Last night I did not sleep well. The night before my Paclitaxel chemotherapy infusion I am required to take five Dexamethasone pills. My understanding is Dexamethasone is a steroid that will help prevent an allergic reaction to the highly reactive Pacitaxel. Once I swallow the five tablets I feel my stomach blow up with bloat and pressure. I also feel the incredible hunger that I compare to a growing teenage boy who has just played two hours of vigorous hockey. I ate and ate and ate all through the night last night. I even cooked a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks “Oh She Glows” and consumed the entire meal sharply before 6am. Paul did not sleep well last night either. His restlessness is what I refer to as caregiver anticipatory stress. Although I am close to the end of my recommended chemotherapy course, I will always remember the stress and fear on both my mom and Paul’s face before I go for chemotherapy treatment. My mom and Paul feel helpless during my journey because they remember, anticipate and internalize what they perceive I feel like after chemotherapy treatment. At times they both feel there is nothing they can do but watch me endure the symptoms of the chemotherapy. I assure both of them that I am o.k., and that I can handle this because I can. I know I can do this because I have the highest motivator of all to fight to get my health back as I know it. Observing the care giving efforts that my mom and Paul have devoted to me, along with the support of my friends and clients, I have learned that when a friend, a family member or loved one is touched by illness good people will do whatever it takes to help make them comfortable and relentlessly strive for the goal to make them better. I have learned and understand how my journey effects those I love around me. I know it is because of my journey Paul was not able to sleep last night.
- Amie Banting