Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[cancer] State of the Jay, as of chemo day -2

Chemo is in two days. Yesterday was crazed. I had a physical therapy appointment at the clinic (which is a separate facility associated with the hospital I use). Ran long.

Had to pick up some FMLA paperwork at the Medical Oncology unit. Expected that to be a five minute process, was there for nearly an hour. A productive, entertaining hour, admittedly, as a very sharp and funny oncology Nurse Practitioner talked to me at length, but not what I'd expected.

Had to get some bloodwork done — checking for celiac, a potential culprit in my ongoing bowel issues — they were training a new phlebotomist and grew very excited when I gave my standard, "I'm a hard stick, here's what you need to do, yadda yadda" routine. (My personal best is 13 jabs to draw blood. Sometimes they have to call in IV Therapy to hit blood in me. I've never been a junkie, but I have deep, flabby veins that run away from needles at the best of times, and over the past two years of cancer treatments have accumulated some impressive vein scarring in the usual places.) So I cheerfully submitted to being a jab test dummy and training target, and that took about twenty minutes instead of the usual three to five. (The phlebotomist's apprentice did finally get me in one jab, so mad props to her.)

Finally, rather late due the lengthy delays at the clinic, I ran off to the train station to collect shelly_rae. Later that day, saw my therapist.

Here's where I am...
  • I have almost no mental and emotional reserves. I am quick to be crabby, and I miss jokes. This is Stress 101, but I still don't like it.

  • I have been eating erratically, including a highly unusual amount of junk food. Not even my most ordinary comfort eating patterns, either. Stress 101a, methinks.

  • I am terrified of chemo at many levels, but quite confident that I will be the master of this process, rather than letting it master me.

  • On Thursday night or Friday morning, I will probably lose my shit utterly. calendula_witch and shelly_rae will scrape me up off the ground and keep me going.

  • calendula_witch and I have developed a ritual for marking the chemo sessions which impressed my therapist. She, I and shelly_rae will be implementing the first part of this tomorrow evening. Yes, I will document it.

  • I am planning to liveblog and/or Tweet my first infusion session on Friday, as much as is practical.

That's me. Jumbled, frightened, determined.

And may I hear a hearty "Fuck Cancer!" from the crowd?
Tags: calendula, cancer, health, healthcare, personal
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