Well, it started out easy enough. 4 pills twice a day. Way better than the chemo chair. Three days in I woke to my feet on fire and beet red. I was sure I must have set my bed on fire but no. The dreaded HFS. Hand foot syndrome. Fairly common with Xeloda.
Got in the shower to cool my sizzling feet and then it hit me. The psychic pain. All the other memories during my journey through hell aka cancer camp. I was bawling. Holding on to the towel bar inside the shower. Cooling the inferno coming from my feet as my brain decided to show me highlights of some of the brutal moments of cancer camp. That time my port was voluntarily coming out of my chest and was cut out in the surgeon’s office. Didn’t even get a shot of whiskey or a bullet to clench when he did. That time the incisions of my breast reconstruction started to open up and they stuffed those deep wounds like I was a Civil War soldier. That time I was in so much pain stuffing those wounds myself, my oldest son had to talk to my plastic surgeon’s office because I literally could not speak. That time a cocky insensitive impatient anesthesiologist couldn’t find a vein to start an IV so he went in my neck, which took several tries. Waking up after my double mastectomy to a chest as flat as a plank, where two fat boobies used to be. A biopsy taken from my L1 vertebra with a drill, while I was awake, and not given enough IV pain meds.
That morning in the shower, it all came back to me, and I just had to cry. Not about all the uncertainty that lay ahead, because that could have flooded the house. No. I just had to give myself a moment to grieve and comfort myself recalling the horrors and glitches and pain and losses of this ten years enduring cancer camp.
There there now. Cry. Have a good good cry Girl. This is hard hard shit and you’ve been a damn trooper through it all. There there now.
I watched as the cold water rinsing my feet and the hot tears dropping off my face went down the drain together. I did my best to keep hope from going with them.