Counting Down the Hours

Now in the “counting down the hours” homestretch until my appointment with the head-throat oncologist tomorrow morning. The wait has been interminable, full of antsy impatience and dread.

On the one hand, I’ve been finding myself trying to savor odd little moments, like the view of the late-afternoon city skyline through the train window on my commute home from work or the comfortable peace of sitting beside my husband on the couch watching a movie on the television.

And then there are moments I definitely did not savor.

Two of the meds that the ENT prescribed me last week–a short course of a powerful muscle relaxer and a tapering dose of prednisone–ran out a couple days ago. It seems together, they were keeping the excruciating headaches at bay. The pain came back Tuesday night, so bad I was reduced to tears as I waited for the combination of Vicodin and a less-powerful muscle relaxer to blunt it. I’d been without this particular intensity of pain for a week, after experiencing it almost daily for the last several months. It’s amazing how quickly the body forgets pain. I’d forgotten how utterly draining and debilitating it is. I don’t particularly appreciate the reminder.

And then there were the numerous episodes of emotional fallout.

Nighttime for me is always the worst. Might be because I’m one of those unnatural creatures, a morning person. But at night, if I don’t drift off immediately–and I rarely do, as I have been a longtime insomnia sufferer and the tumor hasn’t particularly changed that–my mind spirals out worse case scenarios behind my closed eyelids until I’m overwrought and exhausted. And sleeping is even harder now because the tumor precludes the possibility of sleeping on my left side and makes it difficult sometimes to remain prone. If I shift over onto my left side in my sleep, I’ll inevitably jolt awake from a panicky sense of suffocation because I can’t draw any air through my nose. Even if I do happen to start drifting off, just the sounds of my own labored breath can sometimes wake me.

So, yeah. I want to get the ball rolling on getting this thing out of my head. But I’m also wishing I could have just a little bit longer to enjoy the small bits of day-to-day tranquility that I used to take for granted before I have to embark on the next step of this battle.

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11 Responses to Counting Down the Hours

  1. Jeri Klein says:

    Ever try some simple meditation stuff? My favorites involve “seeing” my heart chakra break into tiny soldiers and go to the root of the pain and aid in healing. The act of focusing your mind may at least quell the pain enough to sleep. And if that’s not your thing, there’s always the energy blanket one I learned back at dance camp (cue funny comments)Basically just “see” a ball of light- color or lack thereof is up to you, slowly cover your feet. And then it gets bigger and slowly inches it’s way up your body. And as each part of your Boyd becomes enveloped in this blanket of ____(love, healing, whatever word you choose) your muscles will relax. <3

  2. I had a tumor in my hip bone a long time ago. I od’d on otc painkillers (miraculously to no ill effect) and had to get up every two hours and ride my bike. This seemed to help til the drugs kicked in. As soon as i was diagnosed and got the right drugs, the pain went away. 3 months of radiation and 12 months of chemo later it went away. I hated hearing everyone else’s cancer stories, but i understand why they felt compelled to tell them. My heart goes out to you. As corny as it sounds, this too will pass.

  3. Michael K. Rose says:

    Keeping you in my thoughts, Eugie. Best of luck.

    Michael

  4. Pher Reinman says:

    thinking about you and Matthew M. Foster

  5. kim says:

    Wishing you the very best. (((hugs)))

    You might try sewing a tennis ball into the back of a nightshirt — that might stop you from rolling onto your left side.

    Seriously, someone should make an HTML tag for that. Then you could turn it off and on to read (or not) at whim. (((hugs)))

  6. kim says:

    Darnit, my clever fake HTML tags look like they got eaten. Maybe if I do it this way:

    Either way, it was meant to combine unsolicited advice with a geeky little chuckle. (((hugs)))

  7. J Mangold says:

    You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    You will win this battle!
    Stay positive and know that, while it is always wonderful to savor the little moments in life, you have many wonderful moments still to cherish in the many years to come!
    We are all with you!

  8. Amy Herring says:

    I hate that you are having to suffer through the headaches again! Hoping that they get the intruder out soon so you can continue with your usual aplomb and joy.

  9. Sending energy your way, sweetie. HUGS!!!

  10. Scott Sandridge says:

    Hang in there, Eugie!

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