Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Norm!" and The Premier of the “Starter-Kit”

A couple of days ago, I talked about all of the optional medications that the doctors give you to cope with your cancer. What I haven’t talked about are all of the ones that really aren’t optional. Between the two, I now feel like “Norm!” (from Cheers) when I walk into Walgreen’s. They just keep adding them for this or that. I show up everyday about the same time. They always have one ready for get the picture. For example, I went to the dentist on Tuesday because I was told that it’s extremely important to get your teeth cleaned 2-4 weeks before chemo so that they don’t rot out of your head during it. OK. I went.

So, I asked for “the cleaning of a lifetime”, which I was getting apparently from the taste of the blood, when I happened to mention to my hygienist that I had a port installed when I had my surgery. She dropped her tools and ran out of the room. Next thing I know the dentist is explaining to my why I need to rush off to the pharmacy to get a 2000 mg dose of Amoxicillin as soon as I leave there and shoving a prescription in my hand. “It’s prophylactic”, she said, “but you better get there as soon as you leave here.” Apparently the bacteria stirred up from cleaning your teeth is really bad if you have permanent foreign objects installed in your body. Who knew? And why the word prophylactic? Why not precautionary? That seems a little more appropriate…

I had already been to the pharmacy on Monday to pick up my Coumadin, that I now take daily, to prevent me from having a blood clot from the port. So, this port that is going to help me in chemo so much has really been a pain so far. Especially since the knots won’t seem to fall off the incision, which has COMPLETELY healed except for those stinking knots. My mom had a surgery a couple years ago and her knots took so long to fall of that she thought they were just there for good! (It has only been handy for that 6 year old boy in me that likes to show people things that they might think are gross. “Here, feel it…”)

So for more than a week, I have been developing this new “condition”. It basically feels like my body from my collar bone to the bottom of my ribcage is being drug across a cheese grater. My clothes hurt me. Typing this hurts me. My post-surgical cami with the stuffed “falsies” hurts me. I have put up with it because it wasn’t that bad until yesterday when I realized that it was getting worse, not better. So, yes, another trip to Walgreen’s last night. Apparently, I am having chest spasms from the tissue expanders. It doesn’t feel like what I thought spasms were, but I’ll do anything to fix this. So, I got the Rx. My sister, Michelle, was with me when we picked it up. I was bummed when they guy said, "That'll be $25." No generic, which matters when you're going EVERYDAY for a new drug. But, when we pulled away and Michelle said, "You're insurance saved you $287.99" I almost drove off the road. Those pills cost more than an iPhone!

I couldn’t take it until today at 4:00 so I don’t know if it's going to work yet. It has to be taken at 4:00 to maximize it’s result and prevent me from being a zombie during business hours. It knocked me out cold tonight from 8-10:30, but I'm all awake now! Great. Not sure if this is feels like the nerves in my face did when they were repairing. That took months.

So, all day the irritation and suffering from the clothes just kept getting worse. I wanted to rip my top off, but there’s some silly HR rule against that…and no one deserves to see that anyway. But, the pressure from the stuffed “falsies” was more than I could take. We had an important presentation today that was physically horrendous, even though it went well. So, I yanked them out of the tank and sported my new “starter kit” as soon as I got out of that room. It didn't fix the problem, but it did give me quite a bit of relief from the pressure. It also made me realize that I don't look that bad. Most people didn't really notice unless I told them.

So, I'm just wondering how long it's going to take me to do the same with the hair at some point. I think it will be sooner than anyone expects. I began this process thinking that always looking as normal as possible was the point. Now, I'm not so sure. I need to be able to adjust to the fact that for at least a while, I will live a new normal.


kitykity said...

A new normal! Hooray! Hooray for a new normal! Everything's gonna be okay. :))

Tonya said...

Your starter kit looked pretty good to me!


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