(Image by decar66 on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)
I spoke to Nurse Practitioner K this morning, after another night of not-so-good. Emotional response to the steroids notwithstanding, they are actually going to increase my dose slightly. I can also take over-the-counter diarrhea meds. This should hopefully get me through the weekend. I have not eaten nor drunk anything on the forbidden list in the past day, and yet my misery continues.
However, I realized while talking to her that my main focus is really The Drug, and when I can get more of it. (Because of course it feels so great to be on it?) It’s become my main life’s goal, to get back to the infusion room and get that IV in my arm. They can’t do it while I am this sick, though. Which means probably not next week either.
Turns out I’m thinking about this all wrong, according to Nurse Practitioner K. She reminded me that in immunotherapy, the point is to let the drug provoke an immune system response in the patient that will help them fight the tumors. So in fact, even though I have only had two of the initially forecast four doses, the discomfort I am feeling right now proves that I am in fact having a full-on immune response… it’s just not a very fun one. But just because I am uncomfortable doesn’t mean the tumors are not also getting their asses kicked.
It’s not very binary, is it? So disappointingly few things are. I need to stop making notches in my belt when it comes to this process, because that clearly will leave me nowhere. I need to let go and let science. It would help if I could comfort myself with food, but that isn’t practical or wise right now. Yoga has never been my thing. Meditation? I reckon that’s what I’m doing here (except I have an audience).
Lying in bed helps to a point, but eventually one has to get up. Today Young A has a special program at school and I don’t have a choice, I need to be there. So I will pull myself up by my camisole straps and make my best effort to look healthy and cheerful. I’ll put on a pair of jeans, even – which will probably be falling off of me at this point, ten pounds down from where I was two weeks ago. I’ll try to let Young A’s excitement reach me in a positive way, instead of letting it irritate me.
(Failing that, I can always come back home and crawl back to bed when it’s over.)