Wednesday, February 23, 2011

That damn other shoe

Ok so it's been a rough couple of days and I have no one to blame but myself. That's what I get for being a judgemental bitch. So it turns out this face this is quite painful. At it's worst it feels like my face is on fire and some is taking a box cutter to my nose. It's also crazy gross to look at I have no idea how anyone looks in my direction right now. And it bleeds, which is just lovely.

But again, ahead of myself. So Sunday and Monday I spent most of the day in bed sleeping. I enjoyed this because for the first time in weeks I am actually sleeping. It feels like sleep, I'm having stupid dreams. I cheated on Top Chef and tried to sleep with Tom Collichio to stay in the game. I have no culinary or sexual skills to have made qualifying for the show or staying on the show a possibility. But sleeping was really lovely. But it did mean two days of not engaging in life for a while, but it was a trade off I was willing to make.

The poor trade off I made however was the hydration, by sleeping so much during the day I wasn't drinking as much as I needed and it was a problem come Tuesday. So I wake up Tues. morning raring to go, I decide I will not spend it in bed. Two days of hibernation was enough. I head downstairs and grab myself a yogurt from the fridge. And guess what happens? My head goes light and my hearing goes. I decide to keep this to myself, I'm convinced I can battle vasovagal on my own. It's personal, I hate this stupid thing, I want to stare it down.

So I eat breakfast and sure enough standing up is something I can't do for long. So I hit the water hard and battle for 2 hours. Battle means, I sit on the couch and drink more water than is humanly possible to consume and hope that after a while I can just stand up to take a shower. I finally make my shower attempt and it's a no go. The tinnitus (my cue that I am about to pass out if I don't get to at least a sitting position) is bad. So now I have to let the cat out of the bag. I lay down on the couch and all parties are informed. My parents arrive and the discussion of whether or not to call the doctor begins. My poor mother in law is standing over me with glass in hand so I can take alternate sips of Gatorade and water. Really in my head I have hundreds of snap shots like this, they are going in a folder called "this is what love looks like in action".

I think that since this is happening at the same point into this chemo round as it did in round 1 makes me feel like, it's ok, I'll just keep drinking and if I don't get better I'll head to the ER. But for now I feel much better than I did on maple syrup day, so I think I got this. So after a couple of hours of hydration and trying to make each other laugh while I lie on my ass, I finally take a shower.

I was fine until I get out and I pat my face and it's bleeding and all of a sudden I'm calling for a chair. I sit sopping wet with my mom realizing it's my face that's triggering this. You see one of the triggers of vasovagal syncope is the sight of blood. So now I'm just one big fucking loser. My face is actually grossing me out, literally. What an ass!

Once I realize this though I am better able to remain upright. But I still feel pathetic. I ended the day with Chinese food because greasy udon seemed like the logical answer to a day like this.

But that's what I get for deciding how other people should feel about their ordeal. I feel pretty damn cruddy right now, mostly hypocritical. Which only makes me human I know, but it's still cruddy. But one thing I've been reading is that the worse your rash is the better the medicine is believed to be working. So I'm trying to look at it as the epic battle between my cancer and tarceva is playing out on my face. I'll take it believe me, I want to be cancer free more, trust me on this. Plus I have a dermatologist apt, tomorrow and I'm confident he'll give me pointers on how to deal better.

But so far the pain can be managed with cold compresses and Vaseline with aloe and cucumber seems to have the best effect. It's soothing and helps with the inflammation. And it doesn't bother me that Sophia keeps asking me where my nose is, I find that amusing. And now she wants me to put lotion on her back because her back is itchy, which I think is totally adorable.

The other rash, the one that is on my upper chest, which doesn't hurt in any way, is becoming spectacularly speckled. It's becoming a work of art! I am actually quite enjoying it since it doesn't feel like it's tearing my skin open.

The strangest thing about this fight is the passivity of it. Just waiting to see what the next front is. Now it's my face and that, believe it or not will pass. From what I understand it takes 4 months for the worst of it will pass, I'm almost through month 1. From this point on it'll just flare up from time to time. And something else will come along. It's all a matter of finding my footing each time. I guess I just wish I was faster at adjusting.

1 comment:

  1. would anti-itch lotion like Aveeno or something with oatmeal help with your facial itchiness/fire?
    don't beat yourself up for not adjusting "quickly" enough. i think you're f*cking amazing (please apologize to your mom b/c i'm swearing on your blog :)

    here's a Jack Donaghy quote to (hopefully) make you laugh:
    "Shoulders back, Lemon. You're not welcoming people to castle Frankenstein."