Chapter 11 – Get a Gripe … I Mean Grip

Chapter 11 – Get a Gripe … I Mean Grip

February 22

Today marks the first official day of no chemo. What should have been Day 1 of the fourth cycle of the great beast-eating chemicals. And yet, for now there is no appreciable change in how I feel.  In reality, dealing with the bodily remains of chemo is rather like trying to stuff ghost poop into a sack.

Hard to get a grip on anything … it all sort of slips away … glop-glug-galosh-gag.

All that residual ick-factor makes doing anything constructive a real challenge. Just as you think you might have a shot a normalcy you are hit by a severe case of the buzzies.

!!! Tingle buzz zap-zap!!!

!!! Zap tingle buzz zap-zap!!!

So, I guess I’ll have to get a grip on things using baby steps. You know … hanging onto the furniture just in case you miss a step.

To begin with, let’s talk about hands, where losing my grip is more than a figure of speech. Right now, it feels as if the palms of my hands are bruised, which means driving is a bit precarious. I am planning to give it a few more days before I start with short trips … baby steps to the grocery store, library, income tax office, bank, all the fun places that hover on the horizon of Errand-Land. I’m hoping that once the weather warms up my neuropathy will improve. Barring that, I have some padded gloves that should help ease the ow-ows.

Then there’s the problem of coming to grips with building up my muscle tone which has been ignored for 3 to 4 months. Believe me, inertia is a nice state to be in if you were not inspired to do sit ups, aerobics, stretches, and other such energetic things. But in advance of my surgery, it behooves me to make a stab at retrieving some grip on my physical well-being.

The plan is to start small … baby steps … walking to and from the fridge, the post box, and the TV.   Getting up to my previous standard may take a while that way, but I will have to do it all over again after surgery, so I guess I will work on upgrading my slacker status at the same time.

However, of all the grips to which I must aspire, the worst is the whole coming to grips with my future. Surgery has been scheduled for the 29th of April. And during the next few weeks I will be back on the poke-and-test-and-prod-go-round. Visiting the Doctor, the Surgeon, the Nurse, the Lab, the Blood Testers, and the Body Prodders. There will, I’m sure, come a point in time when waiting rooms will become my go-to destinations once again. But for now, I have some free time to try and strangle the beastly chemo pooh and wring it out of my system.

Which, while not easy, is far more enjoyable than thinking about the upcoming surgery and the la la land of blood and guts. Seriously, I am beginning to cut all the emergency room dramas out of my TV recording line up.  Way too much like the future for any kind of comfort level. I am much happier with ignorance.

But here is one last thought. Gripping and griping are really closely related … so I guess I will have to watch out for that in the coming weeks. Although it is always open season for bitching about bad wallpaper in waiting rooms. No? Yes?


Obviously, the residual effects of chemo were not going to go away magically on that Monday… the Monday that should have been the last of the long treatments. In retrospect, I don’t know why I expected this week to be different … like the new me in a normal world, feeling nicely refreshed from the bad karma and nasty juju that had gone before. Like waking up after a bad storm to find your world refreshed and newly washed and dressed. Like getting over a head cold and being able to breath once again.

Like that.

As it turns out, just because I was not to receive any new chemo did not mean the old stuff was not still charging around in my system, wreaking havoc, and leaving the singed residue of acid rain wherever it landed.

I still had chemo mouth

I still had neuropathy

I still had the tingles

I still had a severe case of exhaustion

And I still had a spacey feeling where my brain used to be.

So, no sunshine and roses. Damn … I had really been looking forward to that. But at least I did not have to suffer through any more transfusions. Thank you … Thank you … Thank you!

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