Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I am Not My Disease Part 2 - Cancer Smacher and the Oxycontin

I have been having another tough week. We are adjusting meds. One to help with side effects of the estrogen blockers, and one for pain. Oxycontin.

Because the Neurontin is a pain killer too, and it was working well for my hotflashes, the doc started to stairstep me down off of the Oxy. Much to my happiness. That drug really alters your chemistry in a big way. I could feel it. In it's big "hit" form, Oxycodone, it almost shut down my breathing. But I slowly adapted to the Oxycontin.

Let me tell you why I took it. If I sneezed, I was on the floor cussing. The tumors on my spine caused GREAT pain. I muscled through, until I had to start chemo. And realized it was going to be too much to try to do. Heal cancer smancher and manage pain. I manage pain REALLY really well. People didn't even realize how much pain I was in. I am not a whiner. So when you hear me whine.......oh boy.

Back to present day. Adjusting to these drugs has been tricker than chemo-world. I am up, down, and all around. And depressive feelings.......really deep depressive feelings.....like pushing a boulder off you in the morning, were coming out of the blue. I was happy one day and crashing the next.

I mean, come on, we are trying to rip all the estrogen out of my body in one foul swoop. It is gonna to be a rollercoaster.

Yes, we stabilized that.....for a week. And then.........coming down off Oxy. Oh Oxy, it isn't a nasty a Oprah would make it out to be. It was a godsend. I needed a break from the pain. But coming off it, even when you aren't addicted to it.....can make you crazy.

The nurse was surprised at I might be feeling the chills/overstimulated mind that were moderately debilitating, over stepping off one pill, when my dose was so low already. So, she is upping the Neurontin.

And this is where the grit your teeth, and find all the resolve you have left to stand back up once again after being knocked down comes in handy. This SO wants to take me into "I give up" land. But refuse. I didn't go through all of this, just to give up to some silly drug!!!! But trying to argue with the side effects of said drugs just doesn't work. If it is going to take you down, it is going to take you down. The thing is, how to manage not to lose yourself while it all happens.

The difference is this....keeping that inner voice whispering...."This is not you, this is not you. This will pass, this will pass. You will get back on your feet. You will get back on you feet.". Because, man, it is so hard to taste "balanced, and happy, and moving on....." only to go back to feeling physically abused land.

So, this is my reminder to myself and to anyone else out there dealing with getting knock down, and knocked down, and knocked down.....

I am not my disease.
Scans cannot even say for sure where it resides,
if it resides, in this body still.
But the little frisky demons of doubt it left behind,
can be far fiercer than their creator.
The ravages of it's charge,
left scars to remind me of it's attempt.
And my savior, these drugs, have their dark sides.

But, I am not these drugs.
They altered my state,
change the chemical reactions in my synapses,
but that doesn't change me.
I, and You, are far bigger than synaptic space and neural networks.
They are just the framework to hang our souls on.
When every cell has been dismantled,
and you see that to be true,
you will be grounded in reality far more
than the mind can ever take you.

So I remind myself....

I am not my condition.
Conditions pass.
I AM, that still small voice,
telling me, I am none of these things.
These things are like a dance,
happening around my core.
Creating a vessel
to house a spirit.
And because my body has been broken apart,
and all that is left,
is this brilliant core,
I am reminded of this truth once again.

I saw this light in others,
when in childbirth, I was pushed to the edge.
Exhuasted, and fading,
the world became only light.
There were no chairs,
There were no windows, or walls.
No heart monitors, or IV's.
Just space and light.

People, embodied, faded,
and they became currents of light,
strong currents,
balls of light,
balanced one on top of the other,
held together by a core so brillant,
their words becames chords of sound.
I was taken to the core of all things,
near death,
and if you saw these things,
would know true beauty.

I am back to that.
The core of all things.
I am getting wrapped up in this exterior dance
and letting fears stifle me.
I am believing I am these drug reactions,
I am believing I am these chemical reactions,
I am not.
And neither are you.

And when you are pushed to the edge,
and you when you fall
you fall with grace, instead of fear,
you will remember that too.
And even in the darkest of times,
you will feel your light.



MiMi said...

Praying you continue to rise above the pain, this too shall pass. Since you were in first grade you have turned life into poetry.
Write on .
I wish for today clear head, light in the skies and little pain. And no hot flashes.....
From the heart,

Kent, Melisa,Tiana (and Coda) said...

I forgot to ask today how goes the getting off of Oxy? It was good to spend a bit of time with you today, even if I was the one so groggy this time!!!