Not the best Thursday night.

Today was actually going OK, all things considered, until this evening.  Amy and I got back from dinner and I called my father back (he had left a message during dinner) who offered to go with me to chemotherapy tomorrow.  He sounded pretty broken up but I told him it wasn’t necessary and it would be an in-and-out deal.  I just want to put on a game face, get in, get done and get out and save the emotional breakdowns for home, which I’m afraid I won’t be able to avoid with everyone around me in shock at what I’m about to start having to do.


My mother called me back, apparently in secret, and told me he’s not doing very well with all of this and wanted to be there with me, so I called back and invited him.  I just can’t deal with how much this is affecting him — my dad is never emotional, much less in a crippling way.  Up until this cancer business I had only heard his voice crack in sadness twice, once at a funeral and when he called me a few minutes after he found out one of his brothers had died in a car accident.  I’ve heard it more than once this week, and that’s just this week.

Hearing my dad’s broken voice about this is just killing me.  I hear in it all of the anguish of outliving a child, of his eternal optimism just dying, etc.  I don’t know how to handle that.

It’s not bad enough that I have terminal disease, but on top of the overwhelming weight of that and what’s happening to me I’ve found I now carry this tremendous guilt over how it’s affecting everyone around me as well.  Broke down trying to talk to Amy about it while having some birthday cake a friend made for her.  Oh yeah, today was Amy’s birthday and I promised myself I would let this shit go for tonight, but I couldn’t even manage that.

It’s just too much, this is all too much.

Why is this happening to me?

Wednesday.

Sort of a zombie today.  Again spending a lot of emotional effort just not thinking about things, outside of when I have to.  Left a message last night for Dr. M at the MC and this morning for Dr. F at RMCC because I feel like there’s a disconnect between what I’m being told to do with all of this medication (when to take it, etc.) caused by yesterday’s meeting with the nursing guy.  Heard back from a nurse who works with Dr. M. who basically said use as per Dr. F’s instructions, which isn’t exactly “taking charge of my care” in my mind.  The nurse up there also said they have received nothing yet from RMCC, which is annoying.

Have errands to run for my wife’s birthday tomorrow.

Bad night.

Bad night … stressed out, short temper, the works. I think it’s the reality of picking up all of these pills at the pharmacy on the way home.  Now they’re just sitting on my desk like the grim reaper.  Feel super tense tonight ever since I put Ariana to bed and I can’t shake it off even when I’m not thinking about any of this.

Have two minor adjustments to make to my medication, so glad I went and got the stuff tonight.  There’s a more effective version of one of the nausea meds (a version that dissolves under the tongue and hits you quicker), and they only gave me 1 week’s worth of one of the three chemotherapy drugs with no refills (the 10-pills a dose steroid).  The pharmacy tech was nice, although she offered me the obligatory “sorry” about having to take all of this stuff.  I understand, it’s just a hard reaction to hear so much lately.  I’m sorry too, folks.  Not quite as sorry as my daughter will be that she didn’t have a daddy because he died of cancer, but yeah.

I know that’s horribly unfair, I know.  I’m just bitter right now, it’s just me tonight.  This just is so intense at times I can’t cope with it.  It’s not like I don’t appreciate people caring, even strangers — hell I feel guilty most of the time for existing with this, like I’m bringing down the people around me.  I’m sorry she had to deal with someone with cancer today, talk about a buzz-kill.

Frustrated.  Like my Aunt said today, it doesn’t seem fair.  Got that right, Aunt B.

Time for another Xanax and to try to sleep this mood off.

I came close to doing something this afternoon that I have yet to do, which is break out the cancer card to get something.  I called the Sky Ridge RMCC to schedule the three chemo sessions I need to do there and the person who answered the phone didn’t know how to do that since my primary doctor in their group is stationed at another location, and I started to get the “this is too much of a pain in the ass” vibe you get from people who forget the compassion side of the job.  I was a few moments from giving her the sob story but she finally got the right person on the phone and got us all set up.  Hopefully correctly.

On a lighter note (which isn’t too hard to hit after the last four paragraphs), been watching videos for the last few hours trying to cheer up and calm down while putting together an Iron Maiden playlist for a friend’s young son (5 years old?  My memory sucks).  He was singing some horrifying “Call Me Maybe” pop garbage the last time I saw him, so it’s intervention CD time.  Wanted to put some Slayer on there too but we need to work up to that, and 5’s a bit young for the lyrics of Angel of Death, Dead Skin Mask and South of Heaven.

Six should be OK for that though, right?

Chemo-educated.

Had my chemotherapy “class” this morning with the head of nursing at the cancer clinic I’ll be doing my chemotherapy at.  He was nice and calming, and walked me through what to expect, side effects, what to do in certain scenarios, etc.  I should probably go pick my pharmacy’s worth of drugs today, although I’ll admit I’m a bit freaked out by the concept.  If frigging Anthem BCBS hadn’t broken with Walgreens at least I could have gone to a drive thru, but now I have to stand in line with a compromised immune system with a ton of sick, nosy people while I pick up like 10 prescriptions.  Which being King Soopers will be handled with the delicacy, privacy and professionalism I would expect if I were having my scripts filled at Grease Monkey.

Sigh.

On the bright side, although my chemotherapy will be a weekly thing, (1) I only have to do it at Rose once a month (for an IV infusion that lasts 20 minutes and a visit with the local oncologist) and can do the other 3 weeks at Sky Ridge (about 1.5 hours closer to my house/office, round-trip), and (2) I was told on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being a stubbed toe and 10 being death my regimen should be about a 1.25.  It’s basically a ton of pills I take on my own, a shot in the stomach once a week at one of their locations, and then this IV drip business.  So hopefully that wasn’t just wishful thinking that it will go easy — what this is going to be like has been adding a whole new fun layer on top of the already full cup o’ “fuck, I have to do chemotherapy” anxiety I was already dealing with.

We even chatted about medical marijuana and hemp oil this morning, although after reading a local story on Facebook today about a Colorado family with a child in a fight with Child Protective Services due to the parent’s MMJ cards I’m just closing that avenue of treatment down for now.  I’d rather, well, die of cancer, quite honestly, than put my daughter in jeopardy.  So score one for the ignorati.

Mentally and emotionally I’ve been doing alright this week, at least for the most part.  I think most of that has been accomplished simply by trying not to think about it too much.  I had a long talk with my Aunt after the class this morning and she seemed to think I sounded good, and positive.  I don’t really feel that way, just resigned to move forward.  I’ve learned about as much as I can, I’ve stacked all the odds I can affect in my favor, and I’m now on the only road visible.

Doesn’t mean I’m psyched to be on it, though, nor do I think it takes much courage.  I’ve been given a choice, effectively, of giving up and my daughter never knowing who I was or trying to be around for her — it doesn’t take courage to make the right decision there, just love.