Kay, soo...I'm an idiot, and last week, to make an extremely long story short, I wasn't able to take my anti-depressants for two nights in a row. Faulty pharmacy hours, my forgetfulness, etc. etc.
Do you know what happens when you go off your anti-depressants cold turkey? Bad things, my friends. Bad things.
Let me tell you a leetle story.
Our honeymoon. January of 2001. We go to Cancun. Kar, being the idiot she is, forgets her medications, including her anti-depressants. She starts having heart palpitations. She's dizzy every time she stands up. She's nauseated. And she bawls uncontrollably at the smallest thing.
Ben must have been like, "What on earth did I get myself into here?...." Haha! Poor guy. He truly is longsuffering to put up with the likes 'o' me.
Anywho, when we got home, I had my meds again, and all was right with the world.
So last weekend, I was a hot mess. I had all the physical symptoms listed above, which made me feel crappy, plus I cried and cried and cried. It would let up for awhile, and then something would set me off again. The kids arguing with each other. Bumping my thumb on the cabinet. Really stupid crap.
Sunday, the pharmacy didn't open until 10, and church started at 10. It was important to me to be there, because I was going to get sustained in sacrament meeting and set apart right after it. I tried to put on my Big Girl Pants and buck up. I decided to go get my medicine during Sunday School. No judgie. Sometimes you have to buy stuff on Sunday. When that stuff will make you stop crying nonstop and make you stop feeling dizzy and nauseated and like you're going to have a heart attack.
So of course, I cried all morning before church, but then I pulled it together enough to put on my makeup. I decided to put on my fake eyelashes, because I have, like, three eyelashes left on each eyelid. And like three eyebrow hairs. Unfortunately, any hair I had left at the end of chemo continued to fall out when the chemo was all over. I was warned of this. Ah well.
I had practiced with them before and even wore them on my anniversary:
Of course, because I'm a psycho without my meds, I cried all during sacrament meeting. It was so dumb. I'm really hoping people thought I was just really feeling the Spirit.
At one point, Ben and I looked at each other at the same time, across the pew, with our kids between us, and I saw Ben do a double-take. He started silently chuckling (he's so cute when he does that. For reals. I love his silent chuckling), and he leaned over and whispered to me, "Um, your eyelashes are on your boob."
Wide-eyed, I looked down, and sure enough, my left set of falsies was on my left boob. I was mortified. I whispered, "Is the right side still on??" Still silently chuckling, he answered in the affirmative. So I started bawling again as I plucked my fake lashes off my fake boob. Like I said, the smallest things set me off.
As soon as I pulled it together, I told him I was going to the bathroom, and I grabbed my bag and headed out of the chapel. Because I had also realized that I had put on a bra that day, and my right boob no longer fills the bra, and it was all lumpy and weird-looking on that side. Sigh. So I wanted to take it off and stuff it in my bag. Which I ended up doing.
And you know what? When I got into the bathroom and took a good look in the mirror, the right side fake lashes were already starting to peel off as well. "Screw this," I whispered to myself. And I threw them right into the trash.
Fake eyelashes kind of mess up your eyeliner, and since I didn't want to look any more of a freak show, I washed my eye makeup off and tromped back into sacrament meeting.
No more fakies. I think I look just as well with some nice liquid liner, so that's what I'm sticking with. But I think you should know that I have some new, little teeny eyelashes sprouting along my lash line. And that's exciting.
As far as an update on all things cancer, here you go:
1. Lingering Chemo Side Effects: Still feel like I have a UTI all. the. time. Still have low blood pressure. Still feel like my tongue is burnt. Not bad, overall. The UTI-ish feeling isn't my favorite, but we're working on it. And no, I don't have a UTI. We've checked. And checked. And checked.
2. Herceptin Side Effects: None. Yessss!
3. Radiation: They're still taping my boob to the table. And now I also have to "breathe shallowly" during the CT scan they do every day before radiation and also during the actual radiation. They tried to coach me on it. It will prevent the radiation from hitting my heart and causing damage. It's hard. It makes me feel a bit panicky. My lungs are just aching to take in a full breath, but I have to breathe shallowly for probably two or three minutes for the first part and two or three minutes for the second part. I feel like I'm suffocating. I'm thinking that forcing someone to breathe shallowly would be a good interrogation technique for the FBI. Because it's torture.
As far as radiation-related fatigue, I just have to go to bed a lot earlier than I used to. We're talking 9, 9:30. At that point, my body just won't go anymore. I used to stay up and watch TV with Ben until 10:30 or 11, but those days are gone. Someday I'll feel more peppy.
My skin is doing alright. It's starting to take on a pink color and it's a little sensitive where my upper arm kind of brushes my armpit. But it's hanging in there.
4. Therapies: I go to physical therapy once a week for my dumb foot injury, and some days I think it really helps. Other days, I'm not so sure. I go to occupational/physical therapy twice a week for my lymph node arm, where this lady kind of massages my armpit and manipulates it around. It's very gentle and relaxing.
5. The hospital I go to for all this stuff offers free Raiki, Acupuncture, and Massage for cancer patients! I get to start that in a couple of weeks. I can't wait!!
6. Hair: Growing little stubby eyelashes. Hair on my head is growing rather quickly now, and it's as soft as baby's hair. I shaved my legs for the first time last week. I've got to be honest - it was exciting! Because it means I'm rejoining the human race and don't feel like such a freak show.
7. Chemo Brain: Still there. Like crazy. In Relief Society, I stood up and told the ladies that I was going to try so, so hard, and that I'm memorizing their faces and their personalities, but that my brain isn't doing names right now. And of course, I bawled the whole time I was talking. They must think I'm a piece of work! Sigh.
8. Oh! And I got this intestinal infection called C. Diff last week. That's what was making me so sick. I'm on good medicine for it now, and I'm doing much better. People who have received chemo often get it. It's neat. Not nearly bad as The Great Nor-Easter of December. That was horrifyingly awful. This was just...moderately awful.
I've felt a little annoyed at all the stuff I have to deal with physically and emotionally, but Pit Bull put it all in perspective for me as I listened to his new song in the car the other day. He says, and I quote, "Any day above ground is a good day. Remember that." So thanks, Pit Bull. It's true. And I appreciate you reminding me of that. Even though your songs are derogatory to women. And I usually change channels when I hear you going, "Woooooo-OOOOOOO!" at the beginning of each of your songs. I was having a weak moment. Curse you and your infectious dance beats.
everyday above ground is a great day, remember that