After sitting for hours with my body hooked up to tubes and poison going through my body, hours and days had passed as I waited to FEEL something. The anticipation was odd. So much of the anxiety with cancer is the not knowing. The not knowing when I was going to feel terrible. Saturday and Sunday passed with nothing eventful. I actually felt the same. Monday I went to get my Neulasta shot. Neulasta is a shot I get every Monday after my infusion. Neulasta is used to help make white cells so that your body fights infections during cancer treatment. The shot itself didn’t hurt. They didn’t access my port, just a simple jab in the arm.
Chemodrugz. (Photo credit: Drew Olanoff)
By Monday evening it hit me. My bones ached as if someone was hitting them with a hammer. When Tuesday morning came I didn’t want to get out of my cozy soft bed…..and I didn’t. There I lay sleeping for hours until it was time for Travis to drive me to acupuncture. I told Jingfei of my immense pain in my bones; she expertly placed her needles all over my body. Magically those needles sucked some pain away from my bones and I walked out of her office feeling much better then I had.
The next chemo side effect was my mouth. My teeth felt as if I had braces on them that were tightened with a vice grip. The inside of my mouth felt like raw meat. I couldn’t eat. I could barely move. I felt nausea. I felt like shit. Plain and simple, it was awful. My sleep was fitful at best; the worst pain was in my feet and shins. The pain drove me to tears and loud exclamations of profanity. The chemo was working its black magic on me. How would I endure 5 more times of this?
English: Acupuncture needles. Deutsch: Akupunkturnadeln. Français : Aiguilles d’acupuncture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Acupuncture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As I have mentioned before, I think one of the biggest challenges with Cancer is the loss of control. I have felt that I have been able to gain some control back based on the alternative therapies I am choosing to do. One of them being acupuncture. Although, I have never participated in this practice my dear friend Ann does and she recommended her acupuncturist to me. There I was in this office with this adorable woman from China, Jing Fei. I explained to her my diagnosis and she told me how she has had many cancer patients in the past. Although, I was a bit skeptical of how having many needles put in me would help me feel better during the battle of my breast cancer, I took the leap of faith and laid down on the table. Like an artist on a blank canvas, or a seamstress needling thread,she began to expertly insert needles allover my body. Each one felt like a mosquito sting or a tiny little pinch. Then like a magician done with her magic she left the room. So there I lay with a bunch of needles poking out of me listening to meditative music. I felt like a forgotten voodoo doll. What if there were an emergency? A fire alarm? I couldn’t very well bounce up from the table that I lay on looking for the nearest emergency exit. Thus, I lay as still as a mouse, for fear that any slight motion would hurt or interfere with the magical power of the acupuncture needle. 20 minutes had passed or so when Jing Fei entered the room again. Just as quickly as she inserted the needles she pulled them all out. There I lay and wait, waiting for a “new feeling” to come over me……it didn’t. Jing Fei reassured me that acupuncture takes time. I walked away from the office, still a bit skeptical but confident that I wanted to go back and continue my “voodoo doll” experience again, confident that someday I would feel the benefit.