Roller Coasters

Roller Coasters

I really enjoy roller coasters. They are really fast microcosms of long journeys. I love the anticipation of the climb and that moment at the top where all the potential energy built up is poised to become a wild rush of wind, rumbling tracks, and excited squeals of venturing into the unknown; rushing into twists and turns and switchbacks that leave you breathless. Somehow, I always seem to forget that the huge dips make my stomach roil and feel icky for just a few moments. Then the train squares up and we begin another ascent.  That has been my week thus far.

I began with the lovely photo shoot and interview on Tuesday. What a neat experience! To meet a talented, kind woman who is passionate about helping other women go through the difficulties of cancer was beautiful.  To have an interview with a reporter who asked thoughtful, insightful questions that didn’t shy away from the battle was a gift.  Adding to all the lovely was my mother arriving on Wednesday. There’s just something about having Mama around.  I’m so thankful I still have her!

The dip in the roller coaster ride was Wednesday night.  We decided to have some healthy, cancer fighting food: baked sweet potatoes and collard greens. Yum! I think I forgot how sensitive my stomach is right now. You see, chemotherapy targets fast growing cells in the body like hair, skin and nails, and often affects the healthy cells that line the digestive system.  Cue my Forest Gump voice, “That’s all I got to say about that.”  So Thursday and Friday were tender tummy recovery days.

Thursday was my worst day yet, but it reads like a comic book.  After a fitful night of sleep (read regular bathroom breaks) I woke up at 7:30 Thursday morning. I NEVER sleep that late.  Nice, right? Under any other circumstance it would be, but nope.  My gyn-onc wanted me to do an ultrasound to make sure the old ovaries are in good shape, so I scheduled for 8:40 Thursday morning with an 8:10 show time! “Make sure to drink at least 40 oz of water one hour before the ultrasound and hold it until afterwards,” the scheduler said. Zoiks!  I had to slam 40 oz of water and rush out the door. I must have appeared crazed with floating eyeballs when I showed up at 8:05. The greeter sent me right to a check in chair, and they didn’t allow me to sit too long in the lobby with the general population. God be praised. The ultrasound technician took me 20 minutes early. I was never so thankful to lay my tender stomach already overfilled with water on yet another table with stirrups. The lady was so gentle and kind. I almost felt bad when she said I could empty my bladder and I was out of there before she could finish the sentence.

Later that night, the fact that the chemotherapy also disrupts my allergy medicine came to a head. Pun intended. I noticed the slow loss of hearing in my right ear that usually comes with allergy season, but I read that that could be a side effect of the treatments. By Thursday night I was in full blown sinus pressure migraine mode. I actually called the on-call doctor to make sure I wasn’t stroking out or something. Did you know that my head grew two sizes and weighed 20 pounds? Not really; I still have a toddler sized head (literally–trying on a toddler hat and it being the only one that fit me was a low point). Thankfully, the doc said I could use Sudafed with no issues and it saved the night.  All that not eating much and working to hold my pressure filled head up translated to a lack of energy.

The bright spot on Thursday was receiving a gorgeous quilt in the mail. Friends from across the country who got to know me via radio and Facebook sent various quilt squares and fabric to a dear woman, Cheryl, who then proceeded to make the most gorgeous quilt.  It’s fun, sassy, full of my favorite colors, butterflies, scriptures, hearts, beer and pink ribbons! Wonder Woman even makes an appearance.

Ups and downs. That’s what roller coasters and journeys are all about. I’m thankful that so far the ups have  been more frequent than the downs, but I would be dishonest to ignore them. Besides, they add texture and with the right perspective, humor to the whole thing. I took it pretty easy on Friday, and thankfully, I awoke this Saturday morning feeling more like myself. In fact, when I’m done here I’m going for the bacon and eggs, and I can’t wait!

4 Replies to “Roller Coasters”

  1. Yolanda please please get the best probiotic you can get (in the refrigerated section) it will stop the horrible “runs” also please please contact any one of these amazing people that helped me and still are helping me.1.Mary Marian nutritionist 520 621 1315 you can text her for an urgent appointment (then text her with questions) 2.Dr Uzick 3. Dr Deal I will text you their info all three help minimize the side effects (my runs stopped) of my chemo/radiation/recovery and healing after surgeries and last but not least detox the body from the “poisons”leftover from chemo/radiations and anesthesia All this is done in a natural way with the right supplements and the right nutrition.Im looking forward to seeing our story air on Thursday!

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