I’m participating in a clinical trial for my chemo regimen. While I am an adult, I still fit the profile for “adolescent” age leukemia. So lo and behold, I am receiving the pediatric regimen for chemo. Which means that I get more chemo all the time for 2- 1/2 to 3 years. Fun times. One of the drugs that is a part of protocol is a e. coli based med called PEG-asparaginase. Guess who had an allergic reaction to it. Fun. Fun. The twisted part is that this drug is so important to the study that I have to get it (or a variation) to stay in the program. Cue Erwinia. I’ve been taking it since March (I think, it’s been a while since I had the reaction) but a variation in chemo means a variation in how I take it. Instead of an IV every once in a while, I have to drive to the hospital (40 minute commute each way) to get two shots (it takes about ten minutes) every other day for six days. While I am grateful for this alternative and I am grateful that I tolerate the Erwinia well, the whole process wears a bit thin.
Take today, (oh hell, let’s look at this week) for instance. I got vincristine and doxirubicin yesterday. I know that vincristine is hell on my body, but the doxirubicin is new. When I got my first dose last week, I actually make it through the whole week feeling okay (let’s ignore the nasty steroid side effects) because I was also taking a low dose of steroids. This week, I’m taking a break from the ‘roids. Last night, I was restless and in so much pain that the chef had to sit in the floor and squeeze my hands, arms, feet, and legs for an hour so I could have some relief while I waited for the pain meds to start working. Should I have premedicated? Yes. Should I have waited until 3 am to take something for pain? Of course not. Will this happen again? Maybe, but probably not anytime soon.
Anyway, when it was time for mom to show up this morning to watch the kids, I was a hot mess. I will be 35 in two months and so help me, I got out of bed, laid my head in my momma’s lap and cried to her. And drank grape kool-aid. It was like I was five all over again.
The chef and I eventually made it out to the cancer center at GMH so I could get my shot and come home. In the meantime, I’m surly and hungry and tired and dizzy. I spent most of the ride home inventing creative ways to cuss and saying twat. I had the chef stop at the little farm stand outside of Pendleton so I could pick up a couple of zukes and cukes and (hopefully) a cauliflower since the one P got from the store last night vanished. Then I got mad a P because the stand doesn’t take cards and we didn’t have a checkbook in the car. And they didn’t have cauliflower. Luckily, he takes it in stride, but I felt horrible. I choked back some tears and told him (in the middle of the parking lot) that I was sorry for acting like a festering cunt.
When we got home, I walked into the kitchen, put my veggies away, and promptly broke into tears because there were like 5 dirty dishes (one was the dutch oven that I needed) in the kitchen and I needed to wash them. And I needed to make a pot roast…NOW! And I was hungry and didn’t know what to make for myself, but I DID NOT want another grain-based product because my stomach hurts from all of the abuse that is has suffered. And some creamed corn had spilled over the bottom shelf. And I was thirsty. I cycled between cussing and crying and snapping and apologizing and wandering aimlessly around the kitchen.
My poor husband just takes it all in stride. He’s tired. He’s scared and stressed and worried. He has to be a rock and caregiver and husband on top of work and provide and homeschool and father. And I yelled at him because he asked if he could lay down for a few minutes before going to work. When he asked me if I was okay, I looked him in the eye and said “No. I don’t feel good and I am going to be a festering cunt about it.” I don’t feel like much of a good wife right now.
In the end, he washed the dishes I needed for the roast, chopped veggies and got the pot started while I made myself a little stew-type thing for lunch. Once my meal was finished cooking, he told me to go and sit and eat while he got ready to go work. I ate the first real, home prepped meal that I’ve had in about a week. It was soothing and comforting and it gave the the warm fuzzies that I associate with a big bowl of spag/meatballs. And I felt a lot better. Before P left, I apologized again, but he just smiled and told me that he loved me and that it would all be okay. Then he made a roid rage joke and left for work.
I love him so much and sometimes I don’t think that I deserve him. But I am so glad that we have each other.
Easy Comfort Stew (serves 1)
1 italian sausage, cut into bits…cook in pot while prepping other ingredients
1 garlic clove, cut however. I just sliced it.
bit o’ onion, 1/4 handful?
small knob butter
1 tomato, chopped
a few shrooms, sliced. Use whatever tickles your fancy
small handful of kale
throw in some shredded carrot, for color
salt, basil, oregano
That’s it. Cook up the sausage pieces while you’re chopping the rest of the ingredients. I was pretty careless about it since I was hungry/emotional/hot and I was trying to keep it all on one paper plate. Anyway, once the sausage was cooked, I just tossed the plate contents into the pot and let it simmer until it smelled right. When it was finished, I threw a handful of shredded parm on top and enjoyed my soup. I’ve been craving spag and meatballs for a week and this actually hit the spot. I’ll certainly make it again.