My cancer saga started when I was diagnosed at 38 with Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a twisted sense of humor and have tried to continue with laughter and optimism on my journey...

... their ain't no easy way out

Episode XLIII - I will stand my ground and I won't back down


Neulasta Shot #7



The dreaded shot day had arrived! There was only one way to go into the shot to make it better and that was with a lot of love and humor. So, I forced my hubby and kids to take silly, happy pictures with me! Forced might be the most accurate word, as if I would have given the chance to say no. I knew I was going to go down from the shot - I would go down fighting, and get some family love time first!!!


 

My crazy family!


The previous days chemo left me in a goofy state. I had over 15 vomits in my mouth, where only a few were full on toilet hugging Pollock paintings. In addition, it gave me multiple diarrhea episodes. And lucky me that it continued to the shot morning which required a stop to McDonald's where the toilet paper was super cheap 1 ply crap. Of course, I also picked a stall that had only a tiny amount of toilet paper and the spare roll was empty. I had to go and dash into the neighboring stall after it got empty... really... I have sunk to new lows!!!

My mom drove me in to the cancer center (after our McDonald's detour) and we quickly made our way to the short term section and found a seat. Since it was basically empty - I made my way to a window seat to enjoy the fountain view. Obviously, my sense of humor (or mild insanity) was contagious. My mom and I decided to goof of and take some more pictures to keep on with the morning theme. I am sure the nurses were getting a good laugh at the two of us...


Look, I have bunny ears...


Sometimes the smallest things pack the biggest punch. The Neulasta shot works that way... as it was a tiny shot that creates unyielding pain. My quick shot in the tummy lasts only a few minutes and in a few hours, I was going to be feeling the affects.


My helpers!


Just like with chemo, I must keep ahead of the side effects. I have a bunch of medicines to get through the days of pain. Oh yeah, some bottles were still in the white bag because I don't need them until after dinner. Because I have so many that do so many different things, I have cleverly written letters on the top so I don't get confused, as well as it falls into my devious plan where I can have the children's get momma her drugs easily!!!

I also wrote down when I take what and when. If not, my chemo brain combined with pain brain can lead to forgetting when I took what. I will be glad when that is over!

The side effects from chemo have been less, but any bending over leads to mouth full of upchuck. Note to self: do not bend over. Thank goodness, I have only about half of yesterday's vomiting issues. The biggest problem, was that the crazy bone pain kicked in my legs, hips, & back... I feel like they were breaking and crackling. The stomach cramps and rolling pain was not leaving. I got a fever due to such severe pain, so had to add Tylenol to my array of pills.

Even though I am hurting like crazy, I am hanging in there as best as I can!


Feeling the pain...


In my head...


The pain can be pretty unbearable. Thank goodness for medicines, heating pads, and the ability to whine on occasion! The shot week takes me down. I spend days doing my best to get out of bed without wanting to waddle back into it.

As the treatment has progressed, so has my ability to bounce back. I spent the week letting my mother take over the kids in the morning and after school... meaning - it was bad! I required more rest and need to be still, due to the physical pain. When every bone feels broken or insecure movement can be near impossible. However, laying on those pains can also feel impossible. So, it hurt to move and it hurt to be still. It just hurts! But, it will end and that was what I hold on too.


“Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. 
It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered.
 Full of darkness and danger, they were. 
And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? 
How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? 
But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. 
A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. 
Those were the stories that stayed with you. 
That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. 
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. 
Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. 
They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.”

- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers



Episode Reference: I Won't Back Down, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers song

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About Amy Brock

Amy Brock is a cancer fighter and survivor. Diagnosed with Infiltrating Breast Cancer at 38 she has gone through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and other procedures since 2013. Post treatment she has been diagnosed with lymphedema, chemo-induced neuropathy and bone degeneration in her back, as well as other issues including dysphagia, bilateral hearing loss, and arthritis. From being completely healthy, to having a variety of issues, Amy began blogging about her experiences as a way to help others. Read more about finding humor in the craziness of cancer at her blog www.tatawarrior.com Amy is the mother of two children and has worked for various non-profit agencies. In addition, she is a fine artist creating works in multiple mediums which can be seen at www.amybrock.com

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