I could barely say a word. Speaking was at a minimum during this period. Nausea consumed me already, and talking made it worse. I often had to cut telephone conversations because I felt the gagging begin.
The children were usually playing and watching television at that time. They always watched the same shows. One of their preferred daily entertainment was Barney & Friends. The big purple dinosaur would gather his friends at the end of the show, and they all sang and gestured the “I Love You” song.. I grew so tired of hearing it, but couldn’t bear to take it away from the kids.
After my ordeal was over and I was less confined to a couch, I would hear the song when Isabella watched it on the weekend. I was spared during the week, once she was at daycare three days a week in late 2005. “Oh my God, I can’t take that song any more.” What a horrible reminder. I had been brainwashed to feel torture at the sound of those lyrics. It didn’t have any thing to do with the dinosaur, and I was grateful my daughter had the television, colouring books, and toys to keep her preoccupied. But there was a sense of disgust from the association of being so sick and forced to watch it. A similar feeling I get from being in the oncology department on the fourth floor of the hospital – a blistering reminder, even today.
The week following chemotherapy was the worst. That’s when all the amenities were made available to me – painkillers for whatever would hurt; nausea pills that didn’t seem to have an effect on me; mouthwash for the sores that lasted the entire week; hemorrhoid cream that never eased the pain when the diarrhea came; and let’s not forget, the bucket for those uncontrollable urges. I became engrossed with symptoms that seemed to last an eternity. Day in and day out, I was a zombie to the meds and a slave to the side effects. The end of each session couldn’t come soon enough.
Lucky me, my menstrual cycle always began when I had my chemo. For some women, the cycle stops during chemo, but mine never missed a beat!
Have a wonderful day!