Saturday, July 2, 2011

Iron Woman

Well, this IS a collection of thoughts about what is going on in my life right now, and, as such, does not really need to be all Pollyanna all the time. Yesterday was an example of a tough day.

I needed Iron, I was told. And so we scheduled it for yesterday. Fridays are usually not a treatment day. I go in on Monday, get a few hours of "treatment" (i.e. chemotherapy or, as I prefer to call it, the Magic Elixir or The Golden Elixir). And then, when I leave at the end of the treatment, I wear a pump home for the next two days which gives me a slow infusion of more drugs. I go back in to have the pump removed on Wednesdays and at that time I get "hydration" - saline water. But on week 1 I ended up dehydrated and cramping and in the hospital for the weekend so they decided to try more hydration on the Friday of my second treatment.

Oh, and Iron.

Well, the hydration is not a big deal. I have a "port" which is a place under my collarbone where they can put drugs into my blood without sticking my arm. It hurts, but not a whole lot. And I had had 3 treatment or hydration sessions and was feeling okay about everything, kind of knowing what to expect. I was told that the Iron would take a long time and there might me side affects but I was not ready for the two page list of possible things that could happen to me. And when the nurse read them to me and told me of all the things that might happen I was very frightened.

I mean, I had never been told that something I was about to willingly accept might make me violently nauseous or might make me have heart palpitations or worse. But I have had low energy and if your "counts" are low, you might have to skip a treatment and I do not want to slow things down at all so I signed the paper and tried to both brace for and willingly accept the test dose of Iron.

The nurse sat with me. Heather did too, holding my hand as I gripped hers. I cried. Who, after all, wants to get instantly, violently sick? In a room full of people? Or not, for that matter. But then I tried to breathe easily and tell myself that it was good, it was going to make me strong, it was going to make me better. And the test dose dripped in and was okay and then the real bag of Iron came and it, too, went into my port and then, a long time later, we were done.

I spent today near home. They warned me I might have more affects today but I didn't. I actually feel pretty good. No fever. No chills. No odd sensations. Nothing, except a residue of anxiety that I am trying, still, to shed. It is slipping away. Slowly.

In the meantime, my hives of bees are doing very well. Lots of bees fly around my yard. And yesterday, while I was getting the Iron, my friend Debra came and visited the hive that had not had a Queen. She found 3 Queen cells, the makings of three new Queens. It seems that these bees are doing what they need to keep themselves going. To me this is a huge relief. The bees made it through the winter last year but will not last if they don't have a Queen who lays eggs which turn into workers who do the work that needs to be done to make it through this coming winter.

And while I was getting the Iron, Debra sent me a note saying that she had found the makings of Queens. And by then I was well into the infusion and I was feeling better and the fright had dissolved a bit and the good news of the bees, once again, washed over me and filled me with gratitude and made me trust that it will be okay.

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