Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day Thirteen: I'm Clean

Last night, I took my first real shower in, oh, I don't even know when.  In order to be able to shower, I have to cover my Hickman line with a big patch made from Saran Wrap and medical tape.  It's definitely a skill I am going to have to finesse and work on since I'll be going home with "my tubies" and will keep them in for an indefinite amount of time.  Adrian helped me slap together my patch this first time, but I'm going to have to start figuring out a system of my own.  Adrian also helped me wash my hair and scrub my back and yeah, it was just that sexy.  Because folks, when your skin has had days to stew in its own oils, it's not pretty.  Downright leperous.   All red, spotchy, zitty, flaky.  Yum.

I've spending a lot less time connected to my old friend Cletus, the IV stand.  I tend to get antibiotic a few times a day and maybe a transfusion.  When these aren't happening, my nurse unhooks me and I'm home free.  After spending almost two weeks constantly wired up, it's a strange sensation to be able to hop up and dash to the potty without dragging a mechanized hatrack behind you.  I am reminded of Morgan Freeman at the end of Shawshank Redemption, physically needing to ask for permission to go pee even after leaving the prison walls.

Today is my second fever free day.  There's been something vaguely unsettling about my post-chemo side effects.  The way it was originally explained to me, chemotherapy was akin to surviving Hiroshima.  So imagine how pleasantly surprising it's been that so far my worst side effects have been fever and a generally icky feeling.  But there's a part of me that wonders, "What if the chemo's not working?  What if my body's rejecting it?  What if my cancer's a super-duper tough strain?"  Then of course, I have to tell myself to shut the hell up.

What I envision these last few days of reduced symptoms has meant is that Zombie Warrior's just making her last few passes through the corpse-laden building she is trying to liberate.  She stops every once and a while to dispatch a lingering zombie, maybe one trapped under the remains of its undead comrades that she takes out with one shot to his forehead with her boot planted firmly over his snapping jaws.  Or maybe the one stuck in a stairwell, bumping aimlessly into the walls; she'd kick open the door, fire off a round, maybe two, and then be on her way to the next floor.  She's relying on her pistol mostly, with a free hand close to her machete.  Occaisionally, a civilian dashes by, and she steadies herself as she's learned after too many mistakes.  There aren't that many zombies left in the building, but she's not going to stop shooting until she knows for sure the halls are free of the Stupid Leukemic Undead.

Now, how does one progress with the clean up of a formerlly zombie infested building?  A skid steer with a bulldozer attachment and a bonfire?

This morning I dreamt about being at the beach with my friends, getting hot dogs and fries at the DQ.  Immediately upon waking, I began to fret about the combination of "the tubies" and bathing suits.

Tomorrow is the much anticipated bone marrow biopsy to determine how effectively Zombie Warrior has vanquished the Stupid Leukemic Zombie Cells from my body.  It's a pretty darn big deal.  The elders from my church are coming to pray over me and anoint me with oil.  And no, it's not as cultish as it sounds.

I need all the prayers I can get right now.


Drake said...

My ties to Cletus and shower-free time only lasted a couple of days (due to my hopefully healing compound fracture 4 weeks ago), but that first free pee and the first shower were magnificent.

I'll be adding my prayers to your church elders.

amy =) said...

ditto, which i've already said. i'm an elder at my church, and we have "healing and wholeness" services at which we annoint people with oil and "lay hands" (pray). i'm glad to hear you have some peeps to do that for you, and that you included it in your blog.

tinksgirl said...

I'll be praying extra hard for you.

superEdna said...

I am sending prayers your way, lady. My friends at MY church are praying for you, too.

tania said...

I'm not religious - do good thoughts and positive vibes count? I hope so.

I remember my dad having to deal with showering with his 'tubies' - he never got the hang of the 'patch', or so he said - I think he just wanted mum to spongebath him... ;-)

Zombie Warrior Goddess: yeah, I'd go with using one of those scoopy machines they have at roadworks to pick up the really-most-sincerely-dead zombies, make a big bonfire of them, and watch 'em sizzle! First check the local smoke regulations, of course.

Stay strong!


Marissa said...

Me too me too! Will be checking the blog to see how it goes...

wombat said...

friend of smitten here, i intend to participate in an energy healing session sunday night, and i need your permission to include you. the website is
yay or nay?

Neal said...

My site is having technical difficulties. Hopefully, it'll be back up in a couple days.

Who'sThatGirl said...

My friends and I are praying for you too. So glad you got to bathe! It's the BEST feeling when you finally get clean after being unable to shower for so long. Enjoy your freedom and know that more people are praying (or pulling) for you than you can possibly fathom.

litelysalted said...

I've been wringing my hands for three days now. I hope, hope, hope everything came up 'Pink.

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