The three most hated words in a cancer patients life, “drink more water.”
Feeling nauseous? Drink more water.
Headache? Drink more water.
Any side effect? Drink more water!
I’m especially looking at you Smart Water when I say that water has become impossible. And yes, I know, there goes all potential opportunity to be their brand ambassador some day. Your job is safe for now Jennifer Aniston.
But here’s a new one for you this week. Potential permanent ear damage? Drink more water! Makes sense, right!? NO!
But in all seriousness, that’s what the paperwork says. Fluids & “get up slowly.” For your ears!
I’ve had some ringing in my ears ever since Round 4 and then Tuesday I woke up with what I naively thought was an ear infection. I mentioned it all during labs and that’s when I learned about ototoxicity – damage to your inner ear from the Cisplatin drug I got each round. It causes pressure in your ears (what I was feeling) and also explains the weird moments of dizziness. The extent of repercussions is cumulative for how much of the drug you received so time will tell the ultimate impact. For now, I pray constantly the ringing specifically doesn’t get worse, who can handle that? I’ll take the pressure. I’ve learned you have to barter side effects with cancer. I’ll take this over that.
Of courseeeeee there’s another side effect. Of course. And I guess I will keep drinking water. Raise your hand if you also want this week to be OVER!
Looking ahead, next week is the start of a couple big weeks for me. I am in pure survival mode right now. Overloaded is an understatement.
I have my brain scan on Monday, which is the first of my scans & labs on Tuesday. I haven’t had a moment to think about the brain scan. The following week I have my big post-chemo appointment on Tuesday with my oncologist where we’ll do the physical exam & then we will schedule the body scans. That will then lead us into that Friday, the day Hallie was due.
Did your heart sort of skip a beat reading that like mine did writing it?
I still have so many days where I can’t comprehend that this is my life. How is it that the end of my treatment is lining up with the due date of my daughter? It’s pretty cruel. It’s like a crushing reminder that there’s so little to celebrate in a “NED” when you realize the cost it came at. Being vulnerable is something no one is good at, myself included. Being honest is also something that is hard, especially here for the world to see. The battle with cancer was easy in my mind (considering). It’s about attitude, taking one day at a time, trusting God’s bigger plan and leaning on the support you have when you can’t do it alone. Grief? Grief sucks. It comes out of nowhere. It destroys your happiest moments. Last week was awful. A disaster really. The people closest to me know that I have been terrified for March and it sure has lived up to my fears. It’s ending one insane battle to realize you are just beginning another, one that hurts a hell of a lot more than any damaged ear or bald head or scar across my abdomen ever did.
Last night I came home to a package. It was a book and the most beautifully written letter from a fellow Mom who lost twins at 19 weeks. She said her greatest fear was they’d be forgotten and so to make sure Hallie would never be forgotten, she sent us this book. She said she hoped Hallie’s brothers and sisters would read it someday: It’s moments like that, generosity like that, love like that, and a willingness to share your broken moments like that that you start to feel some sort of hope. We were speechless!
There is a lot to pray for with the next couple weeks and we humbly ask for them all. The scans, the exams (still, why couldn’t this be skin cancer!!), surviving the days that should’ve been filled with so much joy. I will do my best to write here but I’ve admittedly been at a loss lately. It’s so much easier writing about medical updates.