Sometimes I worry that I am whitewashing the cancer experience.
After all, I don't want to post every day how tired I feel, how my stomach is upset, how much I hate taking pills/going to the hospital/doing tests, etc. Yet these are feelings I have all the time.
It takes constant effort to keep my mood up and my attitude positive. That is so much harder to do when I am sick!
Yesterday, things reached an all-time low.
Two weeks ago, my oncologist wanted me to do a CT (head, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis), to get a full picture (more or less) of how I am doing now.
I put it off a week, because I did not want to lose family time during Succot. Then, on the day of the CT, I felt too sick (with the flu) to get out of bed. I hoped I would feel better on Sunday (yesterday), and be able to go then.
Well, Sunday morning I was still sick and feeling lousy, but I knew that the radiologists review the CTs on Monday morning, so if I did not want to lose another week; I needed to go.
I had to fast for this CT (no food, but I could drink water until an hour before the test), so I fasted all morning, in the hopes that I could get an appointment that day. It took a bit of negotiating, but the secretary, who knows me by now (me being a "frequent flyer," and all that), managed to get me an appointment for 2:30.
On the way to the hospital, I joked with my friend that the reason they don't let you drink for that last hour is so that you will be so thirsty when you get there that you won't mind drinking the disgusting Barium solution required for abdominal scans.
Seriously, between the heat wave and the Xeloda (which makes me thirty all the time), by the time I got to the hospital, I was so desperate to drink, I was actually grateful for the liquid they gave me. Not for long. By the third cup, the drink was no longer the least bit appealing, even with the added lemon-aide syrup. By the sixth cup, I did not know how I would manage to drink any more!
In the past, I just drank each cup as fast as I could. (You have to drink two cups at the start, then one cup every 5-10 minutes, until you are finished with the pitcher)
I did not understand why it seemed so difficult for some people to finish the solution (besides the disgusting taste, which did not seem to bother others as much as me).
Well, with my current lack of appetite, I just did not know how I would manage to squeeze more liquid into my tummy.
I approached one of the assistant secretaries, to ask if it was really necessary for me to finish the entire solution. She checked, and was told that I should take my time....
It took half an hour to drink another two cups. I felt bloated and and nauseas.
I was miserable.
I wanted to cry.
I felt really, really sorry for myself.
I asked again. I know that once, in the past, they called me in when I still had some drink left.
Thankfully, they told me that I did not have to finish the last two cups and I would be called in soon.
The CT took all of five minutes.
I could not wait to get out of there.
The ride home was awful. I prayed that I would get home before I needed to either throw up or go to the bathroom.
When I got home, I went straight to bed. (do not pass GO, do not collect $200)
I felt so awful, I could not even fall asleep.
Just so you know (and don't worry), I'm better now (though I still have the flu).
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Yitzchak Meir - Machnisei Rachamim (audio)
2 hours ago