June 11, 2009
As you know Portland Firefly has been taking Chemotherapy. My Doctor checks my blood every week to make sure I am doing OK. The Chemo drugs attack and kill not only the cancer cells, but other cells in my body, which is why I lost all of my hair. The bone marrow is where blood is manufactured and the bone marrow is also attacked by the Chemo drugs; this is the reason for doing the weekly blood tests.
Since I had surgery almost three weeks ago, I only had one blood test done. This gave me a little break in the constant reminder that I am sick and needing to go to the doctors or the hospital. I loved the break and hope it restored my spirit a little.
However today, when I went to the doctors for my blood work prior to restarting my Chemo, I didn’t do very well. In the past I have sometimes shed a tear while waiting in the big special blood draw chair for the nurse to draw my blood. But it was just a little tear without any sobbing or boohooing. It was just a little tear that escaped down my cheek, almost as though it had a life of its own and the rest of me wasn’t even aware of its presence until it landed on my blouse. But today, I became sad and this time the blood draw hurt a little more than usual and I held back the tears while the nurse took out the amount of blood she needed for all the tests the Doctor ordered. After she pulled out the special bent needle that accommodates my portacath and put the sparkly band-aid over the spot, I left the lab and went out the inner door into the general waiting area of the office. I sank into the little sofa closest to me and the tears started. No boohooing, no crying, just silent tears. Since there were several others in the waiting area, I quickly put my dark glasses on and just sat to recover for a few minutes. Gone is the bubbly girl that danced into the office months ago sporting purple hair, twirling around so all could get the full effect of my beautiful purple tresses. In her place is a cautious woman, who walks carefully in her Sketchers, so as not to lose her balance, physically or emotionally.
I think I have figured it out. As long as I am at home, I don’t have to think about being sick. I just try to do the normal things that everyone tries to do on a daily basis. But…when I have to go to the Doctors, there is no fooling myself. I have to admit to myself that I HAVE CANCER. There it is. I have cancer and I cannot ignore it when I am at the Doctors office. I cannot pretend that my turban-wrapped head is a fashion statement. I have no hair. I have no choice. I have to deal with this. AND now I will have Chemo for another 4 to 6 months. No escape here. I must face the facts. But, according to my Doctor, we are going for the cure. That is the reason for the six more months of Chemo. I actually think I am starting to believe that we might be able to kill all of this cancer. Only time will tell. My Doctor thinks it is possible.