginning of this nightmare I could never shake the memories of Duane.  His diagnosis. His hospital stay. His chemotherapy.  His journey's end.  I keep comparing, keeping a tally of what he went through and how I've handled it, let me hear it now... Not Smart Becky, not smart!  I know, I have a problem with judging myself harshly, but who doesn't.  

One particular memory has been haunting me since last week when I scheduled my first chemo appointment.. Duane's last chemo appointment I shared with him.  At that time he was already orange, we knew something was going wrong but steps were not being taken quickly enough  to catch up with the damage being done to his body.  We sat there in the clinic, uncomfortably, usually we talked and enjoyed our "dates" as they became to be but this day was different.  I was tired and battling a sciatic nerve problem and he was well, dying and we both secretly knew this was the truth.  You would think that those memories alone would have made this last appointment one for the books but it was what happened to the  woman sitting next to us that made me never want to set foot in that clinic again.  My heart still to this day, 5 years later hurts for her friend as she called for the nurses to come over and check on her cancer fighting friend.  The woman had, I assumed, suffered a stroke or something like that.  I never asked.  She was unresponsive, barely a blood pressure to register and she looked catatonic.  I am ashamed of what transpired next, I quickly left my husband, my dying husband, next to the woman who was departing this world to go cry my eyes out in the car.  I could not handle the reality of what cancer and chemotherapy does to a body.  And that my friend was my last experience with chemotherapy, my last memory, a Duane memory.  

But tomorrow I  will create MY memories of MY fight, not Duane's epic battle but MY EPIC BATTLE!!   I will try and prove that chemo saves lives not damages lives.  I can't keep that memory as my own but only as a memory of Duane's.  I am different than my precious husband.  Please don't think that I'm putting down his memories, my memories of him or his time he fought so valiantly.  I am not, but I need to do it in some round about way, am I making sense?  My children need me to be Wonder Woman, dragon slayer, evil fighter, kingdom saver.  They need to see that cancer is NOT a death sentence.  I can't keep comparing what happened to Duane with what's happening to me. All of our memories and experiences with this evil disease need to be rewritten.  Duane showed me strength, grace, how to carry on(before it was cool to Keep Calm and Carry ON).  I will keep those memories and add to them MY very own memories, our memories, the kids and I.   

I'm excited, anxious, scared but mostly.... Ready to Slay a Dragon named Cancer.

Each day to live....

Finding the little things in the day that make me smile.

Duane's last Dance

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