Chemo/Corona Chronicles: Laughter & Tears
Self-quarantine started for me on Saturday, my last visitors were my brother and my neighbour, Sheri. We lost electricity at 10 pm and had some romantic candlelit moments for about 20 min! Yay Eskom loves us! (we thought it was going to be 2 hrs!)
On Sunday I went for a walk towards the mountain to avoid the bustling beachfront crowds. I couldn't go to my daily happy place, the green point park as it would have been far to social on a Sunday.
I spoke to a friend in LA who told me that the whole of America is in lockdown and the supermarkets are bare, the only thing left on the shelves are power bars. Her friend tried to order toilet paper and wet wipes online and they are also sold out, just like facemasks.
She urged me to get ahead of the game and be prepared in advance before the shit hits the fan, as it most definitely will. I am having the most delicious meals being delivered to me daily by Ama-zing Catering! As long as that continues I don't see the point in stocking up on canned veggies and tuna, Yuk!
Being a bit bored at home and finding ways of entertaining myself, I decided to make a video
This is one of my characters (me with a snapchat filter) a Boricua chica "Adriana" on the Corona Virus
(more on my Instagram IGTV (Five Minute Funnies channel) https://www.instagram.com/daniellebitton1/channel/?hl=en
My mother hasn't been well, she has had issues with her chest due to her asthma and is taking cortisone. I urged her to see a pulmonologist or Doctor to be safe and right now we are keeping our distance. ( I miss you, mama).
My brother went clubbing on Sat night, so he is not allowed near me for 2 weeks. I have been urging him to take this more seriously but he works in commercial real estate and has meetings all day, I told him to walk into a meeting declaring there needs to be a 2-meter distance as his mother and sister lie in the 4 percent of the population with compromised immune systems. He came to bring me some things last night and wanted a smoothie so I made him one and left it outside the door, shame he felt like a dog left in the cold. ("Kelev (dog in Hebrew) CVOID" is his new nickname) We spoke through the window and were like " WTF is going on?" How mental is this, it's crazy!
Thank god I have a view of the mountain from my bedroom and a balcony with a view of the sea, so I don't feel too closed in.
Tuesday I got out of the house and went to my happy place, the park, with my little sister.
She ran errands for me and went to the supermarket while I waited in the Car. We had to go to 3 shops to find toilet paper, it was crazy! Gabi then came over for some much needed quality time, it was wonderful.
You know when some people take Ketamine recreationally and they get stuck in a loop in their mind called a "K hole"? Well, I have been in a "C hole" for the last few days, deep in the Corona hole. I have decided that it needs to stop, I swear I can spend hours and hours on social media getting sucked deeper down the Corona hole.
I have decided that I need a quarantine schedule, in the week definitely getting out in nature to the park once a day, then home to meditate, 2 things that are mandatory for my well being.
Wednesday - Chemo Round 2
I was so freaked out about going to the hospital today , that I didn't sleep well last night. I feared being in an elevator full of people because of my compromised immune system.
The Hospital did have measures put in place, making sure you sanitize before entering the elevators and then giving you a yellow sticker that read " cleared".
I went for blood tests, and stood far away from the 2 other people in there and waited for the results to see whether or not I could have my next round of chemo. The tests came back fine and the next round began.
I felt more relaxed as Shelly, my nurse informed me that no visitors are allowed in Christian Barnard Hospital, no visitors in the Chemo room and tests for CVOID-19 are taking place in the building across the way and if you test positive you will be sent downstairs in to quarantine in containers which they are acquiring, before sending people home to self-quarantine.
I did my Joe Dispenza meditation as soon as the AC (Red Flamenco Dancer) was administered and it finished just in time a the end of my treatment, I felt so relaxed. I was so starving after that I devoured 2 toasted chicken mayo sandwiches.
At the end of my second treatment, I could hear a song very faintly through my earphones and I took them out to see if I was imagining it.
You won't believe what was playing ever so faintly on the speaker, "I Will Survive" it was incredible, I mean, what a sign!
I left Chemo feeling ok, just a little tired. I went for a quick walk with my brother and the dog but needed to come home and rest. 6 pm came and I got a slight headache but it wasn't as bad as the last time, also my nausea wasn't too bad. I didn't want to take a chance, so I made sure to take my CBD and THC drops, I I had no nausea and managed to eat something.
My Doctor told me that with my kind of chemo it doesn't affect the immune system in terms of fighting off a viral infection as much as blood cancers; Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukaemia.
He advised me to quarantine but also said I could have my family visit but they should keep a distance of 2 meters, wash hands and avoid touching anything.
That night my brother came over and being inspired by the ridiculous videos we saw on Tik Tok we decided to make our own. We laughed until we nearly cried, it was delightful! The only thing is, we were probably a bit too close to each other while filming, oh well if the worst comes to the worst, let's hope the laughter cured me.
Thursday 19 March
My hair started falling out today, not in patches but lots of strands, I was completely freaked out!
They told me in a week or two it could all fall out, so I decided to cut it and try a new style. My mom came over I was brave and handled it, I looked like young Eva from the beginning of the Musical.
I took my white blood cell immune boosting injection today and felt fine, so well in fact that I decided to film a parody video. "From a Distance"
Friday 20 March
The side effects of the immune-boosting injection have kicked in, headache, fatigue, muscle aches. I was absolutely wiped out today, I lay in bed the whole day and felt very weak.
More hair started falling out and the panic was mounting, but I tried to ignore it.
Saturday 21 March
I woke up with a headache and a panic attack as I got up out of bed and saw so many hair strands on my pillow. It was falling out, even with the slightest touch.
It was happening, my biggest fear was at my doorstep. I knew that it was inevitable, but a part of me still hoped it wouldn't happen to me.
I've realised this is the worst possible time to have breast cancer and to be having Chemotherapy, my own mother is scared to hug me, and that's all I really want right now, just a hug from my mom, assuring me it will all be ok, just some human contact, when words fail.
I feel so alone right now, because of this Corona Virus, in a time I need connection, human contact and support the most.
I saw more hair on my floor , on my table, on my couch and I screamed and then cried. I called Jenny in Turkey and she helped calm me down. She told me to just do it!
"Put on makeup, wear your favourite dress as I did, some big hoop earrings and just shave it off!"
I thought about a book I read when I was 19 " feel the fear and do it anyway". that gave me the strength to move overseas by myself at 19 to follow my musical dreams in London. The only way I am going to move through this fear is by jumping across the canyon to the other side"
Seeing it fall out is so traumatic that I have to take action, I'm doing it today! I'm probably going to need to take an Alzam but it has to be done.
I've decided I'm going live on Instagram at 16:00 pm and since I can't have you all with me, your virtual support would truly mean the world to me!
Wish my luck, courage and strength
Petrified, Dani <3