That face encapsulates how the day started off. I woke up at 5, about an hour and a half earlier than what I needed to because I was anxious about what was on deck for the day. My first chemotherapy experience got off to a very rough start due to difficulty accessing my port… I just had the port placement surgery 3 days prior to the first treatment, so the area was still extremely swollen and tender. Because of the swelling, there was difficulty with the needle, so the process took a lot more time and tears (on my part because it fucking HURT) than it “normally does”, said the nurses. But with that being my first experience, I was still kind of traumatized and pretty terrified that things would be just as difficult today… but we’ll get to that.
I tried to calm myself down at 5 am by taking a nice relaxing bubble bath. It was going nicely until I realized I was floating in a tub of hair. Even with what little hair remains on my head, as it was falling out in the bathtub it felt like I was suddenly Rapunzel (didn’t realize I still had so much fucking hair to spare, but apparently I do…) so the anxiety continued.
I had a serious breakdown following that. And then of course I get out of the bathtub and what do I see? A mirror. Me. My nearly-hairless head and my doughier-than-usual-hips. My scars. All of them. I think my mom anticipated that my mood would be difficult. She quickly medicated me with 2 Ativan to get me to chemo since I’m out of oil for my vape.
Thankfully, this mornings experience was much better than the first treatment. The needle went in like butter. I barely felt a thing. They were able to get my blood work from the port, too, which was convenient considering that my veins are not only microscopic, but also temperamental and bitchy.
So here’s a photoshoot from my day today. From the pre chemo exam to the treatment.