So what I haven’t mentioned is that in-between my diagnosis and exactly 6 days after my Shandy attack, I started Chemical Warfare on my body. Chemotherapy is one of the most overwhelming, vulgar, disgusting and soul sucking experiences I have ever lived through, and I have lived through Burpies…but only just! Not only does it do all the things you thought it did (excluding the weight loss PS! But that’s a whole other blog) but it does so much more that you ever knew existed.
First and foremost- THE TASTE, HOLY SHIT, THAT TASTE!!! It never leaves you even long after the Chemo has ended. AND do you know what they tell you to combat it with?? Fucking Bicarb gargle. It’s the same as licking a metal toilet at the end of a music festival, then washing it out with old man sweat. Both equivalent in taste and vomit level. Along with the lingering taste, there is constant nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, migraines, dehydration, exhaustion, bone pain, nerve damage, tingling and numbness in your fingers and toes, stabbing stomach pain, joint pain, restless legs, hot flushes, fever, burning eyes and the all-important Mouth Ulcers. When I was younger, my first ever kiss was with a guy who had braces.. similar ending.
Secondly, with Chemo comes a lot of pain. Lots and lots of pain. Chemo hurts. It hurts your veins and hardens them. I chose to have a Port put in my chest so that it made it less painful to get poisoned and although there was a big needle they plunge into your chest at the start, it helped a lot. **Side note: I did this because I remember one of the nurses telling me about men they had to sedate because they screamed and thrashed around in so much excruciating pain. ** The other side effect I had with my type of chemo is one of the 4 drugs damaged my lungs and in the end they dropped to less than 70% capacity. We had to take the drug out of the treatment. This drug is so strong that I had to wear a medical necklace because if I was ever in an emergency situation (which happens weekly) I couldn’t have oxygen. The drug in combination with this would scar them irreversibly.
And thirdly, which is the sprinkles on this shit sandwich, throughout Chemotherapy you are what the Wikipedia would call, Neutropenic. Which means in someone touches you ,you die…well not that dramatic but yes, that dramatic. That part is the part they scare the living shit out of you with the most, if that hasn’t happened already at one of the other 2000 stages of demise. You get a temp, you die. You get a cold, you die. You go out in public, you die. You pick your nose, your bum will get jealous….anyways you get my drift.
SO ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?????
Now all those side effects, and that’s just a few, happen all at the same time and generally persist for 12 of the 14 days in between rounds. The two other days remaining, the Devil gives your soul back temporarily and you come out from under your rock. Kinda like when they turn the ugly lights on after you have been partying in a club all night….. yea that’s you. You finally drag your sorry ass out of the fetal position then cry for two days because you can’t bare to go back. And then it starts again. Add a 2 year old and a new born into the mix and TADAAA! FML. I did this for 7.long.months….that’s short in comparison to some people and I can honestly understand why people give up and let the cancer win …and remember some do chemo for years and years.
In the end and after each chemo you are left a quivering, cancerous, chemical infused mess grasping on with all your might to your life, a thermometer, a sick bag, a can of Glen20 and if you have a scrap of dignity left, that disappears as they hand you the adult nappy. Yep pretty much like being over 30 with kids, minus the sex…oh wait!