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It Changes How You Look at Yourself

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Yeah, I was high. The first treatment was the worst, not by far, but nevertheless the worst. Was it because it was new and I didn’t know what was happening, or because I waited so long to take the meds? I really don’t know, but rest assured I was going to keep those “scripts” filled.

I had recently redecorated my bedroom during the time I was off from my heart attack. A beautiful room with a new king sized bed and a tufted headboard I made myself. This was my sanctuary. I smoke pot, propped up on pillows for the first three of four days after treatment. I had this vision of becoming cancer skinny. I was actually looking forward to it! I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and barely had enough drive to get up and walk around the house. I couldn’t fathom leaving the house; mind you, this was the first experience so I didn’t know that it would be easier next time.

Each time I had a treatment, I saw the Doctor the next week, on Monday, if I remember. My in-laws took me the first time Doctor visit and follow-up to chemo, and knew I was in great pain from the meds. I’m sure it was very difficult for them, as they really had no understanding of what I was going through. Doctor told me to keep taking the meds and make myself move around, light walking, go to work when you feel like you can. “We want you to work and keep busy,” he said.

And take the meds. I keep coming back to this. Even though I had experience with drugs of every nature and was a regular pot smoker, this scared me. I asked the Doctor all kinds of questions, but he always came back with the drugs were going to help me through this and I wasn’t to worry about taking them. Easy for him to say. He didn’t have codeine, morphine and opium every day. Xanax at nite and the occasional beer. I was really concerned that I would become some sort of addict. But I was high so that thought left quickly. Ask any addict, as long as they are high then their addiction wasn’t a problem.

So I expect that I was addicted on some level. This had just begun, I still had five more treatments to endure and then radiation after that. It was a long road that I didn’t want to travel on. This was spring and it was supposed to be a time of growth and new-ness. 

Each week when the sickness came (it came by Saturday night like clockwork), I would spend a lot of time alone and high. I had friends who drove me places, family who would call and check on me, but for the most part I was alone. I had to look at myself differently.. Other people saw the cancer and not me, I saw a woman who was scared out of her mind, expecting to die; although honestly I don’t think that I was ever in danger of dying as they got all the tumor and there was no evidence that the cancer had spread; you still feel the fright of the possibility of end of life. Frankly I wasn’t scared of that, I was scared of pain. I had already had my share of pain with the heart thing and the surgeries and side effects. I couldn’t fathom experiencing this for 6 months or more. But that is what it was going to be.

And I had to buck up and deal with this … deal with the new me, deal with the pain, deal with the changes in my body, mind, and soul.

Look at myself as a fighter. Look at myself differently.


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