During the course of my treatment, the doctors decided to change the administration of one of the types of chemo. Instead of giving me that particular chemo in one session, it was administered through a chemo pump over the course of five days over the complete 24-hour period each day. I recall the oncologist tell me this is how this pump works, make sure not to move this button because it determines the speed of delivery of the chemo and if accidently moved, it could dispense quicker than intended which could cause an array of side effects including a heart-attack and death. I was in shock to say the least all I could think of at the time was there they went again with those deadly side effects possibilities.
On the first day of wearing the chemo pump everything appeared to be going well, it was like wearing the old school fanny packs that were worn around the waist. All was good, until I was ready to go to bed. Sometimes, I can be a restless sleeper who rolls around in bed. Fearful thoughts of rolling over to the side of the pump, causing it to change the speed rate administered and accidently killing myself flooded my brain. The first night, I tried to sleep as still as possible and not make any changes in sleeping position which of course meant I didn’t sleep at all. The next day, I went in for my 2nd day of treatment. The nurse checked my pumped and said all is good and then hooked me up to receive the rest of my chemo cocktail. Each chemo session was for five days. I was given the chemo through my port-a-cath and I was given steroids and other medicine through my arms. As the nurse was hooking me up to that day’s chemo cocktail, she told me you look a bit more tired than usual, are you okay? Did you have a bad reaction to the chemo? Well, I thought to myself, chemo is no picnic so yeah, I could do without the treatment and it’s side effects. Although, this was not the reason for my tired look, it was because I was afraid to roll over on my pump and possibly kill myself. I finally spoke up and explained how I tried not to move because of my chemo pump. She smiled at me and told me that the chemo pumps are safe and not easily activated. Furthermore, she explained, you could unhook the fanny pack from your waist and place it to the side of you or on your pillow. These are options that other cancer patients have used. A laughter escaped me as my fear had caused me to not think of these options. Needless to say, the second night was better, as I unhooked my chemo pump and placed it on the side. I was actually able to sleep compared to the night before, although still cautious. Each day with my chemo pump was better as my confidence and comfort levels increased and my fears decreased.
In life fear can sometimes completely paralyze us causing us to stay frozen in a situation without seeing a solution or a way out. Regardless of the situation we must find the courage to stand up for ourselves speak up and ask for help. Don’t let fear paralyze and imprison you to your circumstances. We need to break free of fear and enjoy living each moment of our life free and fearless.