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Eugie · Foster's · Self-Indulgent · Musings


Counting Down the Hours

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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.

Originally published at EugieFoster.com. You can comment here or there.

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On October 11th, 2013 12:31 am (UTC), madwriter commented:
I'm taking a very deep breath for you that I will hold for as long as necessary.
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On October 11th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC), j_cheney commented:
I wish I could make it all easier...
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On October 11th, 2013 12:19 pm (UTC), jimhines commented:
A friend of mine had to have a brain tumor removed a few years back. I hope everything goes as well for you as it did for her.

::Hugs::
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On October 11th, 2013 03:04 pm (UTC), raidingparty commented:
I somehow had a mental "skip" on that last paragraph, and jumped from "get the ball rolling out of my head."
That then combined with the previous description of a blocked nose, and I had a mental image of you pushing one side of your nose and PTOO blowing it out like an obstreperous booger.
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On October 11th, 2013 05:33 pm (UTC), threeoutside commented:
I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I wish there was more I could do than just send you virtual hugs.

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On October 12th, 2013 05:05 am (UTC), jean_roberta commented:
Oh, Eugie. I'm wishing you well, trying to beam some energy and hope your way.
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On October 12th, 2013 10:27 pm (UTC), gardenwaltz commented:
Crap and crap. I hope by now based on your later posting you have been prescribed more of "the good drugs." However, I want to put a word in for Valerian (assuming it doesn't conflict with anything else). It's an herb, and a fairly mild one, but I have found it is good for stopping the brain going in circles when you really need to be sleeping. I'm a veteran insomniac so while I can't recommend this for "making" you sleep, it does help with unwinding.
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