"...And she thinks...hey
How did I come to this?
I dreamed myself a thousand times around the world
But I can't get out of this place.
There's an emptiness inside her
And she'd do anything to fill it in
But all the colors mix together
and it breaks her heart....
She feels like kicking out all the windows
And setting fire to this life
She could change everything about her
Using colors bold and bright
But all the colors mix together
And it breaks her heart."
~Dave Matthews Band "Grey Street"
Complete Estrogen withdrawal is like PMS times 1000. Or the worst post-partum depression you could imagine. Or both, mixed together with super anxiety bits and a bit of chemical warfare to top it all off. I feel like I'm losing my mind.
I've reached a point where I just want to be done with THIS. I don't think I can knit any more hats. I'm tired of trying to make the long hours of every day bearable, tired of driving myself crazy with the "what happens when I'm done?" refrain that goes around and around in my head. I'm closer to the end of the cell killing chemo than the beginning, but what I've realized is that it doesn't end there. There is more and more and more and each new thing brings a host of worries and fears and change.
I'm getting through it...just barely. I checked out the local psychiatric hospital this week (it MORE than fulfilled it's duty of looking EXACTLY like a psychiatric hospital I would never want to stay at). One week of group therapy is not going to help me. A padded room and a month's worth of sedation sounds nice right now, though, but I haven't found any place around here offering that!
I had my robo-boob expanded with 60cc's of saline on Monday. The result is now I REALLY look like I'm in the process of a breast reconstruction. I'm still unsure what I want this thing to look like in the end. I've had my 10 day labs done, seen my therapist, forced myself to the gym for a verrrrry slow walk on the treadmill, and adjusted my anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds with my PA. After a mini reality check I realized that if I can't get it together myself, no one can. I know I need help sometimes. I know I need to get out more, brood less. Exercise more, worry less. Plan some healthy meals, visit new babies, and keep up with my friends.
This weekend I have a soccer game to watch, and my husband's family annual cookie party to attend.
Monday, I have another "Muggle scan"...my MUGA scan that is. I had my first before I started on the Adriamycin/Cytoxan round, and need another one now that I've started the Taxotere/Herceptin round. The Adriamycin and the Herceptin can both damage the heart valves, so I have to get these periodically to make sure mine is not being damaged. I'm still not totally clear on if they do find damage, if there is anything they can do to reverse it. Another unknown for my big bag of things that SUCK and must therefore worry about at some point.
The following Monday, I have my 2nd treatment with Taxotere/Herceptin. The side effects of this have been physically very mild. The rash on my face came back and I'm missing a few more eyebrows, but it's nowhere near as powerful and uncomfortable physically as the first round of meds were. I think that is probably part of the problem...feeling better than death leads to thinking about the future, but right now, every time I do that, I nearly hyperventilate....it's too too soon. I'm not ready to step back into my real life just yet. I'm still trying to figure out what my real life is supposed to be. I have the paper and the paints and the brushes, but I'm still too afraid to look at the picture that will be there when I turn the page.