162. Cycle 4, Chemotherapy

And the world counts down, the little things, Halloween, Elections. Quantity and quality. The balancing act.

It may be a bit strange to address this as Cycle 4.  Chemotherapy abruptly ended five months ago with an emergency colonoscopy.  The pause was exceptional.  A CT scan midway showed nothing, no masses and no activity.  The body was given time to heal.  But we are in a remarkable balancing act.

Dr. Wilfong kindly shares this often.  Quantity and quality of life.  The balancing act.  Face it people, we are ALL in this balancing act.  I am blessed to be reminded!  

The chemotherapy is different this time.  There is much less in the mixture.  My body is not battling the masses or the colon issues anymore.  Yet, there are reactions to the chemotherapy drugs.  

I’m looking at them closely, because I realize I could use the classic words to describe the side effects, but it is in the details that we find the Truth.

Chemo and brain fog

First, there is “brain fog”.  It took me about 20 seconds pause to think up the words “side effects” above.  I have to stop and google search simple terms.  Thoughts fly away quickly, and if I don’t capture the important ones on a post it, they might be lost for a day or forever.  “Cancel the dentist appointment,” lost for a day.  “Name of the acupuncturist,” drifted in space for an hour. The lost forever examples are untypable.

Meta-cognition

But I think I could decipher brain fog spiritually.  Part of me has stepped aside.  The soul maybe?  It is busy elsewhere.  The thoughts of humanity are not so important.  It’s like brain life is happening as a secondary function.

This is the morning of the third day of the cycle. 

Chemo and nausea

Another ramification of the process is “nausea.”  I don’t vomit.  World, hear me once again, I do not yawn in technicolor.  It is not my thing and it never will be.  Period.  (Unless it is the will of the Divine that I might need another lesson in acceptance, to be determined at a later date.)

So nausea is a mild eye headache, probably due to the fact that my soul is over there instead of in here.  Disorienting!  Slightly annoying.

Nausea is also weird movement and gurgling and strangeness down in the abdomen.  It is activity more than illness.  I can stop and watch it, feel the motion, the details of the actions of my body in combination with the assistance of the chemotherapy drugs.  

They are creating a harmony, cells in cooperation.  It isn’t comfortable, but it isn’t awful either.  Distraction, sleep, anti nausea pills, and it’s a whole lot of complaining about true “mild discomfort” (not to be confused with the medical definition of mild discomfort, which is normally a journey to hell and back).

Cosmic rain

When I sit still, I think about the soft warm rain, pouring through me and over me, pouring through you and over you, washing out the impurities, bringing us all to our highest good.  That thought stays with me.  As the chemo pump is making its little noises beside me, that thought does not slip away.  (The pump travels with me for 46 hours after the main infusion, continuing the therapy after the initial doctor visit).

Chemo and sleep disruption

And last on the major side effects list is sleep disruption.  That means that I am typing in the earliest morning hours and paying close attention to all of these things, and seeing the bright side, the foggy side, the meditative side of this process. 

Right this moment, the neuropathy in my fingers is so mild.  It is less than before the treatment.  (I am thoughtless here.)  I called to book an acupuncture visit. One reason?  I am expressing myself, so the energy is able to travel through my body and outward, so it is not being trapped in the fingertips, another.  Hmm.  Weird.

Today, we head back to the infusion center at Bellevue Kaiser.  They will pull the connection out of the port, and the fanny pack and plastic cords will wait, relaxing for eleven days, waiting for Cycle 5.  

And the world counts down, the little things, Halloween, Elections.  Quantity and quality. The balancing act.

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

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