Monday, December 6, 2010

If you see me, hug me.

The itching is non-stop. My arms and legs are all cut up due to scratching. My body is lit up with goose bumps and rashes from the time I get up to the time I sleep. I'm anxious and sweaty and constantly moving and scratching. Figdety. Pain. Uncomfortable. Obsessed with getting that one damn itch. And then obsessed about that other one damn itch. So while your hug is a good sign of support, it actually has a practical application in that any contact will take me away from this mess of a life for a second or two because your arms will be covering an itch somewhere. You can rub my back too.

The only time I don't itch is when I'm sleeping, although itching has woken me up from a slumber or two. But with a good cocktail of sleeping pills, NyQuil and Benedryl, I usually find REM sleep captivating. 

I go in to See Dr. O this Friday. Because of the itching, my whole team is convinced that the cancer is growing all over. I am the last hold out. I think it's a reaction to the meds and the fact that my body is breaking down. Ya see, most of these aren't regular itches. Most of the time, they're electric shocks first and then itches. I am a fifties science experiment. 

This different type of itch can also be one other thing: full body nueropathy. I think the nueropathy in my hands and feet has spread throughout my body. And if that's the case, then I may have to get off the trial because it's not healthy and can be dangerous in its own right. 

If it is neuropathy, my body is breaking down to treatments. I've been doing this almost non-stop for three years. I've had a total of six different treatments. Most patients average around 3.5. When I started on this route, I thought jumping on and off trials would only be a matter of keeping the cancer at bay enough to get on another trial and then see how that works and then, if nothing is working and the tumors are getting too big, I pull out one of my two bullets. 

Barney Fife had one bullet. I have two. I know of two drugs that are as sure as sure things can get in this world. Which is about 70% effective. One is called SGN, which is something I talked about and wouldn't be ready. The other is called bendamustine. It's traditional chemo that knocks you right on your ass for five days but then gets better with every infusion. I might be able to stay on it for four or five months. I wasn't planning on using this for another year but because of the nueropathy, my body is running things now.  

And in fact, it is all about my body now. I relate to people, places and things through the wishes of my body. If my body is tired, I relate to that person as tired. I don't try to overcome it with mind power. That's already being used to deal with blocking out an itch here and there. 

Only a short while back, I was feeling bad that I wasn't able to do that many things around the house and I felt guilty as Sherri looked at me with a scorn while carrying a hammer to her next fence mending issue. Now, my body tells me not to care and I don't care. My body has control of me. I do what body wants. Body is all powerful. George Orwell would appreciate this post. Okay, he would have hated it for the poor use of grammar and lack of creative metaphors. But George Orwell's nephew, now there's a fan.

I get scans done this Thursday. They will cover more area this time. After my team conceded that I do infact have a node in each bicept and are haunted by this itching issue (yes, they are haunted. For three weeks, they've been shooting me emails with every possibly remedy and no luck. One of my PAs even said it was keeping her up at night. Isn't that nice?). They think the more scans I get will show more tumors in hard to see places. My body says, "Let them look." And I will let them look. 

Sorry this isn't a more interesting post. It's late. I'm on my nightly cocktail of drugs and my body is not a good writer. He's better at math.