Well guys, it’s beginning. I feel like poop. I haven’t even started chemo yet but I am getting a nice preview this weekend of what it’s like to feel like total crap cause you’ve got cancer. Let me elaborate. I had my medi-port inserted on Thursday. This basically included making two small incisions in my chest above my heart and inserting the quarter size port into one and the tube that goes into my veins in the other. From now on, instead of getting an IV, they will just stick a needle into the port, which has a semi-squishy center that sits right under my skin. After a week of getting poked in my arms roughly 20 or more times I was psyched about my port. Plus the advertising was killer. Andrew and I got the official medi-port folder with two psychotically happy looking people on the front, a sample port in the middle and the reassuring slogan (I kid you not): “Plastic. Titanium. Dignity.” on the side. This slogan had us peeing our pants in the pre-op room. Thanks for that medi-port advertising team!
Anyway, even though I was awake during the whole surgery I couldn’t feel a thing and felt fine during the two hours of recovery in the hospital. They told me these procedures “don’t usually cause any pain” and sent me home with two Tylenol in my system. Fast forward about an hour or so and I am writhing on the couch from the absolutely excruciating pain coming from my chest. I can’t move or even breath without burning, stabbing pain shooting through my body and I am failing miserably at remaining calm. Andrew calls my nurse who says: “I have never in all of my years gotten a call about pain from a medi-port” (great, I’m just a big wimp I suppose) and she eventually gets me a prescription for Vicodin. The Vicodin takes the edge off, friends come and visit me to take my mind off and I am at least able to go to sleep.
The next morning, of course, I wake up woozy as heck, still in pain, and nauseous from the meds. I get up and go on a very cumbersome trip to the fertility clinic (while on IVF treatments you basically have to go every day for “maintenance” ultrasounds and blood work). The first victory was that I didn’t throw up on any of the people there trying to get pregnant, and the second victory was that my ovaries were exploding with potential space babies, four times the amount of the average patient! Go me!
Of course, what I didn’t realize was that cooking up all those space babies would make me feel so miserable. Today is the first day that I have felt sick from the fertility treatment. I’ll explain in more detail in another post but I think it’s something akin to feeling like a beached whale. Between my ongoing medi-port chest pain and my exploding ovaries I haven’t really been able to get off the couch today. Luckily the space babies will be retrieved this Monday. I am now calling it a rescue mission as I’ll be starting chemo just three days later. I can sort of hear the doctor yelling: “Get them out of there! They won’t survive much longer!”
I am trying to get used to the idea that this whole process is going to make me feel this shitty and probably much worse for the next five months or so. I am going to have to get better at feeling like crap, maybe try to do it with any kind of grace or dignity (plastic titanium dignity?). I am not sure how I’ll do that (maybe cuter pajamas to start?). I am lucky to have an awesome support system that has already stepped up to the plate like champs on several occasions, not to mention a crazy amazing husband who I think would literally do anything to make me feel more comfortable. But it’s still going to be a challenge, and a mental one, as much as it will be a physical one.
I guess I just hope that at the end I make it out with more than I came in with and that feeling crappy on a weekly basis doesn’t just make me miserable and bitter. I do think it will certainly make me more grateful for all the healthy moments and for the friends and family that are helping me through this. Here’s hoping I can hold on to that and at least attempt to make feeling shitty look good!