Migraine fun and personifying cancer
Sue has dealt with migraines all of her life. For those of you who have this condition, you know how terrible this can be. She has her emergency kit of Imitrex injections which are blessings beyond description. When migraines are bad enough, they cure them within minutes. It is a necessary evil as it is a relatively potent drug.
This morning found Sue with a migraine bad enough to use the shot. This means that she was vomiting, crying, with blurred vision, barely able to speak. We also had to contact her on-call onc to see if there were any reactions with the COmpazine and Zofran she is taking for nausea from the AC treatments. Sounds as bad as it was. Shot taken, problem solved ten minutes later. May the maker of Imitrex have only the best in life.
There is a benefit, strange as it sounds.
All of this helps Sue to personify the disease of cancer. This helps to fight against it, and by fight I mean drinking lots of water, eating, etc. when she doesn't feel she is able to. Kicking cancer's butt is easier to do if you can visualize a butt to kick. Makes sense, right?
So, she is forming an image of cancer as a being that is ever vigilant in trying to weaken her resolve with physical discomfort and mental exhaustion. This being she can tell to go **** itself whenever she feels down, hurt, or drained by the endless cancer treatments and their side-effects. It is easier to visualize an entity that is an enemy then the sort of amorphic nature of this disease as a whole. It is easy to think that when she fights against this thing, it gets weaker, and when she doesn't (there are times, as we all know) it get stronger. So visualizing this entity as getting more or less muscular depending on her actions gives her the resolve to keep at it. To drink when she's staurated, to eat when her appetite is gone, to listen to the experience of all of you when she feels she just can't.
To think of it as a very clever, ever persistant demon of sorts is a good way to be vigilant against it, to not let her guard down. She has all sorts of tools to use, from the scientific advances in medicine, to the people who support her, the techs who make these drugs, faith, even the phone company for providing a way to reach her onc this morning. All of this is on her side, whereas the disease entity can only try to convince her to give up and not do what is best for her by making her uncomfortable or exhausted. This is what it means to fight, as all of you know.
This is a long rambling one, but you're probably getting used to that from me. It probably sounds a little weird too, but I know from experience that sometimes personifying difficult situations is a very helpful way to stay focused and to find inner strength. Just another technique to put in you toolkit if you'd like.
Thank you for being here
---Kevin and Sue---
Dx'd 10/06 IDC grade III/III
Er- pr- HER2 3+
MRM right breast 12/5/06
same day reconstruction started
Stage II (2.2 cm tumor)
fairly extensive DCIS
Ct and Bone scans clean
Port placement 12/26/06
AC (4 cycles DD)to begin 1/2/07
Taxol/Taxotere (4 cycles DD)
Herceptin for one year
"There is no distinction between the one who gives, the one who receives, and the gift itself."- Hahn