I don’t mean to state the obvious, but chemo fucking sucks. Right now in my treatment I’ve
completed all rounds of chemo and even have completed the stem cell infusion – 800 million stems cells were put back. This means my body has been completely destroyed and recently injected with the tools to hopefully help rebuild it. Unfortunately this does not mean that the hard part is over….
So How Was Chemo?
It was a constant roller coaster, with no real ‘highs’, just huge lows. My weight fluctuated
throughout because of all of the fluids I needed. From my baseline I would increase 9 lb one day
and drop 11 the next . It wasn’t the weight fluctuation that was so hard about this, but how
disgusting my body felt because it couldn’t come close to maintaining any equilibrium. My days
of chemo were supplemented with additional drugs.
I would start my day with 10 pills, have 5 more at lunch and another 5 before bed. Things like prednisone, benadryl, antivan, and meena for my kidneys. All of these drugs were because of the side effects of chemo. My goal is to destroy and rebuild my immune system and all of these drugs were to prevent the chemo from destroying other parts of my body (things like kidneys and liver).
There was no part of my day that would feel routine. Every day felt like it was a contrast to the
previous. One day I would have extreme insomnia with nothing to do in the hospital and other
times I would sleep for the whole day. Sometimes I would have hot flashes and other moments I
would be freezing. My body dictated my schedule and I had no control over it.
Additionally I found out that I’m allergic to every band aid, most types of tape and the
Chlorhexidine that is required for them to sterilize my body to insert the pics. It wasn’t just the
reactions that made these allergies difficult but feeling like a human guinea pig waiting to see if
the new idea of how to deliver my chemo would react just as poorly as the previous. It made it
so my pic site was really sensitive and I needed additional morphine because of the pain.
The Psychological Toll
My body was having a rough time with the chemo, and my mind? It’s having an equally difficult
time. I cycle between highs and lows. But I should probably rephrase the term ‘high’ to calmer
acceptance or willingness to be patient. But the lows, those damn lows. I cry, I want to go home,
I don’t want to have to keep ‘powering through’, I really want this treatment to be over. So the
lows are hard, they’re really fucking hard.
So for now I cling to those moments of acceptance or patience and hope that this will all be worth it for a life without my MS progressing, a life that will have less unknowns and more stability, a life where I feel healthy. After all, the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it. And right now I’m doing a lot of watering.