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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-02-04 18:58
Subject: [cancer] Heading into the third infusion
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, family, health, personal, shellyrae
Tomorrow is infusion three of twelve. mikigal was here for several days earlier this week, visiting and generally being helpful. shelly_rae comes in later this evening (well after I sink into a Lorazepam-induced torpor) to be with me over the weekend. Dad is driving us to the infusion center in the morning.

Been a rough week in the lower GI and the associated sleep issues. Otherwise the side effects have been reasonable. Have gotten a fair amount of writing done, as well as other life activities.

In terms of struggling with myself, I am trying to manage an unexpected resistance to the Lorazepam-Imodium combo I seem to need to be able to sleep, at least sometimes. I don't generally struggle with my need for medication. Lovastatin doesn't feel like a character flaw to me. Omeprazole isn't a moral failing. I can even handle the vague embarrassment of Viagra without flinching.

So why does an anti-diarrheal and a sleeping pill make me feel like a shameful failure? I spent some time with my therapist today unraveling this question. No good answers yet, but I think there's two separate issues. Imodium always makes me feel like hell the next day. The prospect of taking it nightly for the next five months is frankly freaking me out. As for Lorazepam, it's also an anti-nausea drug and an anti-anxiety drug. And I'm pretty resistant to psychoactives. That's why I stopped experimenting with street drugs very early on, and why I've always been a very light drinker. I hate anything that takes the edge off my mind.

Guess what? Chemo blunts me in all kinds of ways. I'm not sure I haven't focused some of those resentments on this particular med combo. In any case, I feel a bit of an idiot. Not done processing this one.

Another element requiring processing is the sense of dread I've had these past few days concerning tomorrow's infusion. I was terrified before the first session. I was almost blasé about the second session. Now I find myself dreading the time in the chair, the time on the pump.

This is not productive. Especially not with nine more sessions to go after tomorrow.

I am stronger than either my anxieties or my fears. I am also not so stupid as to think I can just be tough and swallow them whole. But boy, wrestling my myself isn't the club sport I signed up for.

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User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2010-02-05 03:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Chemo blunts me in all kinds of ways

its why its called a Chemo cocktail, because it fucks you up.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2010-02-05 04:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'll talk to DS to see if he has any words of wisdom, because I think he went through this in the early stages of doing his Remicade infusions. I know once he started reacting, it took three more tries before we found the right chemical/rate cocktail to make it work (Ativan was our friend. Our Very Very Good Friend.) You've enough experience now to know what you're going through, and to dread it...and the Amazon/Macmillan slapfest isn't helping, either.

Hugs. It'll go fine. Problem is, conscious brain says one thing, lizard brain says another.
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User: e_bourne
Date: 2010-02-05 05:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It is tough to have your mind dulled. Most epilepsy drugs make people stupid. Depakote made me such an idiot, I would punch in a floor on an elevator, and then forgot what floor I'd hit and never get off. Didn't stay on that one long. It's frustrating and angering beyond measure to know you are being stupid when you know you aren't normally that way. To feel your creativity slipping away. Even if you know, rationally, this is for the long term. What does that have to do with feelings? So I sympathize with the frustration, and I think it's entirely likely you have a lot of referred anger. It has to go somewhere. Once you are halfway, or past the halfway mark, it should get better. You can see the end of the tunnel. And really, hard to believe for you maybe, but you're doing great.
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Mary Dell: mama
User: marydell
Date: 2010-02-05 05:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hope the next round is more comfortable and that the dread turns into something less unpleasant.
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User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-02-05 05:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't know why taking aspirin for the blood clot bothers me more than any of the other meds I take, but it does. I hate that I'll have to take it forever. Transferance?

In cancer all the wrestling is with yourself.

First time is novel, a discovery. Second time is "hey, I can do this," third time is realization that you have to keep doing this, again & again. Third time is sobering knowledge of whats to come. Sorry sweets, I'll be there soon and with you all weekend.
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User: saoba
Date: 2010-02-05 05:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, when I played point on a friend's chemo support team in any given round of chemo the third session was the hardest mentally. You have some inkling of what's in store and the end is waaaay over there somewhere.

And that's hard.

Will be thinking of you guys all weekend and sending Good Thoughts.
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Shalanna: cheerleader
User: shalanna
Date: 2010-02-05 05:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts. There's a reality beyond this one (that you don't want to hear about, and that you already have heard about, no doubt) where you could draw support, and that's where those positive thoughts will be coming from--and you can't stop me sending them *bwa-ha-ha*

But hang in there, anyway.

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User: fjm
Date: 2010-02-05 08:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Some of us are hooked on reality. Not quite the same thing, but I always preferred the migraine to the migraine drugs. I hated it not feeling real.
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