As I am nearing this 5th cycle of chemotherapy, things are definitely becoming more challenging. And one really striking oddity is my general perception of stuff. Stuff like the way the world feels. If that isn’t vague enough, I mean my brain space. I’m spacey.

Maybe it’s from the full head radiation (very likely), but also from the cancer in my eyes, things are so very spacey lately. Just last week I had a temperature, and during that time it was quite hard to figure out depth – things were further or nearer or just plain incomprehensible. I found myself clinging to the wall as I walked, willing myself to figure out how to walk straight again. How to make my head stop spinning. It did stop spinning as my temperature went slowly back to normal, but that lasted several days and I still get the wobbles when I walk.

So I was well confused this week when I woke up in the middle of the night whacked out of my head. Like so gone. For the very first time in my life.

You see it’s been hard to eat. I just don’t really want to eat anything. And so I lose weight. Plus I was becoming rather nauseous with a bit of upchucking, so losing more weight. Anyhow, in an attempt to deal with this, I am – or was – trying a little bit of a special ‘medical herbal’ oil, if you know what I mean. I’m not down with this typically; like my entire life I’m all noooooo thanks. But somehow when you have cancer that could kill you if you don’t beat it back, you become willing to try a bit more.

So I was taking the tiniest bit of this stuff, just to see if it would help me eat and not get sick. I didn’t feel anything, to be honest. That was fine. But then I was told – take more, you should feel something. So I was like, fine. And I took more. Still, I felt nothing . . .

Until about 11:30 at night, when I woke up after rolling over, and was like


I thought my head was a giant gingerbread man – big ,flat, circular, and ginger, I guess. (with icing eyes) And I wasn’t sure if I was stuck in a dream, except I was pretty sure it was real as I was talking with Zsolt. AND I wasn’t sure if my distortion had returned in full hurricane force, and that’s why everything felt crazy.

It was a bit of a tip off that just the sight of my husband was tripping me out. I literally could not bring myself to look straight at him. It was too crazy.

It was not fun. But, I was interesting. And it became hilarious when I turned on my phone.

Ever heard of Snapchat? I do this sometimes and send videos or pictures to others during the day. Or night, in the case of my 11:30 surprise.

So I opened Snapchat to give some people hell. Except I can’t! I can’t do it – My angry words dissipate into the air and are replaced by random thoughts about flowers, and then bursts of laughter. I try again! “You did this to……HAHAHA!” And that is all I’ve got before the snap timer runs out.

Then I get my husband to take my temperature, because maybe I’m having a fever again – so in goes the electronic themerometer – and I watch the numbers crawl upward and whip it out at 36.2 saying that is a great temperature. Not my temperature, because it wasn’t done calculating, but a great one nevertheless.

And I just laugh more. And feel terrible. I felt both terrible and hilarious at once, it that makes any sense. Mostly terrible, to be honest.

And I remember that I could not get enough water. I drank about 3 cups in a row. . .  and then felt really, really full – except the fullness was in competition with thirst. And that full feeling seemed very far away. As did the washroom . . .

Eventually we decided it might just be best to sleep. So we turned off the lights, and I sang “I can show you the world” from Aladin to myself in an attempt to fly.

Wow, so I’ll not be doing that again. Seriously, if I want the world to go sideways I’ll just run a temperature and get more radiation.

But I can see the laughter appeal. Laughing is such a special thing. Lately I’m quite stuck between neither laughing nor crying, though wishing I could just let it go and cry like a baby or laugh like an idiot. There are so many feelings I am having, from hope to desperation to fatigue to relief to trepidation . ..  so many, and not enough opportunities where my body actually finds the outlet to release things.

So the good thing is that I laughed.

And hopefully in time this distortion will settle down. I don’t mean the herbs, I mean my brain. I hope it calms down soon so I can feel normal. Normal is a really nice feeling. I like normal.

The end.

9 thoughts on “Distortion

  1. Hi Catherine,

    For many drugs it takes trial and error and time to find the right dosage for an individual. Also since every person’s metabolism is different, it would take different amounts of time for individuals to feel the effects of a drug. There are benefits to the oil that you tried: appetite booster, suppression of nausea caused by chemotherapy, stress and anxiety reliever, sleep aid, may help prevent the spread of cancer by turning off the Id-1 gene, and as you discovered “giggle generator.”

    You have already generated your own data with regards to a low dosage and one that’s a bit strong for you, so try somewhere in between and see how long it takes for your metabolism to generate an effect, then increase or decrease the dose over several days until you find your sweet spot and are able to eat again with a settled stomach. Sending calming energy your way.

  2. Catherine — I had been watching your page on facing cancer.ca and was thinking about you as I hadn’t seen any new posts. So glad to stumble upon your blog here and can see how things are going. You’ve been in my thoughts a lot, and hoping that you will find your normal soon.

    I caught up on the other posts, and saw your comment about the mastectomy bras. Wanted to tell you about American Breast Care petite t-shirt bras (#105) –they come in a cheetah red, leopard print, and silver. They have some other types that come in patterns or other colors as well. You might want to check them out. I’ve liked them.

    • Great suggestion, Nancy – I will take a look! And I’m glad you found me. I love facingcancer.ca but found myself too tired for the repeat postings. I’m glad you are still enjoying the site. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Weekly Round Up | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  4. Hello, Dear Catherine – I really hope that you will be able to find the “just right” dosage of the oil since it has so many benefits. Thank goodness your Zsolt was there for you and you weren’t alone. Sending you a bajillion soft hugs and my best juju for your comfort and healing. Much Love to you, Karen

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