One hot mess

Time to make some excuses. It was my intent to have part two of my trip to Utah up days ago. My infusion on Thursday was without incident, and on Friday I checked off the items on a fairly ambitious day-after-chemo list. However, I also cut way back on the dexamethasone (steroid) this time:  two, two, one, none—or, over and out by Friday afternoon. Of course, by Saturday I crashed, and the sudden heat wave simply contributed to an overwhelming sense of torpor. All volition vanished, and I focused what little attention I could muster on replenishing my fluids and following the plot line of The Cloud Atlas (what a long and ridiculous movie). Staying hydrated proved easier than comprehension, and when dinner presented additional challenge—chew, swallow, think, repeat!—I began to wonder if I might have backed off the steroid a little too quickly.

I slept quite soundly Saturday night; for almost twelve straight hours. Of course, that is the upside of my decision to cut back on the dexamethasone. The oppressive heat was a little softer yesterday—the heavy air pushed around by gusts of wind. A glass of iced coconut water in hand, I spent much of the day anchored to the couch directly in front of the blast from an industrial sized fan.

Almost as clean as a newborn baby

Almost as clean as a newborn baby

In the meantime, David has been opening the pool for the season. When he peeled back the heavy green cover on Friday, twelve frogs in various states of decay decoupaged the bottom. A dead amphibian—or even a mouse or vole, is not uncommon as we proceed through the summer, but twelve at once was a new (and somewhat distressing) record. It was going to be necessary to drain two thirds of the water in order to change the bulb in the pool fixture and to redo some caulking. I was in favor of flushing out all of what I now felt to be a bacterial broth, but David was sure that ‘shocking’ the pool would be sufficient (for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on what to do when you find a dead animal in your pool, click here. And pay special attention to any raccoons that may have fallen in and drowned while washing their dinner.).

Well, David finally came around to my way of thinking, which was generous of him as he would be doing all of the work this time around. And what a job it has been. Or, as he says, “this is how much I love you”. Which is, I feel, beside the point—and my rather pathetic line anyway. Just ask Pete. When I pulled up to school on Friday and handed him an icy drink from Starbucks, I repeated a version of the same line. Different context, same underlying plea:  I hope you notice the effort I am making on your behalf.

And I do, I really do.

It rained last night and the air has cooled. With the help of an ambien, I enjoyed a second night of sound sleep, troubled only by dreams of a headmaster who would not let me out of the bathtub to attend recess. A little hungover from the ambien, I’ve got one nap under my belt already this morning—it is now time for a second cup of coffee. By this afternoon, I should be ready to tackle Vegas.

12 responses to “One hot mess

  1. The word “woozy” sums it up for me. I hope none of the pool 12 were related to the ones we gallantly transported back to nature last summer.

  2. I would have drained it entirely too. And the decadron makes one insane. I was on it for almost a month after my first craniotomy. How is one suppose to heal if you can’t sleep, glad you are.

    • Melanie, glad you concur (it seemed the only rational decision). And yes, I hate steroids. It amazes me that people actually choose to abuse them.


  3. Love your writing and your spirit! A pleasure to hear your description of mundane life and the trials it bears. For you it’s so colorful… and you help us understand. Your sharing is important and reads like a prose. Were you an English major?
    take care and feel well soon!

    • Thanks Dana. You got the colorful part right—I was an art major with an English minor. Now it does feel as if I am an English major with an art minor.


  4. I love David’s comment that this is how much he loves you. Beautiful. And I appreciate the effort you put into updating your moving and wonderfully written blog.

  5. The pool is good for the soul 🙂 Yours is beautifully architectural, with the granite surround instead of the usual coping. It’s lots of work but worth the beauty and exhilaration when you hit the water.

    I hope you find a balance with the decadron. I think one the day before and one the day of infusion worked for me, and lots of carbs for dinner 😉

    Glad you’re having some fun!

    xxoo, jazz

    • Jazz, I think the steroids need to be whittled down to as few as possible…The pool guy has come, the filter is on and chemicals in—I believe it is about time to crank up the heat! Hang in there my fellow traveler.


  6. thank you for the discussion of dexamethasone. I have been following tapering off instruction since radiation therapy but the stuff drives me crazy though on the other hand if lead the charge to reverse brain metastasis … at least I know I am not alone, thanks!

    • Patrick, I don’t know of many long-time uses of steroids who like them. It’s the sort of thing where the first time all the energy is kind of fun, but the novelty wears off quickly as the other side effects become apparent. Keep charging ahead!


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