Breast Cancer Entry Seventeen

When a person gets injected with toxic chemicals they get sick! Ugh….The effects of chemo are very difficult. My 1” hairs are falling out all over. They pile up over the shower drain and cover my pillow. I can’t imaging how hard this would be if my hair was still long. I just keep thinking about some child wearing my hair to make them feel normal and it comforts me.

My lack of blood cells has altered my skin. My feet are cracked and bleeding. I have to apply antiseptic creams and keep them covered. I am deathly afraid of cuts and scratches. A few years ago a sweet friend of mine got a scratch while working in her garden. Her white-cell-deprived body had no ability to respond and she died from flesh-eating bacteria in less than 24 hours. The Doctors tell me the shots I have been getting to stimulate cell production (are those the ones that make my bones feel like they are wrestling to get out of my body? Yes!} are miraculous and will help me. Still, there are always those weeks when I know my cell counts are rock bottom and I must avoid any danger. My skin is thin and I look bluish…sigh.

We have placed hand cleaner and surgical masks at all the strategic entry points in our house. No one comes to see me that isn’t willing to garb up. There’s no hugging and kissing during this period and my grandchildren are not allowed around during my low points. I am realizing that isolation is part of this routine. This may be the most difficult thing to bear. I never have to bear it for long though. Someone always calls me or I get a package in the mail with some heartfelt gift. Amazing…

One of the things that is really bothering me is that I am having a hard time focusing on anything for long. They call it “chemo-brain”. I would like to make some cards and get some personal things done, but my thinking is so scrambled! I am like a three year old on a walk. You know how a little child will start out for the driveway but will be diverted by the simplest thing and end up going another direction? Well, that’s what my brain function is doing. I rarely make it to the driveway. It’s maddening. I hope people will forgive me for my neglect in response to so much kindness. When my brain heals up I am going to make amends!

I spend most of my days taking care of myself – and lots of hours alone. Poor Monty, I wait for him to come every night so I can take him hostage. He has a hilarious thing he hollers when he comes through the door at night – “Honey, it’s your only friend!”. He’s not my only friend but he is the best friend I could ever want day in and day out. He plays the board game Settlers of Katan/Cities & Knights with me almost every night for my entertainment. He fetches for my tired limbs and he runs back and forth to the store for any little creature comfort or prescription I may need. Oh yeah, he does bug me when he rubs my head and says “wish I had a watermelon.” And it bugs me when doesn’t clean up around the house more. I turned over in bed the other night and he was sleeping with a surgical mask on. All is forgiven.

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