Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When it rains, it pours

So, yesterday afternoon, MD Anderson called. Like... at 4:45. (Turns out, they'd been trying to reach me all day, but my phone was off because my aunt and uncle were here and I was hiding from reality.)

It seems that the only time Dr. G had to put my port in (prior to 2/2) was... uh... tomorrow.

That's right. TOMORROW.

Tomorrow, I'm porting up.

(Gag me with a spoon.)

For real, I am horrified at the thought of having a hole in my chest that goes right to my bloodstream. It is completely disgusting, and I start to cry and gag simultaneously every time I think about it. But that's alright. ... Because the alternative to a port is a picc line that would leave tubes sticking out of my veins. (If there's anything grosser than a port it's a picc line. ... And that's saying something!)

I kept it together through the entire call with Michelle (my favorite MD Anderson nurse), and then fell apart for about three minutes... then I gathered all my gumption back up, picked up a pen, and wrote "port - 2:00" on the calendar that's stuck to my pantry door.

Anyway... that was yesterday.

Then, today... I went to the dentist.

Remember how I really wanted to make sure there wasn't anything that needed to be dealt with before I started chemo?

Uh, yeah. Good thing I went to the dentists, kids!

I have a root canal that's gone wrong. As in, there's an abscess between #3 and #4 and my jawbone has been rotting away. (Gosh, I love it when the medical professionals in my life say things to me that make me want to throw up.)

Awesome possum.

So, next Monday, I'm having a tooth pulled. (Is it still a tooth when there was a root canal and it's mostly just a crown? I'm not sure...) That will give me seven days to get a head start on healing... before they start pouring poison into that hole in my chest that's gonna kill my immune system and wreck my ability to heal.

I also collected a handful of fun flyers when I was at the dentist about what to expect to happen to my mouth when I'm on chemo. (I'm soooo looking forward to that, btw.) I won't go into all the gory details (I'll just say that you can trust me when I say it is gory), but I will tell you that I made a stop at WalMart this afternoon to pick up two prescriptions (antibiotics to kill the abscess, pain meds for the same), some all natural mouthwash that's supposed to help my mouth stay hydrated when I'm doing the chemo... oh, and a baby toothbrush (literally, a BABY toothbrush... as in, it's recommended for babies 5-18 months) because, per the hygienist, I won't want to touch my gums with anything firmer than a sponge or a super soft baby toothbrush. For the next six months.

(I'd have bought a sponge toothbrush, too, but WalMart wasn't that fancy.)

As much as I so do not want to have a tooth pulled next week, I'm choosing to be grateful that I'm aware this is something that needed to be done before I started chemo. As much as I hate that the dang tooth extraction is going to limit my bacon and soda consumption next week, I'm really glad that it's something I can get done before I start treatments. Having that week to start the healing process will go a long way towards that hole in my mouth getting better before I start puking. (I figure that vomit cannot be good when you have an open wound in your mouth.)

I feel like my spirit and my body are at war. Again. ... Still. (Whatever.)

There are so many things that my mind wants to do in the next two weeks, but what I'm learning (again... still... whatever) is that my body has other plans. Bloody and disgusting ones, actually.

I was talking to Jo today (I had called to ask her if she can be my designated driver next week for the tooth extraction) and I told her, half jokingly, that I'm starting to wonder if my body isn't working overtime, trying to break my stubborn spirit. She laughed, then told me I needed to just give in already, so the cancer will go away. ... The thing is, I'm pretty sure it's my stubborn spirit that's kept me alive thus far.

And, once I pointed that out, she agreed that was probably true and we decided it was probably best that we not call a truce with my disturbed and broken, sick and twisted, prematurely old body.

So, it is war.

Tomorrow, I get a hole cut in my chest. ... It's completely vile and totally disgusting to me. (But, really, it'll be better than blowing veins with IV's when I'm in the hospital for my treatments. So, there is that.)

And next week, I'll have a tooth pulled. (I can only hope this will be less traumatic than when I lost my wisdom teeth and it took 6+ weeks for my jaw to heal, so I could open my mouth wide enough for a hamburger. I have big plans for eating in the next 14 days and can't bear the thought of being on a mashed-potatoes-and-gravy-and/or-soup meal plan for that entire last week leading up to chemo.)

Hooray for pain pills and an iron will, right?!


Evvie Turley said...

Girl.........I don't really have words today, but I'm holding back tears between the giggles I get from your writing. I love you. I'm here for you and would be happy to come down and stock your fridge or do whatever you need!

Crowwyng said...

So my mouthwash of choice is TheraBreath, I totally indulge my inner child and get Winnie the Pooh musical toothbrushes or Hello Kitty.

I totally love you and hold you in my heart and thoughts. This is a tough and terrible journey but you are tougher.

I am very, very glad they found the infection before starting chemo.

Let me know when you are ready for Port jokes, I know a lot!

Genevra said...

Oh my goodness, I still can't wrap my head around how you had to have the port surgery so suddenly and THEN your tooth surgery. Wow. Lots of hugs to you.