The white cooler of pills arrived this afternoon and I read through the usual side effects, nothing too different than the doxo. I was on. It came from an East Coast pharmacy with a packet of sunscreen, lotions, lip balm and a note: call us anytime. We hope this works too! They'll ship it every month, no cost to me what so ever. Miracle courtesy of my insurance company bending over backwards to help get this drug!
I hit a dark place last weekend but I think I'm coming through it. After getting home from Hospice House, I had managed to pull my groin and was in some of the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced...let's add insult to injury. I could barely move all weekend, but pushed through trying to get some grounding beneath me again. To feel, slightly, even if temporarily, normal. I realized there are about two days while at Hospice House that I do not remember in any way shape or form...my family came from Portland and I have no recollection of the entire experience...I remember other guests, but those days that I was really flying high on morphine are completely gone (no offense, family). It is a strange thing to be made aware of a gap in one's memory...
The home health nurse came on Friday to officially sign me up. That's when it hit me. This is real. Before, I could go to doctor's appointments, watch them pump red chemo into my port and say the words "I have cancer," but it still felt surreal, like any minute the nightmare would be over and I would wake up to my old life. I had been working and trying to carry on as if all I had to do was take some drugs and it would be ok. The nurse (whom I like a great deal) made it real though...she asked questions about how home bound I am, what I'm able to do for myself vs. what my family has to do, and it hit like a ton of bricks. This is my real right now. Cancer is part of it. I got scared. The weekend turned into a dark place and I fell into a funk of wondering how soon I should be responsible for getting my affairs in order and still maintain a sense of hope and expecting miracles. It's a delicate balance. Everyone should have their affairs on track in the 30s, but who really does that?
Sunday my sis took me to the mountains for a little drive, loaded me up on morphine and we at least let the sunshine kiss our heads as we talked and cried. She made me aware of the darkness I had let sink it...I'm shaking it off and I know it will come and go, and I can be both responsible for me and expectant of miracles at the same time. All these things collide in this odd and beautiful dance unlike anything you can imagine if you have never walked it. It is a lonely place, and yet, the support I have is incredible...I'm in a strange paradigm.
My friend Nancy shared her survivor story with me again last night, and the switch went off: I still have time. I am not in my grave yet. The voice in my heart told me to fight, to make goals, to nurture myself and to put on my bad ass armour and fucking fight like hell (excuse my language). Today all I could do, thanks to being doped up on morphine for the groin pain, was lay in bed, ogle Pinterest and watch Facebook; there were no doctor's appointments, nothing that had to be done. Family friends graced my bedside chair all day encouraging me with hugs, love and laughter. I am not alone and I feel alone at the same time. BUT I feel stronger, more hopeful and more authentic knowing this is my story, crappy as it is, it is not finished! Both the struggle and the calm are beautiful and now being able to recognize that this is truly real, freely empowers me to process it, to feel the rawness of it and to move forward into both good days and challenge. I will have equal numbers of both and I am so very deeply thankful that I am never truly alone! The tribe that I have is bigger, more enormous in loving me than I will ever understand, and Spirit, is still here. As always. Bring on the new drug, the adventure, the eff off cancer attitude and a willingness to rest, fight and be in the battle. Here we go!