Give peace to my body. Give peace a chance – flower cone power. A peace offering.
This is my face. Skeptical guy. Totoro cookie like a magic eightball.
This was me one week after my second round of chemo. The sun was out, Spring was calling outside. We decided to walk around the block, take it easy. Many friends had delivered to me some great scarves for some more soft and scarf-y ladylike cancer looks. I was feeling pretty ok, like I could tolerate some social activity and walk the neighborhood. So I tied up this lovely cotton scarf up into my best Amy Winehouse and smoothed on some lipstick. I looked in the mirror and thought, “well gee this hasn’t been so bad.” I asked Rich to take a photo of me in front of this urban looking wall in our neighborhood. I had an Amy Winehouse joke I wanted to make. I was feeling like I could eat something. I was holding Teddy’s hand. I had my arm around my husband while Teddy rode on top of his shoulders. We looked at the trees and flowers. We looked for neighborhood cats. I felt happy.
That’s when the chemo demons heard me. They said “Woh. This lady is getting off too easy this round. Let’s f*ck with her.”
So they took me down. The next day I broke out in hives all over my body. My head was covered in red itchy welts. My eyes swelled up. Then I started getting a fever and the chills, a dangerous sign of infection for a person who’s blood cells were annihilated. I ended up at the emergency room, weak as a slug, hives broken out all over my body – even my crotch – and my hands were ballooning up to cartoonish proportions, like someone had injected them with air. I was treated for a kidney infection, then sent home – only to come back the next morning because my ring finger, tightened to purple knuckles from my wedding band, was swelling like a jumbo sausage and I had to get my wedding ring sawed off. Nothing would work on the hives – dose after dose of Benadryl and I was still in agony. So my oncologist said I could try half a steroid, a powerful anti inflammatory, although it would also further weaken my immune system. I was desperate. Each night I prayed I would feel better tomorrow. I had to feel better tomorrow???
The steroids worked – except they gave me burning pain in my stomach, chest and throat, and the most awful searing pain in my forearms, so much so that I could not move. As long as I stayed still they didn’t hurt. So on Sunday, I laid in bed on Mother’s Day, frozen in time, crying most of the day, tears trickling into my bald head and pooling on my pillow. I watched The Princess Bride. I watched The Mindy Project. I prayed for time to pass and for the pain to pass. By Monday when I woke up, the pain had mostly dissipated in my arms. I swallowed, and the burning had mostly gone away. I sat up in awe, in fear of what might be next. Each day I trepadatiously awoke, fearful of any itch, pain, weirdness. But now it’s Friday and while I am very tired, I think I made it through.
Me and my boo. Dude looks like a lady and he’s perfectly happy to be “just like mom” – scarf guy! If my T wants to dress like a lady now or in the future that is fine by me. I will accept and love him no matter who he becomes.
In his Superman costume from his Auntie Shelley – I don’t remember Superman having baggy-ass pants?? He was so excited to wear it. No morning is complete without a little stick bass jamming. All week Teddy was asking me if I was feeling better. He told me he missed me. My heart broke, as I laid in bed, missing out on his days. I want to savour each one of his little sweet and funny days. He’s growing so fast, talking so much, saying so much hilarious stuff that I want to record forever. I’m happy I’m finally feeling better and I can play with him once again. We mostly pretend we’re driving cars and motorbikes and stopping at various drive-thrus and restaurants for “hamgunbars and chocolate milk.” Hehe. PS this is nice – I was nominated as one of Vancouver’s top mom bloggers. Sending you all love and wishes for sunny happy days. xo Lyndsay
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