My first round of chemo ended around 11pm on Thursday night, and Michael, Ellen, the nurses, and I did a dance all the way to the elevator. There was absolutely no way that I was staying another night to have my vitals checked at 2am. Walking out of the hospital was sublime…breathing humid air, hearing street noises, seeing something other than my room or the halls of the hospital…simply spectacular.
We walked the four blocks home (yes, I was wearing pajamas and slippers; no, I did not care), and it was incredibly strange to enter the apartment again. Fourteen days earlier, I’d kissed the cats and gone to work with Michael…and I was coming back in to the same space but with a completely different frame of reference. Wearing pajamas, skin badly bruised from blood draws and injections and procedures, face swollen from steroids, a PICC line strapped tightly to my arm…and all of a sudden I’m home and apparently supposed to know what to do next.
We started by picking up all of my prescriptions, patting the cats, and going to bed.
Friday was filled with various follow-ups…which was also strange. Trading one clinical situation for another but wearing normal clothing. I also rode my prednisone high to sort out the apartment…laundry, mail, crap that had been lying around for too long, reminding the cats who I am. Ended the day exhausted, but feeling like home was at least home, and incredibly happy to be here.
Physically I’m feeling a little odd — the chemo has given me a horrible metallic taste in my mouth, which so far has only been solved by tart flavors. Drinking a lot of water (with lemon juice to make the water palatable) to try to flush whatever it is through my system as quickly as possible. I’m also suffering from ridiculously dry skin as a result of all of the steroids they had me on before chemo started. Because I’m kind of an itchy person to begin with, this so far has been the most frustrating/painful/icky side effect of all of this. Luckily also hopefully solved by lots of water, but so far that’s still just a hope. In the meantime, I have lots of ice packs keeping me company.
I’m still getting cards and packages and emails and texts and messages…and I love all of them. I promise I’ll return calls when I can (I’ve been napping a lot today), and in the meantime, please know that I love you all.