Sunday, October 14, 2007

Chemo a.k.a. "Liquid Death"

Have I ever written about my chemotherapy experience? I don't think I have. It was several years ago now but I still remember that period and I think I always will.

People often associate chemotherapy with cancer but it isn't the only condition it's used for. I was given chemo as treatment for my lupus. The rheumatologist prescribed weekly doses of Methotrexate that I was to administer to myself.

It came in little glass vials that I picked up from the pharmacy. I was working there so at least I didn't have to worry about anything like this happening to me. I purchased a clean needle each week. The pharmacy sold them in singles, ostensibly for diabetics though I'd think that anyone who was insulin-dependent would probably need more than one needle at a time. The people who came to purchase them varied so widely that I don't know what they were used for mostly. Anyway, I had to push the needle in through the rubber top on the bottle and draw out the amount that I was prescribed to take each week. After ensuring that I had the right amount, I withdrew the needle and pushed the contents into a glass of orange juice which I then drank straight down.

The stuff tasted horrible. It gave the orange juice the worst taste imaginable. It was sort of like how I'd imagine drinking Pine-sol would taste. Almost as soon as I drank it, the seasickness would begin. The floor felt as if it just wouldn't keep still. I remember one evening I was walking to my assigned register with my cash till and feeling like the world was sliding from under me. I was right next to shelves full of glass liquor bottles stacked from the floor to above my head. I slammed the till on the counter as I steadied myself. When that wave had passed, I put my drawer in the till and kept working.

My hair was long when I began chemo. It was glossy and past my shoulders and always perfectly coiffed because my mother is a former cosmetologist who styled my hair every week. It had never been prettier in my life. At least, it certainly seems that way to me but perhaps that memory is tainted by the fact that in a little while it was all gone.

This is a picture of me and VanGoghGirl that shows my hair prior to chemotherapy.

Okay, this is as much as I can do right now. I'll try and come back to this later.


donna darko said...

Such Pretties!

Disgruntled Ladye said...

After ensuring that I had the right amount, I withdrew the needle and pushed the contents into a glass of orange juice which I then drank straight down

YUCK! I'd much prefer injecting the stuff (what I do) or taking the pill form (used to do).

MTX is the devil.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Losing my hair would be rough, it's how people remember me and largely identify me. It's the only thing I fuss over; I don't wear make-up or 'fashionable' clothes, and I often kid myself I am above such things, but the possibility of losing my hair reminds me that we all have our vanities.

A woman who has lost her hair has faced down major fears, and is therefore PRETTY TOUGH in my book!

In any event, your seeker-soul shines through your photos and we can see your beauty, if you have hair or goal is to be likewise, so such things won't get to me if/when they should occur. :)

cripchick said...

i love you, bint. you are still as beautiful as ever, if not more.