Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Moving Past Day 1, onto Day 2 of Daunorubicin

I wish I could run, in a drop-dead sprint, through these next few weeks. Be done with this, having felt nothing more than sore calves and skinned knees from that one time I bit it when I didn't see the crack in the pavement.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to run in years, and since any lingering tumor cells are hiding within my bone marrow, they would be traveling just as fast.

Yesterday's infusion didn't go as well as the three in September. The catheter was in the vein in my left arm correctly, so the Daunorubicin was flowing into my bloodstream, not into my flesh where it would cause damage. But the veins in my left arm had their own adverse reaction to it. The top and underside of my forearm were experiencing a burning sensation. So was my left shoulder. The nurse slowed down the injection and applied hot compresses, but I didn't begin to feel better until she'd finished the two chemo vials and had given me pain medicine.

I think the pain medication dose was too strong. Coupled with the effect of the chemo, my dad had to push me out of the building in a wheelchair. (I'm so happy he's here!) I lost my lunch on the front steps of the new, beautiful cancer center. I hop no one interpreted that as me being unappreciative of all they've done for me.

When we arrived home, Katelyn wanted to show me her new pumpkin and yellow-painted bus. My stomach felt unsettled again, so I brushed past her and ran to a bathroom upstairs. I always shower her with attention after not seeing her for a while, so my reaction must have surprised her. From the upstairs bathroom I could hear her howling downstairs. Dad or Ryan must have told her I was sick and tried to comfort her, to no avail.

A minute later, one of them set Katelyn down by my side as I was on my knees in the bathroom. She began to pat my back and say, "Pat pat pat." This is what it means to battle cancer and be a mother to a young toddler at the same time. She doesn't understand cancer, but she understands love. I hugged her, we moved to my bedroom, and I showed her where I was planning to lie down. We discussed I'd gone to the doctor, but no, I hadn't gotten any lollipops this time.

After dinner, she returned when my dad brought me a bowl of white food. I ate the amazing fresh bread that had come from a meal our neighbors, Greg and Maureen, had been so kind to bring us. Katelyn ate the white noodles that were in the bowl. We were a team.

She doesn't understand what's going on. Nor does she understand how much her love and happiness has made this experience easier for Ryan, my parents, and I. Yes, it is harder having to take care of her on top of myself, but it is so worth it.