Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chemotherapy and psychotherapy

So yesterday was Chunks-a-lot's first day of chemo and I'll be honest, I was terrified. The drug they are using for this first infusion is called MTX and it is a bright yellow liquid. I broke out into a cold sweat watching the fluid travel up into her body...it just gave me the creeps for some reason. There's this part of me that wants to grab her up and run away, I'm not really sure where to, but somewhere far away. Even though I know that the Chemotherapy will help her, I also know that it will cause a lot of unpleasant side effects that will make her life hard. I guess I just want to rescue her, but I can't....and that breaks my heart. There's always this smell in hospitals, like a really strong oxygen smell mixed with some sort of weird spaghetti odor. That probably sounds weird, but it's just the only way I can describe it. As we were walking down the hallways of the second floor last night, dragging an IV tower full of bags behind a very active one year old, I couldn't get past that smell. Everytime I bent down to hug Chunks-a-lot or play with her in the floor, I could smell it in her hair, on her clothes....and for some reason it made me mad. It was like this weird sense of "leave my daughter alone!". And I don't think it was really the smell that was making me angry, it was just this interruption in her joyous childhood. This lingering stench that I just can't seem to get rid of. The cancer that keeps dividing, multiplying and growing....it haunts me daily. I keep walking past these little plug holes in the walls that say "Attachment for Nitrous Oxide"....I have been searching for the line that plugs into this port but my efforts seem to be in vain. I have jokingly asked the nurses if I can hook myself up for a couple of hours to escape this mental trauma, maybe provide myself with some psychotherapy while Chunks-a-lot has her chemotherapy. Yet as hard as all of this has been on me, it hasn't seemed to slow my little chunk down a bit. She has been like a little ball of joy since we got here and the entire hospital now knows her by name. I actually walked in the front doors of the hospital this morning after running back to our housing for a shower and the security guard at the front desk said, "Hey, McKaylee's mom!". I feel like my daughter has moved us to a celebrity status. So for those times where I can't find it in myself to hold back the tears any longer, she comes bouncing down the halls calling out, "Momma!" and my sadness disappears. God has given us such a wonderful gift of happiness, wonder and joy all wrapped up in this precious little girl. And as hard as it might be at times, her resilience never ceases to amaze me. I have learned so much from her bravery and her strength and it seems weird to learn life lessons from your one year old child but I think that might be the way God intended it. So the Chemo is about to be turned off and this first page in a never ending story will be complete. What have I learned from this so far? One, always bring an ample supply of narcotics and two, love your children endlessly. Even on those days where they irritate you so badly that you don't think you can stand it; bend down, look them in the eye and lose yourself in the essence of what makes them babies. Their world is so innocent and free from inhibitions and we should envy that....I know I do. Life is short, so enjoy it while you have it. Alright, I'm off to find that Nitrous Oxide again....

1 comment:

Shea said...

I'm praying for a miracle! Please let me know if there's anything I can do!