A date with my weed wacker
Published Thursday, May 27, 2010 10:54AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 6, 2013 12:55PM EDT
So, you're on the highway, and in your rear view mirror you the see the front grill of a monster rig. You know, the ones with the double trailer -- maybe the type that haul logs, or lumber -- the ones with another semi trailer hooked on behind it. It's a 20-ton beast riding on 30 wheels.Why do I mention it? Well, it's the only way I can describe how I felt over the last few days. It was like that very truck had backed over me. Beep, beep, beeeeep... Coming through!
We are talking aches -- top to bottom. There was also shortness of breath and massive fatigue. Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a wee bit, but it was rough, to say the least. I guess the biggest shock for me was that it took a couple of days to kick in.
36 hours after treatment, I was still feeling good, maybe too good. Wearing a huge sun hat and basted in sunscreen (as per doctor's orders) because of extra sun-sensitivity from treatment, I ventured out to the backyard for a moment of what I call "normalness." Oh sure, I looked like a bee keeper, covered up and all, but it was worth it. I was dressed up for a 15-minute chore date with my weed wacker. It wasn't a huge commitment, I was just snipping down the overgrown late spring grass along the patio. It was just to get the taste of something I had done hundreds of times before the diagnosis, and more importantly, before the treatment.
It was to be a much needed escape. In some small way, it validated what I was hoping for -- that I made it. I made it through the first treatment unscathed, and this was the proof.
For the record, my weed wacker is a powerful tool. It is not for the novice. We are talking a dual-string, auto feed, built-in edge guard, powerful, cutting machine. And wow -- it felt good!
For those precious few moments everything was normal and no one, no illness, could take that away from me. Sure enough, shortly after I completed the task -- even while coiling up the extension cable -- I knew my threshold had been reached. It was time for a heavy duty break. Still, beside the limited energy, I was very pleased with the fact that I was relatively okay.
That is until later that night. It seemed that my luck had run out, and my body was now waving the white flag, handing itself over to the powerful medications that were introduced a couple of days ago.
It started as pain -- not piercing, better call 911 stuff, just a full body ache -- everywhere. No position would remedy it. I would toss and turn searching for a moment of comfort. That was the beginning of what would be an extremely uncomfortable, exhausting 3 days.
As minutes became hours, and hours became sleepless nights, I checked in with my oncologist just to be sure. What alarmed me the most was the shortness of breath. It just didn’t feel right. After reading the endless "worst-case" side effect literature provided by the hospital, you, naturally, think the worst. The doctor ordered up some x-rays. They all came back clear. It was suggested the problem could be a case of spring allergies or maybe a mild viral infection that my body was trying to fight. Thankfully, nothing serious.
For the next 2 days I became a house sloth, a heavy sack of potatoes. I could only drag my butt from the bed, to the couch, for a change of scenery, then back to bed. I did feel a little nauseous too, but thankfully that was short-lived, thanks to the backup anti-nausea meds. The bright spot in this latest chapter is that my appetite remained intact. I still like to eat.
So will the next treatment be the same? Will it be worse? Will be it better? I sure hope so. If nothing else, at least the grass around the patio looks good.
Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day.