It's so hard to watch your kid come home after a day of chemotherapy, feeling nauseous and still having to drink stuff meant to protect your kidney that smells like rotten berries, soaked in car oil that has been sitting in 100 degree temperature for a year. He holds his nose, tries his best to chug it and then keep it down. This process lasts about thirty minutes from start to finish.
This "procedure" all started out early yesterday morning, with Frank and Zack going to Asheville Cancer Center at 8:30 am. The strong "red" colored chemo was today, this is the one that makes him the sickest. I am usually the one that goes with him for this treatment, so not being there had me feeling anxious all day. I knew he would be just fine without me and even though Frank got everything set up for him and then headed out to work just down the road, I still wish I had been with him. The option was there, but it would have been more for me than him ,as he slept most of the time.
We touched base every few hours, most of the time it was the same. "How do you feel?". "Ugh." was his only response. They never did find out the results of the EKG and Echo, but we all determined that if there was a problem that would have been the first thing they would have shared. They didn't finish until 6 pm. Grabbing dinner on their way home, I finally saw them around 8 pm. I am glad that his appetite hasn't been affected too much.
I have been on a personal roller coaster of emotions ever since the Holidays ended. I took myself off of one of my medicines which didn't help at all, so I called in the prescription and will pick that up tomorrow, but most of it stems from day after day having to watch your kid go through all of this crap. I am angry, sad, tired and fed up. We have nothing to look forward to after the Holidays and they weren't all that great anyway. One day to the next is planning for the next visit to the center or hospital or x-rays or well, if you have read the blogs you pretty much have the idea. Zack came to me last night and said " Mom, If I have one more person tell me that we are half way through,I think I will punch them". He says "it feels like an eternity when you are going through it." "I know people are trying to help or make me feel better, but it really doesn't work, really there is nothing anyone can do to make me feel better!" I try and explain to him that people mean well, but I understand all too well. When you are in the thick of it, it's hard to see or even dare to see a time when it will be done, and then you are still dealing with the fear of "what if it returns?" Thank goodness for Sidi, who jumps on the bed and pushes Zack out of the way so he can sit next to me. We get a good laugh as Zack, playing with all the with the dog, tells him not to push him around. Zack decided to go and watch football with Frank and it was so wonderful to hear the two of them laughing and yelling at the TV, unfortunately it didn't last long as he started to feel sick again and went to bed. I started the blog last night and ended up falling asleep with my hands on the keyboards, a common occurrence of late.
It is now Thursday and the second day of chemo. Frank again takes Zack as I'm working and he can again work in Asheville while the treatment is being given. Today they gave him Benedryl to help him sleep a bit and handle the treatment better so communication during the day was a lot less than yesterday. They finished around two and headed straight home. Zack called and said that he was still not feeling well and going to go home and sleep.
I arrive home from work to a pair of grilled hamburgers that Frank had fixed. I throw them on a plate and stick them in the microwave, without any fanfare. Food has become my enemy. I joined Weight Watchers hoping to gain control as I am tired of being 100 lbs over weight, tired of the jokes, of talking and thinking about food all the time. It had become my friend for so many years, now it is my enemy as I hide behind it, thinking it is going to make me feel better. Obviously it has caused the reverse. Once I finished eating dinner, I went to check on Zack again, he was at his desk, still feeling pretty bad. He has to go in the morning for a Neulasta shot and a blood transfusion. They are planning on one unit of blood unless he is feeling worse tomorrow. His numbers were down, but not too low. They do expect them to go lower due to the treatment, so this is also to cover him for the weekend. He had arranged for Drake to go with him tomorrow, but with him feeling this bad I tell him I want to go. Drake is more than welcome to come too, but I insist on being there with him. He doesn't argue, he simply says gives me the thumbs up sign.
I am working very hard at being in a better frame of mind, but it's a challenge. I need to stay strong for Zack, and Frank who is now dealing with his own emotions regarding our sons treatment, his fathers passing, his best friend moving and me in my grumpy state of mind. Last night my mother in law called and "caught" me crying. She is a very strong woman who has survived her own cancer scare, lost her sister and brother to cancer, and then took care of my father in law for the past 10 years (not an easy task to say the least). She has compassion in spades, but knows that tough love is also something I need every now and then. Of course those close to me know too well my "wrath" if they hit me with it at the wrong time. Linda and I discuss several things and when we get ready to hang up she says, in her strong Southern accent, "Now listen woman, you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself , get off your ass and get some sleep." I couldn't have said it better myself . How can I argue with that? Well, today I can, but maybe not tomorrow!
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