My New Journey

So this is where I get off… to embark on a journey that will be difficult yet exhilarating.  I am so excited about sharing my news about having hired an editor to help me with the next chapter – the preparation for publication.  

So although I will be seizing to post every Tuesday (there is much much more you haven’t seen), I will keep you abreast of the developments in the coming months with respect to the editing of my manuscript (like if I start pulling out my hair!)  In order to put all my attention in preparing the final copy, I hope to have your support throughout this important process. 

There are so many aspects to publishing a work.  Setting aside the writing, there is a cover to think about, the right title, where to publish it, how to promote it, etc…

For newcomers and for those who are not up to date, please take this opportunity to head back to December 2015 to begin reading the journey of my cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, and what I have learned about myself and my life.  Feel free to post comments and start conversations, and I will be happy to join in.

Profoundly appreciative of my followers and readers, I promise to provide an inspiring, well-written story of my experience, with the aspiration that it will send chills of hope to each of you. 

Thank you again.

With love,

Patricia

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Like Nothing

When the nurse would try to prick my arm, it was usually difficult.  This particular time, when Howard was with me, he and I chatted casually as the nurse attempted six times to find a vein.  She finally connected me to my lifeline, and left me with all those taped cotton balls devouring my forearms.

“What a champ!”

“When you’re doing chemo, it seems your veins don’t want to be found.”  Would you blame them?  Chemotherapy hardens the veins, so they become smaller, and are hard to pinpoint, even with a needle.

Howard smiled at the downplay.

Though I seemed brave, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  There was some pain as the nurse searched for a vein that didn’t give her trouble, so it distracted me from my conversation with Howard.  Even today, when I receive my B12 injections, and the nurse asks me if I’m alright, I let her know, “You never get used to it.”

“It was very nice of you to come today.  I’ll never forget it.”

 

Stay tuned for an important message next week.  Hope you’ve been connecting in some small way with the story of how I got through cancer…

Be well,

Patricia

Poison In My Veins

My brain flourishes with images of my insides dying when receiving chemo.  The cells are attacked and become breathless, like ants in an ant trap.  I am disgusted as I watch the liquid being pushed into my tiny veins.  Treatment after treatment, it was proven that this was too much for my little body.

The nurses would come by to check on me or to change the medication from anti-nausea remedies, including Benadryl, then to another, then to a rinse, then the chemo, and finally another rinse.  The other patients in the long, narrow room all had their own little space;  and, aside from the occasional glance and warm smile, we each kept to ourselves.  It was generally quiet, but you could hear the nurses sharing their personal agendas amongst each other, and asking their patients questions about pain levels and symptoms.  The sounds of the machines ticking as they released medications, the ripping of packages for new needles, or the tearing of tape to cover the injection site made me cringe, because they reminded me of where I was and what was circulating inside me.

Mariano usually helped me to extend the seat before he left, and the nurse eventually brought me the vomit tray without my having to ask.  The popsicles we’d bring in a cooler that were to be sucked on during the actual chemo injection would bring chills to my already shivering body.  The popsicles were supposed to help stop the mouth sores.

When my husband would return, he’d always ask if I had eaten the popsicle.  I’m not sure if the frozen treat ever helped, so sometimes I would leave it for him.  I always got the sores, and they tortured the inside of my mouth for a week.  Even the rinse they prescribed didn’t wash them away until many days later.

Rice Pudding

During my chemotherapy, that lasted a few hours each day for five days every three or four weeks, my husband was allowed to take time off work to take me to the hospital and stay with me.  I hated when he’d leave for his rice pudding – at least an hour.  Even though he’d usually sit there and read while I received my injections, I couldn’t stand being alone.  Nausea kept me from speaking much, but I loved the company.

During those sessions, I felt as though he was detached.  Was that his coping mechanism?  I realize that Mariano has a way of dealing with unpleasant situations – by disconnecting himself from his emotions.  That was welcomed at times, when I needed strength.  Other times, I would have liked for him to share his thoughts.

He never asked me how I was dealing with all of it, but how many people in your life feel comfortable enough to bring up such obvious devastation?  I would probably not have been able to explain the thoughts I carried each day, and didn’t expect him to understand anyway.  No explanation can make another person comprehend how receiving chemo makes you feel or knowing your death may be close.

Cherished Friends

Howard, my boss, told me he wanted to come to one of my chemo treatments.  He didn’t ask me, he just did.  It was wonderful knowing that the friendship he always claimed was real.  Not that I needed the validation, honestly, but we all know how nice it is to receive acknowledgment of what we may feel is only in our mind.  It showed me he was affected as well from my ordeal, and that he wanted to contribute to my support team.  He would call my house regularly.  If I was too ill, he would only speak to my mother, forcing her to use her broken English.

The day Howard joined me in my chemo session was quite hysterical.  After I was escorted to my treatment room – a different location from my usual – Mariano went for his rice pudding and a walk, so Howard and I could catch up.

It was winter time and quite cold, but that never stopped my husband from being outdoors.  He’s no sport buff, but he will walk – even for hours – in bitter cold, with his layered thermal clothing.

 

Who has walked that extra mile for you?  Would you do the same?