Tuesday, 6 December 2011
NOTHING UPLIFTING YET
Goddess knows I would just love to have something brave and cheerful to say to you for a change. Truth is though, that I’m only just at the point (7 days after my first chemo of this round) that I dare see friends or talk on the phone. Why? Because the cancer drugs and the drugs to mitigate the effects of the cancer drugs make me mean as the proverbial snake. I have to maintain radio silence for fear that I will aim some malicious, warty-toad of a remark at an unsuspecting (and undeserving) well-wisher.
Or, just for the sake of variety – I plunge into despair and desolation so deep I resemble the Tarot deck’s Ten of Swords. I mean, just look at the picture -how dead can you get?
Today is a little better. I went shopping with a friend. And then we went out to lunch. Two stalwart souls I’ve known for 40 years lugged my groceries upstairs and came to visit – in spite of my complete lack of charm or civility. Thank heavens. And while I felt just as bilious as I have for the last 7 days, it was an improvement to feel nauseated and bilious outside the apartment – wearing makeup, dressed like a human being instead of The Creature From the Laundry Basket. I count my gains in small increments. Getting dressed. Washing the dishes. Taking the garbage out. Answering the phone.
I don’t have to dig so hard for the losses and currently, the one looming largest is a significant hearing loss in my left ear. At first I thought it was the cold that is still lingering on after over a month…blocked ear canal etc. But today, I googled “chemo and deafness” and guess what turned up?
“Deafness From Chemotherapy More Common Than We Think”
I had mentioned this creeping deafness to my GP, my medical oncologist and my radiation oncologist – all of whom either didn’t know what to say or didn’t bother to tell me what they knew. My GP looked in my ear and remained silent. My medical oncologist simply did nothing and didn’t comment. And here's the icing on the cake - the worst offender is Cisplatin - the big ugly toxic gun they are using on me.
Tomorrow I see the radiation oncologist – and I’ll mention it. Again. And I’ll ask about the possible reduction in IQ that may come about as a result of the brain radiation that is scheduled as the grand finale to my treatment.
Tell you this much. At this point, it’s too late to turn back – but knowing what I know now, I’m not altogether sure I’d agree to this kind of “cure” ever again.And I think I'm about to stop feeling guilty about being angry. Before anyone jumps in to tell me that the docs are doing all they can - I know that. But I can't help wondering how many "deficits" they would be willing to personally take on were they in my situation. And how would they feel about the (literally) deafening silence from those in charge of caring for them?
Poor readers. I'll try for something more uplifting soon. A few more days, I tell myself, and except for the deafness, I'll feel like my old self. A self I remember as being a great deal more charitable than the self I've been stuck with for the last week or so....