I’ve never really talked about my experience with Chemotherapy.
I never felt I could.
There is a bias when the word
Chemo is involved.
If you don’t have Cancer, then you shouldn’t be taking Chemotherapy or have the right to express your pain.
I was diagnosed with
Stage II Sarcoidosis on
December 27, 2005.
More then 50% of Patients are Diagnosed with Stage O.
So, dealing with the fact how advanced my Sarcoidosis was (at age 25), I didn’t have the hours to prepare before I was told to stay home from my
Second Year of Graduate School and start my treatment of Dexamethasone.
(Dexamethasome is a type of steroidmedication. It has anti-inflammatory andimmunosuppressant effects. It is 25 times more potent than cortisol in its glucocorticoideffect, while having minimal mineralocorticoid effect.) http://www.wikipedia.org
Two months later I was on
Methotrexate, which is a type of Chemotherapy Agent that is used alongside other drugs.
Methotrexate literally almost buried me.
I remember crawling to the bathroom from my bedroom (in Graduate School), crying in so much pain as my leg muscles were ripping away from my bones. This being a irreversible side effect.
Four more weeks of Motrin, then four weeks of body detox.
Five months, I’m still sick, spiraling into an early grave.
“Is a chemotherapy drug that has been mainly used in the treatment ofchronic lymphocytic leukemia. It is a nitrogen mustard alkylating agent and can be given orally.” http://www.wikipedia.org
My Prescription was
My Hematologist/Oncologist had to call GlaxoSmithKline to see if they even still manufactured the Drug.
I started taking the little red pill in May 2006.
There was no sun.
Nausea coming in like the San Andreas.
Orthopedic torture, bones cracking with each foot step toward no appetite.
Stomach convulsions from lack of food and the Chemotherapy Agents keeping me alive.
My skin, flesh being torched from my body temperature as it fluctuated quicker then oxygen.
I was alone.
In my apartment, at Graduate School.
Everyone unaware of my Chemo Battle.
(I chose not to tell anyone because of how I was treated in the Department for being an Independent, a Beatnik, a Revolutionary.
And, I had no true friendships, so false pity was something I did not need to add to my terrorizing side effects.
I still worked a Manual Labor job for
$6.25 an hour.
Unloading Trucks and Working the Kitchen at the local Full Gas-Station.
Monday’s was Delivery Day, and I would unload Trucks from
7:00a.m-3:00p.m, telling my self, my soul, to stay alive.
That little red pill coursing through my body as I lifted 75lb boxes, unable to carry them alone, my Boss wondering what happened to his Viking, my skin paler then usual, my hands trembling from holding in my tears of rage.
I would drive the 6 minute drive home, walking over the bridge to my aparment trying to make it to the fourth floor.
Collapsing on the bedroom floor or on my bed not moving for until the moon and stars appeared through my blinds.
Sometimes I think it’s a dream, a dream from maybe my childhood that it is impossible my life was in that much pain.
But, I still can’t talk about it openly.
I didn’t have Cancer, so being on Chemotherapy must be a mistake.
I don’t matter because I didn’t have Cancer even though I was on two separate Chemotherapy Drugs.
(One almost literally killing me).
And, the one’s who do believe still have an opinion that my Chemotherapy experiences weren’t that bad because again, I didn’t have Cancer.
So, as a great quote about chronic sickness and dying, this is for all those individuals who do not think I mattered because I didn’t have Cancer.
“Haven’t you learned anything, not even with the approach of sickness, death? Stop thinking all the time that you’re in the way, that you’re bothering the person next to you. If people don’t like it, they can complain. And if they don’t have the courage to complain, that’s their problem” ― Paulo Coelho
April is Sarcoidosis Awareness Month.