I recap some of the takeaways from my appointment with psychiatry as I navigate the mental game of dealing with cancer.
Chemotherapy takes a toll. It's difficult to rely on motivation alone to keep on track with treatment. It requires discipline.
The low-grade panging of anxiety feels like a buzzing in my brain, as if there's a mosquito taking up residence inside my cranium. The little bastard won't quit. He just keeps slamming against my skull, trying to escape. It's persistent. It's debilitating.
Many of the folks in the cancer community have told me that the third time is when you find out how chemotherapy will really go. The reason being that the drugs build up over time. Anyone who takes long-term prescriptions will be able to relate. You take your drugs daily and build a maintenance level—an amount of the drug persists in your system—in order to receive the benefits.
Over the last three and a half months, I've reflected regularly on the impact that storytelling has had on my experience with cancer. Today I want to touch on some of the more difficult topics.
Receiving chemotherapy for the first time is exhausting. The buildup to the day, with the associated tests, appointments, and procedures, leaves treatment day as the final boss in a weeklong gauntlet of physical and mental torment.
It's been tough to provide an update because, in truth, nothing much has changed. I'm supposed to start treatment this week.
It's Sunday. Tomorrow, just over 24 hours from now, I meet with my medical oncologist to make a decision about the chemotherapy options that have been presented to me.
Look, I know that screaming in music isn't for everyone, but it works for me. I've relied on adrenaline inducing music over the years to help me process emotions and, at times, feel anything at all.
It's already been three weeks since my bowel resection. Imagine that! Time apparently flies when you're paralyzed with existential dread. I'm kidding. Kind of.