Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mommy (Dex) Monster is back. The myeloma journey continues

My stem cell transplant was AWFUL. But the cool part of it was an entire 75 days of no treatment once I engrafted. When I finally stopped puking every day, I started getting better fast. And without any chemo-type drugs, I've started feeling pretty close to normal. I honestly don't remember how I really felt pre multiple myeloma but I think I'm semi close to it when I get nice long treatment breaks. Energy level is back, I started working out again, and I feel a greater sense of Lizzy-calm settling in. Nice.

But last week, I started my maintenance therapy of Velcade injection in the tummy and 10 of those awful tiny green pills, otherwise known as Dexamethasone (dex), a steroid. Who knows if this maintenance therapy will even work but my doctor and I decided we would give it a shot (pun intended). I became refractory to Velcade-Dex but "some" studies show that after a long break, your body can be receptive to the combo again. So here we go, I suppose it can't hurt.

I took those tiny pills and that night, took an Ambien and went to sleep. And then it was 3:30 AM and I was wide awake. What the heck? I thought. And thought some more. Why was I awake at such a ridiculous hour? Oh, right, I took all that Dex. (Dex makes the poor taker wired, crazy, unable to sleep, and easily agitated.) I knew it was useless to try and fall back asleep so I tip-toed out of the bedroom so I wouldn't wake up William, taking Princess our cat with me, closed the door, laid on the couch and watched two episodes of The People Versus OJ. I then took a nice long hot bath and started reading the Lisa Rimini book about escaping Scientology (oh, my, lots of parallels with Mormonism!). And then I got dressed, made breakfast for the girls, and the day began.

The thing is, the day after I take Dex, I crash. I am tired and extremely amped up at the same time. Everything and everyone gets on my nerves. We went to the largest Costco in the world on that fateful day (seriously, it's right here in Salt Lake and it rocks) and Siena was hyper, talking non stop, pointing out every single thing in that ginormous store ("Ohhhhh, Mommy, look!) and after a bit, I wanted to jump out of my skin every time she spoke up. It was all I could do not to SCREAM "SHUT UP". I controlled myself but finally told her she needed to stop talking for a few, that she was wigging me out (another pun intended, as I'm wearing one of my newer wigs in the photo above).

We got home and Morgan asked if she could go to a party. I almost chopped her head off. "You can't just ask me at the last minute!" She looked at me like I was crazy. William said, "You can tell you're back on Dex." Uh oh.

I apologized to Morgan and confessed that Mommy Monster was back. "I knew it!" she said. Lovely.

So here's the deal: When I know I'm on Dex and I get more "used" to it, I'm better able to talk myself off Monster Cliff. I know that not everyone around me is being "that" annoying-- I'm just more prone to irritation. And I'm better able to take a deep breath and smile through it, even if I don't feel like it. I think next week I may even take a small Ativan on the day I'm crashing. Yes, it will make me sleepy but it will mellow me out, and I think everyone around me will be far happier, me included.

The smile in the photo above belies the fire raging within. As William and my dad sat in the front seat after our Costco excursion and Siena snapped selfie after selfie, I had to tell myself, "Smile. Be nice." And I really did try.