When Mike and I were first dating, we both agreed if we ever got to the point that we were incapacitated, we gave each other permission to snuff the other out with a pillow. I knew he was the one for me! Sounds morbid, and for a young couple in love, we talked serious topics. So we have always had an understanding. To be completely honest, neither of us would ever be able to actually go through with it. Mind you in angry moments, I have considered it…Kidding of course! At least we both knew we agreed with each on what needed to be done if one of us was faced with pulling the plug.
We have always joked about this throughout the years and it helped us laugh when we were in the darkest of times. One time, Mike broke his heel on the job site. He was in severe pain and they were trying to figure out if he needed surgery or just a cast. Mike being the funny guy, waves me over to his side. While grinding his teeth in pain, he says between pain bursts “I just need…to make clear…that this situation…doesn’t qualify for the pillow pact” It made a serious situation more manageable. We both have a sick sense of humor.
Another time, he was totally frustrated by his medical situation, which was dire to say the least, and he was getting angry and upset. I took an extra pillow off the hospital bed and started fluffing it threatening to take him out if he didn’t chill out and relax. So our guidelines on when to invoke this pact are kind of vague.
So the last 48 hrs have been extreme hell for me. I am still fighting nausea as I type this and have an extreme metal mouth. Plus too weak to do much. The good news my headache is not as debilitating as it was earlier. I only got through half a movie and had to turn it off yesterday. I first vomited 4 a.m. on March 13th. Then 6 p.m. and then it just got progressively worse, 12:35 a.m., 2:45 a.m. and 7:30 a.m today. It would start with a severe headache and tossing/turning and then hurling. Once I hurled, I would basically try to sleep and by about the 3rd hour, the headache would start and the vomiting cycle started again. I was thinking once Mike gets home, I will hand him my pillow. No words required, he would just know….have no energy anyway.
So I decided to call the Oncologist hotline. Remember, I said they were extremely organized. They equipped me with numbers and contacts should I have severe reactions or symptoms. Thanks God! The nurse said what I was experiencing was unusual particularly as I was already one week in from chemo. I told her if this is chemo related, not sure I can continue. We discussed the potent antibiotics for my tainted titty and were starting to think it was those honking big-assed pills. She said I needed to complete them. I had 2 more doses and the thought of it repulsed me. She suggested I take the stand-by anti-nausea meds which need to be taken with food. How the heck was I going to do that? Where there is a will there is a way.
Somehow I nibbled on 3 saltines. In about 1 hour, I tried and was able to eat a piece of toast. I waiting a bit, then wolfed back those 2 big-assed pills and threw in the anti-nausea tablet for good measure. I boiled up some tiny baby shells, left it soupy and added some olive oil for my lunch. I wanted to keep it bland and it actually tasted good so I ate it. I noticed from the night before I could only eat with plastic utensils because eating with metal spoons made the food taste disgusting. I felt human, had a meal.
Then I waited for it. Ok, no vomiting! Success! Not really, the headache came, stomach pains. Oh crap! Yes crap, if it doesn’t come out one way it comes out the other. Had to run, ok, walk quickly to the bathroom. I noticed I felt dizzy and was getting rapid heart palpitations so lay down for a few minutes to get ready for what would be my last injection.
Due to my project management training, I decided to call the Hotline again and ask about the risks if I decided not to complete the remaining 2 doses of antibiotics. Truth be told, my tainted titty is paler pink but not gone. She said she didn’t suspect it was happening from the chemo so she agreed with me and gave me some strict instructions. The redder the titty, go to GP or Surgeon. If I get a fever and or if diarrhea persists, go to emergency. She also asked me to keep her updated. I am so glad you can just reach your medical support team and not have to leave your house.
Only good thing is I dropped about 10 lbs, which is great as I have lots of reserve! You always have to look at the positive side. I have absolutely no appetite but will probably try some jello for dinner. If I have no more incidents, I think I will be ok.
Otherwise, I will lay out different sized pillows for Mike to select from..
Have you ever discussed your wishes with your loved ones? Better to plan ahead and be prepared. You don’t want to make a rash decision in an emotionally charged situation. I do have to update my wills and living will and will do that once I am better.
This is no walk in the park.