Might as well start with the big one. I'm not handling things too well. The fact that I've just gone through the last crap-tacular round of chemo does put me onto the safe side of a small bump along the road, but the increasingly difficult chemotherapy sessions are starting to worry me. I'm exhausted. My arm is starting to feel better, but it still hurts somewhat, and I can't lift things, still. The fact that it's my dominant arm, it causes issues. All this, coupled with all the crap that I went through with my port (which they still used for chemotherapy on Tuesday), as well as some shaky self-perceptions, and I'm heading for some intense personal dread and despair.
Thus, I've done what I can only hope can be counted as a sensible and responsible choice... I'm getting my ass into some sort of makeshift therapy. The hospital offers all sorts of counseling services, including group therapy and one on one bitch-fests. The former does not appeal to me. Hearing that other people are also miserable just makes me more depressed. The latter... Well, at least I feel qualified to attend that. I do bitch a lot, so, I should have no problem. So, tomorrow, I get to see the wonderful social worker assigned to my case, and... who knows.
Monday I start in the Well-Fit program at the University. One of the perks of getting cancer in this town, it seems, is that I have access to a gym and sort of a personal trainer at the University. I need the exercise, and it's free. Therefore, I'm happy. Also in exercise land, as I mentioned before, I got a pair of track spikes. I'll at least start walking at the Rec Centre track, and hopefully when my port fully heals, I'll start running.
I need to cut my hair. It's doing that thing where it flattens on the sides, and makes me look like a giant rooster. Yes, I am neurotic.
Migraine last night was pretty damned bad. Probably the worst I've ever had. Took one of the leftover tylenol 3s, and one of the nausea meds. Somehow I got to sleep, and slept for 14 hours. It's not even 11, and I'm exhausted.
I've put on more weight. I'm approximately 178 now. Still lighter than before I got sick, but now 20lbs heavier than when I was at my worst. Body image = in shambles.
I think my hair is thinning. Might be chemo. Might be stress. Might be male pattern baldness. Probably all three. Oh well.
Still waiting to have girls' night with Melissa. We've been too bloody busy...
Funny, now that I think about it... "girls' night"... because face masks and the such are girly, right? I mean, the hospital offers a seminar called "Look good, feel great" or something of the sort. Maybe it's the other way around... It's offered to women only, however. It's all about makeup and skin care, etc. Now, I don't much care about the makeup component, but the skin care? Let me tell you, my skin has gone to hell over the last two months. .... It's only been two months. Ugh. Anyway...
My skin's always been pretty good. I drink copious amounts of water, so I guess it flushes everything out. but since I started chemotherapy, it's dry and prone to irritation. I've started washing with an alpha hydroxy face wash, and moisturizing. Girly/metrosexual? Yes. Is it keeping me from feeling like a fucking freak every time I look in the mirror? Also yes.
To best describe the effects of chemotherapy on body image, I will use this example from Penny Arcade, but herein, Gabe (the dude with the black hair) is me, and chemotherapy is wonderfully portrayed by Tycho (the ... er... other dude!)
Moral of the rambly story: Cancer patients! Take care of yourselves! Your body is a withering husk!!
Addendum: The nausea meds are called Stemetil.