Hungry Cow Mentality

All went well yesterday, yet another long day. However, I made it through the second round of Taxol with no allergic reaction so my last two infusions should be OK. Allergic reactions usually happen in the first two rounds. I took my fuzzy pink socks and my fleece blanket but still couldn’t get to sleep when I felt the effects of Benedryl.

The countdown: two infusions left. I should feel myself, over the final aches from chemo, by February 1st.

I’m back to split shift sleeping. I was up from 1 – 4 a.m. last night. I took Ibuprofen at 4 a.m. as I felt my face start to ache. This morning I’m beet red in the face, so I called MGH. It’s a side effect of the 10 Decadrons I had in preparation for the infusion yesterday.

Yesterday, I needed a little inspiration before going back to MGH. I looked back to a journal entry I made at the end of July after talking to my dad.

July 30, 2009

Dad told me about the neighbor’s cattle getting into his cornfield on the west side of the lane. I asked if something spooked them and if that’s why they lunged through the barb wire fence. Dad thinks they were just trying to get food – not getting fed enough on their side of the fence so they just “went for it” to get the corn. Throwing all thought to harm aside, crashing through to get what they needed: healthy food. Perhaps I will need a hungry cow mentality through chemo. Stop clambering over the fence. Take a deep breath. Cuss a little bit. And go headlong through it, pounding hooves until the last round… and getting what I want on the other side. Leaving cancer behind me.

End of journal entry.

It worked. I put on my gingerbread fleece hat, dangly earrings, and walked into MGH ready to give the fence another strong, solid kick. Mom has always said “kill them with kindness.” Yesterday I turned that to mean keep a smile on my face. I smiled. I said “hi” to the familiar faces, and they returned my smile. I was glad to see those who were helping me kick the fence down. I relied on words from both Mom and Dad yesterday. My face wasn’t going to be one worn down with this exercise. At the end of the six-hour day, my chemo nurse said, “I’m really proud of you. You are sailing through this. And I really mean that.”

I didn’t explain my hungry cow inspirational reading from the night before or the killing with kindness theory. I just said ‘thank you’ when she gave me a big hug as we left to pick up the boys.

Staying strong,