The night before your first chemotherapy infusion feels…
Overwhelming. So many friends call to check in, to say they care, to ask what they can do. I want them to call, I need the connection, but I don’t know what to tell them. So many drugs. Which ones do I take tonight? Which ones tomorrow? Did we get those vitamins and folate and glutamine the oncology nurse recommended? So many things left undone.
Helpless. I have no choice but to do this thing, no way out but forward. It’s kind of like being 9 months pregnant, with no other option but to go through labor, except you don’t end up flooded with endorphins and holding a cute baby at the end.
Determined. I didn’t HAVE to do this. I made the choice to do chemotherapy. The docs recommended it, of course, yet I could have said no. Some women do. But I said yes. Why doesn’t this make me feel better?
Cranky. Does my daughter have to argue about everything? Does the dog have whine like that? Why can’t my husband read my mind?
Nervous. It’s like the day before a high school cross-country meet. You know it’s going to hurt. You know you’re going to get tired. But you have no idea exactly what the course will be like, or how it’s all going to turn out. Which team will win? I’ve been listening to a book that describes chemo as setting off a bomb in your body. Is it really that bad? Really?
Fuzzy. There’s a buzzing in your ears, an out-of-time, out-of-place feeling. Like unexpectedly running into someone you’ve loved intensely, and lost, it knocks you off balance.
Tomorrow. 8 a.m. UCSF Breast Care Center, 2nd Floor for blood tests etc. Then 10 a.m., 5th floor (I think) for the poison party.