Funny Bone

It’s hard to be funny when you are in pain, even harder when the pain is in your bones, thus making it hard to connect to your funny bone since all the marrow of all the bones is chatting up a storm.

Yes, I have had my first round of chemo. I want to clarify though that I have an issue with the term chemotherapy. I would call this “getting cancer fighting medication treatment through IV” rather than “Chemo.” It just sounds horrific and toxic. I really think that the oncology community should consider re-naming Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy sounds depressing, something that is being done to you rather than you the patient, going in with will and optimism to get the recommended treatment. The term “chemo” provokes fear, fear of loss of control, fear of baldness, fear of being tired, fear of looking like a cancer patient.

Anyways, I did get my first “chemo” a few days ago, and always falling on the edge of statistical curves most of my life, I excel here too. I had an allergic reaction to a cancer drug called Adriamycin. For those that have never received chemo, there is an extensive foreplay of drugs that are administered to minimize the side effects of the chemo agents. I arrived at the oncology suite at 11:30 am and till 2:30 I was still being pre-medicated. Unfortunately, the grand finale of the red juicy juice infusion resulted in a swollen lip and itchy tongue.

I always have an itchy tongue, and most of the time it leads to  wrong words that come out at wrong times. But this time the tongue really itched, and the only words came out were, “My tongue is really itchy.” The staff promptly dealt with the reaction and now I am the “trouble maker” at the cancer center. The next day when I went for hydration, I was “The Girl with the Adria reaction” – a distinction that, I hear, is rare.

Then came the Neulasta shot, a medicine given to keep my white cells up and hopping, but it causes all the bone marrow to hop, and thus the pain. So here I am, having had the taste of chemo (literally too, its kinda metallic), thinking what it will be like the next time. All I know for sure is that I will still be me, and then rest will depend on how my body will choose to talk to the chemicals. I hope for my sake, they get along this time.

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