*Update April 2015: When this incident happened, I was starting my 4th month of chemotherapy and just getting started on my year of hormone infusions (Herceptin) which is administered intravenously just like chemo. I was bald, tired, weak... I had lost about 30 pounds. Coping with the side effects of chemo was tough and really surprising. But one thing was certain, I was 5 months post diagnosis and I still did not really understand or accept that I had a very serious illness. I just wanted my life back. I had no idea that my life would be forever different.*
I fell out in the kitchen the other night...it wasn't pretty
So, it's Sunday night and I'm trying to get a little something to snack on. I heat up an enchilada and just as I'm getting the sour cream to put on top.... I start feeling really, really dizzy.
I never lost consciousness and I was aware that I was falling... but I couldn't stop myself from hitting the floor. Once again, my voice failed me... and I couldn't (or wouldn't) shout out to let my mom know that I was falling out. She was watching tv in the family room -- just across the way. And it wasn't until I was laid out on the floor for a few moments and I realized that I couldn't get myself up, that I spoke to her and asked her to get my dad from upstairs.
Yes, I know that's crazy but that's how it happened
You know... it is amazing to me, that even in the midst of something pretty major happening to my body, I still have these worrisome thoughts of not upsetting folks or disturbing them. I think I need to call my therapist so we can discuss it. I can't put myself first, even in this illness.
At any rate, my mom started screaming at my dad to come and help me and while I was woozy down on the floor... I was trying to stay connected to the scene. After he helped me up and got me a warm washcloth for my face... I refused to go to the hospital.
It seemed illogical to me to go to the hospital simply because I was woozy. I was still breathing, nothing was bleeding... so I figured I was okay. Maybe just tired, or hungry or something. When I called the boyfriend to let him know... he wanted me to go to the hospital too. But I just didn't want to spend hours and hours in the emergency room when they probably wouldn't know what was wrong with me (like before) and I would just be sitting there taking up space. I just wasn't trying to end my holiday weekend that way.
Again... in hindsight, this seems so reckless. But I had so much guilt about being sick and needy. I tried my best to cope with everything that I could without including other people unless I simply could not stand the pain any longer. If I could tolerate it in any way, I did.
I decided to call the oncologist's office on Monday when they opened, to let them know what happened and to see if this was something that was expected or if it was unusual. I finally talked to the nurse today, after she talked to my oncologist.
And... once again, my logic is totally wrong. I should have gone to the hospital on Sunday night, and if it ever happens again, that's what I will do. Its all so foreign. I don't know how to handle being sick.
The problem is that I haven't come to grips with having breast cancer.
I was just sitting here thinking about how I feel like a visitor in my own body. I know that I have cancer. I know that I'm in chemotherapy. But I feel... like Nic. Nic who is totally healthy and doesn't have to worry about whether or not something is major enough to warrant a trip to the hospital to be checked out all the time. I know that people don't pass out all the time, but it happens enough that most folks don't have to go to the hospital for it. You get up, you get a warm or cold compress for your head or neck... and then you take it easy for awhile. That's it. It doesn't require a team of ER doctors to check you out.
But now I know... that for me... it does.
Last night I stumbled on a video on Google video ... about transitioning from being a cancer patient to a cancer survivor. It was a good video and I really had not thought about what it will be like when all this treatment is over and I'm back in the real world again. You would think that life would resume as usual... but what's usual isn't usual anymore. Normal healthy people can get a small fever and keep doing their normal activities. I can't do that. However, that just doesn't compute in my head.
I keep trying to understand how I'm different now. And how to reconcile that I am different and none of the standard rules apply to me the way that they used to.
I'm sure that Dr. S will take a few moments to chat with me on Thursday when I go for chemo. And I don't know what to tell him. I fell out in the kitchen. I never lost consciousness... and it never occurred to me that this was something drastic that I needed to go to the hospital for.
It never occurred to me.
I think I keep trying to make chemotherapy this very small part of my life. And it keeps letting me know that it is a huge part of who I am right now. I keep trying to retain a piece of me, that's still "me". And it feels like "me" is shrinking more and more every day.
Today is one of those days... where I'm just left to wonder, who am I now? How much of me has been changed because of breast cancer?
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