Last time I posted I was counting the minutes until I would be finished with chemo. What do they say about best laid plans? Wouldn’t you know it, I had a cancelled infusion. And I was devastated.
I’d been having arrhythmia off and on since the PICC line was put in and had mentioned it to my Oncologist and he never seemed concerned (maybe because of my history, or maybe he wasn’t listening?) so I let it ride. But on the day of chemo #9 my arrhythmia was off the charts. I mentioned it to the nurse when my PICC dressing was being changed and she made me promise to inform the nurses at chemo because chemo-related heart damage risks… well, in theory if my heart was in trouble having chemo could kill me.
My new to me chemo nurse was worried when I mentioned that the arrhythmia was worse than normal and insisted on calling the head Oncologist (since mine was on vacation). In a flash chemo was cancelled and I had my walking papers for a chest x-ray (to look at where the PICC was sitting) and EKG. I tried to negotiate having chemo if my tests came back clear but she gently told me it was too late in the day to get it done. This news was even more crappy because I was an hour late being called in. She was very sorry and asked if I understood why it had to be cancelled. I did. But I was sad.
Within 30 mins of leaving the chemo unit the PICC line team called to book me an appt and the x-ray and EKG were done. EKG looked fine when I was hooked up, but of course my heart went bonkers when I got outside.
I was starving so we went to Wendy’s to eat my feelings but the burger and fries were lousy. Poor Steve tried to make me feel better about the delay by saying “it’s only one week”, and I lost my mind. I had my heart set on 21 days until chemo was done. I had been hanging on by my fingernails to be honest. I have been pushing through week after week but it’s been hard. I’m exhausted, achy, nauseated, slow (in mind and body) and fat. I want to take a bath. I want to lift things. I want to start feeling better for Christmas and celebrate with a glass of wine. So I cried. For about 18 hours. And while I was having this pity party I thought of the people who live with chronic illnesses and that made me feel worse because at least I have an end in sight. I cried more.
By the next day I was over it (full disclosure: when anyone called to see how I was holding up I ugly cried) but in my head I was at peace with it. So I pushed myself to do things and see people, and before I knew it it was Monday and I was feeling a bit more energetic! This made me really excited because not only was I back on my 22 day countdown, but I was feeling stronger going into chemo than I had since my first infusion in August! Maybe this mini-break wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
During my week off I also met with my surgeon and she was very pleased with my chemo response and general health. My surgery is booked for January 17th and we laughed because I was so excited over heading to chemo the next day and having a surgery date. I left feeling more optimistic than I had in weeks!