My MRI is in a couple hours, and I’m spending a lot of time inside my own head thinking about unpleasant things. Not even cancer related really.
I am simultaneously ready for this to be over and wishing it wouldn’t start. It’s a long MRI day. Technically two appointments, but it will all just feel like one long scan for the person inside the tube.
That’ll be me, by the way.
I do most appointments alone. Dan just drops me off because there’s no point in both of us getting on the elevator where someone will absolutely have their mask pulled under their chin.
Is it just me, or are noses obscene now?
It feels like the best choice two immunocompromised people can make, but I feel untethered. Mostly alone. Rollating down long, unfamiliar hallways while everything around me spins.
I’m carefully numb. I’m not scared of hospitalization. I just dread One More Thing.
When I think about people who can’t be bothered to properly mask in a hospital, I get depressed. So fuck them. I’m just going to be angry instead. It’s easier.
I’ve got a new T-shirt idea. I’ll design one that says. “I’m on Medicare. Every time I land in the hospital, Joe Biden raises gas prices. ” I bet I’d get my personal space back. Shoot, I might even get an elevator all to myself.
“But, Emily, that’s not at all how Medicare…”
I mean, who among us hasn’t handed a toddler an iPad?
My body won’t decide if it’s hot or cold and the top sheet and quilt are no longer anchored to the foot of the bed. That’s how you know yesterday was a chemo day.
Breakfast went okay. I had a biscuit with a little jam and water. After it felt settled, I even had a second biscuit.
That got me singing “Biscuits and Butter” by Carrie Newcomer, but I could only recall the lines “I packed them biscuits and butter / and never saw them again.” So I got worried the woman in the song had poisoned her family and had to do a little lyric research. Whew!
I’m pretty sure now that trying to move through the vertigo causes the majority of my vomiting. If I stay in place a little longer than I’d like too, my odds of keeping food down increase exponentially.
The biscuits were surprisingly good. Just those frozen off-brand pucks of dough from the big box store, but really tasty. Of course, most things taste different to me. So what do I know?
I can promise you, though, that the frozen biscuits are so much better than the canned ones. Less fun to open, but you can’t have everything.
Anyway, I think I’ll do the temodar thing until Friday as planned, but then next week is my MRI, so I’m thinking I’ll take that week off. Chemo elevates anxiety, and I’d be pretty embarrassed if I puked in the screeching magnetic rage tube.
I’m getting the perfusion MRI next Wednesday. That’s the one that takes a long-ass time. Too bad I can’t play Animal Crossing while I’m in there.
And just like that my good sleep streak is over. It was about 2:00 am when I fell asleep last night, and I didn’t get up until around 9:00 this morning. It’s Friday, and I’m in a whole lotta pain, kids.
“I hurt so much. What is happening to me?” I grumbled when Dan brought me my morning Liquid IV.
“I think it’s supposed to rain today.”
I’m like someone with arthritis. Sort of. I can predict the weather, but instead of a cranky knee or hip, my entire body screams out in inflammation—from my neck fat to my duodenum to my fifth metatarsal. Every thing hurts.
I’m scanning my body right now for something that doesn’t hurt, and I got nothing. Maaaaybe my right earlobe, but only if I don’t think about it too hard.
I’m glad I got some chores done yesterday (wait, am I though?), because today is going to be absolutely worthless. It took everything I had to microwave that bean and cheese burrito for lunch.
I took two Tylenol. God knows why, but I always start with Tylenol even though it doesn’t sooth anything. Not even my internalized feelings of uselessness.
I wonder if living in mom’s basement will help? I’m serious. Maybe spending time underground will shelter me from weather changes. Because Animal Crossing isn’t helping me at all today. I tried, though. Caught seven new species in about 90 minutes because it’s my first July playing.
I wish I’d told Dan to pick up some Ben & Jerry’s yesterday. I thought about putting it on the grocery list, but I was like, “Emily, you don’t need that.”
Well today I do. Thanks for nothing, internal voice of reason!
For the past week I’ve been saying it’s time to shave my head again. I’ve also been waking up every morning with the song “Nothing Compares 2U” by Sinéad O’Connor stuck in my nugget.
I’ll let you decide.
Oh, and fun fact: the internet tells me that song was written by Prince. A lot of times I read a fact like that and will be like, my entire life is a lie. This time, though, I absolutely hear it.
This morning Dan and I went to McDonald’s (curbside) to get my favorite chemo breakfast. I’m not overly proud of eating fast food this frequently. But on chemo, you do what you gotta do.
Plus, I put the restaurant app on my phone and they’ve been doing double points during breakfast hours. I’ve earned a free, large frappe. It’s caffeinated dessert at 9 am. Scratch that. It’s a LARGE caffeinated dessert at 9 am. And all I had to do to get it was eat there like four times this month.
And I can hear my haters now, “But Emily, you’re on a fixed income. You need to raise money again. Is eating out wise?”
To which I respond. “Clearly you know nothing about being poor or having cancer or being disabled or having a caregiver go a whole year without proper meds because insurance. But if you’re concerned, feel free to send me a gift card.
Besides, if my food stays down, so do the really pricey meds. My frappe is tasty AND frugal, baby! Tuck that away for when *you* get cancer. You’re welcome.”
Welp. It’s Thursday, and I have a lot to get to today: run Chad, shave my head, shower, fold a basket of laundry, update my Amazon list, and maybe play some Animal Crossing.
Reminder: don’t say that “must be nice” or whatever unless you would also like to do all of that with brain cancer.