I am halfway through the double doses of chemotherapy. I am halfway through the shadow of hell. I can see the light rising from the mountain ahead but still have a lot of climbing to do. I must muster strength to carry on as the date arrives for my third round. My 42nd birthday is around the bend. The timing hopefully will work out that I will be on the upswing for my birthday. I really could use a little celebration. My relationship with my partner is pretty much a downer. I am not sure that there will be any kind of celebration so I do make back up plans with Amy in case that I am pushed aside for something more important in her eyes. Being stuck in this situation really sucks.
I am hoping that since my menstrual cycle was during round two that hopefully this round won’t be as bad. I endure the usual almost three hour routine. I deal with the three days of migraines and pain by remaining in the dark and cuddling up with Batman and Boo. Then danger strikes as my partner’s son becomes ill. Now I can’t be anywhere near them both or it could very well kill me. When I go to get my white blood cell count checked, it is borderline low. I am warned that I am really in a dangerous predicament because some kind of stomach virus was going around.
Three days before my birthday, I am supposed to go to Amy’s and celebrate with my second family. Kim has the stomach virus which got both Amy and Marilyn sick. It is too dangerous for me to go and be in contact with them. Well this is becoming a trend. Next comes Mother’s Day and when I am supposed to celebrate my birthday with my parents as well. Early in the week, I had set up a time to be picked up by so that I could get much needed rest and be up long enough that any possible nausea could be medicated in time before the big, rich seafood meal. As usual, My mother forgets that conversation and I am phoned which woke me up. She was giving me a heads up that they were on the way to pick me up which was a couple hours before I had said. She argues with me and hangs up calling me an ungrateful bitch. Really? I start to get up and moving around to take some medication. She phones back that I have ten minutes to be ready and slams the phone down. Well one good thing about having no hair is that I can be showered and ready in less than ten minutes.
When I head downstairs to be picked up, I see that my parents are already there. They are speaking to my neighbors Steve and Dory. She is bawling to them. I am thinking as I grab my sunglasses and slowly descend the steps that this is going to be a horrible day. I don my sunglasses as to not really have to make eye contact with anyone. I get into the passenger’s seat. We head on the long drive to North Redington Beach to the Conch Republic Grill which is one of our favorite seafood places. The entire drive my mother spouts venom out of her mouth as fast as she can speak it. I totally ignore her tuning her out staring out the window. I swallow any tears that try to fall. I will not let her see that she is getting to me. I will remain a rock and be strong and cold.
When we arrive, the place is packed. We have to wait almost a half hour to be seated which of course was blamed on me. The time that I had planned to be down there would have been between lunch and dinner crowds which would more than likely not been as crowded. But hey, I am stupid according to Mom. We are finally seated and it takes a while to receive our appetizer. I am thankful for the extra wait because it gave the medicine time to work so that I was actually hungry. I eat slowly, pacing the food intake. The meals also take quite a while to come to the table which helped me digest with no complications. My father drank quite a few beers during the meal which meant that I got to drive back to my house. I wish that they had just dropped me off and left. But nope, I couldn’t be so lucky. Mom wanted to watch “Dolphin Tale”. She talked almost the entire movie until she dozed off for a nap. Talk about a toxic afternoon. Having to endure the venom is not the first time I have dealt with that. Having to swallow all my emotions to keep my mouth shut does not help my stress levels. It almost is like poison being swallowed and remains in the pit of my soul building up every time that this happens.
The next day comes which is my birthday. I wake up to find out that my partner’s son is still sick. She decides to drop my birthday cake off at my screen door and walk away. I find out that it is there via text message. I check in with Amy and she still isn’t feeling well. I am not going to even call my parents to endure that hot mess all over again. I venture out and grab a movie from Blockbuster some takeout. I spent my birthday alone with Boo and Batman.