I am not exactly the Duchess of Windsor, but I was raised to be polite. I was taught how to act in polite society.
When people say "How are you?" I reply "Well...and yourself?" It's an automatic thing. I know that rarely in casual conversation do other people actually want to know that something is wrong. They don't want to hear about your troubles.
Well sometimes it's just silly.
For example, yesterday. I was sitting on the exam table waiting for Dr. Miller to come in. I had just detailed my problems to Kate the nurse practitioner.
"How are you?"
"Well, and yourself?"
He laughs and says he's heard that I am not so well and I say "Well, this is how I was raised." Then we go on to our discussion. Once he penetrates my profound shock with his insistence that I must begin chemo in an hour, I began to cry and I could not stop. There was a constant stream of tears rolling down my face. We were having this whole conversation about the medications and dosages and schedules....and I am quietly crying.
I told them I had to go feed my parking meter. I thought this was a quick in-and-out appointment. they scheduled my X-rays and infusion time. I left to get quarters. I stood by me car crying, keys in hand, wiping my face with a paper towel and I thought "I can just get behind the wheel and go."
I don't even know where I got the strength to go back inside.
You see, I don't believe this will work. I think I am about to torture myself for about a year. I think we will do this for several months. It will damage me. They will realize that it doesn't work and then it will be months before I recover.
I am not being dramatic. I am being practical. I am IgA and that type is know to be drug resistant. They gave me Revlimid and low dose dex. That it the best they have to offer these days and it works for over 80% of patients. It didn't work for me. So they are adding Velcade which works in less than 50% of patients who are refractory - meaning drug resistant. I am refractory because I have had one prior therapy that failed.
I can not help but feel shitty because the same two drugs, Revlimid and dex will be used again with the Velcade. Plus, Velcade is more harsh than Revlimid to begin with.
So why am I doing it? Because I can not face my parents if I don't. I can not tell them no.
I reached this conclusion a while ago. That I would face the equivalent of a year in prison. If I am lucky I will come out of it on the other end as I am now. If not, then some of the side effects will be permanent.
So I toook a swig of water, then poured some on the papertowel and wiped my face. I fixed my lipstick and brushed my hair......but never stopped crying.
I went up to X-ray. Every person, reception, escort and X-Ray tech, asked how I was....and I said "I am well and yourself?"
I went to the infusion room. Again they all asked and got the same answer.
I've got to come up with something else.