Round I: Entering the Ring

I slip into the seclusion a truly ill person knows. Just me, confined to the bed day and night; just me, trying not to drown in the dark waters of drugs and discomfort.

In the months of ill health preceding my diagnosis, I dragged with fatigue. I would dream about entire days or weekends of lying in bed… longing for endless sleep and rest.

That is not the desire of a normal person. Our daydreams may include lazily sleeping a morning away or long afternoon naps, but there is usually something in between all the sleeping that adds to the appeal of the dream. I simply craved the sleep.

As the steriods preceeding the chemotherapy infusion start to wear off, I'm left in a haze that nastily grants my wish for continuous sleep. Drugged sleep and discomfort.  Discomfort and drugged sleep...

For my subsequent rounds, I will not so adamantly follow the prescription regime suggested to me; going forward, I will choose side effects over drugged haze.

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Coming out of the haze of Round I, about a week after the infusion, I am brutually eager to discover if my arthritis symptoms are gone. I've asked every doctor I've seen, starting with the OB-GYN who diagnosed me, if the joint inflamation problems are related to the cancer. Surely I have finally found the real cause of my health problems all-around! I mean really, how plausable is it that I would come down with two major diseases, almost simultaneously?

In spite of the tepid to downright discouraging responses I receive about the arthritis-cancer link, I persist under the thinking that they are related. The thought of fighting through the cancer treatment to return to the immobility and weekly shots of Spondylitis is more than I can handle.

Curing one will cure the other, I tell myself as a desperate mantra.

And after each round, each surgery, each of phase of treatment, when I feel the pain of inflamation creeping back into my ribs and hips, I tell myself it will simply be the next step where I'm set right.

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