I haven’t been taking my pills.
I haven’t for over a week now.
To say that my actions are irresponsible is an understatement. Let me be clear though and say that this is not some rebellious attitude I’ve suddenly acquired or some alternative motive to go against what could potentially elongate my life but instead just “simple” complications.
At first it didn’t seem so complicated. Just a missed call.
My doctor called and left a voicemail informing me that the two pill regimen I was on was somehow not working for me. The pink pill and blue pill did not live up to my red blood cells fury and lost the battle of attempt.
Initially I became hysterical and cursed myself for missing such an important call. I had so many questions and the “what if’s” in my head began to knock on doors in my brain I didn’t know it had. Frustration took over and I felt like the three month routine I had so intensely disciplined myself to carry on was just another waste of time .
I panicked thinking that this was it. That it was over. That there would be nothing left for me to do but wait for AIDS to take over my body and kill all cell hopes of life. I called my mother in hopes that maybe she could restore those broken hope cells and comfort my frantic heart. She did.
Three days later I was back at my doctor’s office and planning a new pill regimen that could solve all that the twins could not in those last three months. Sure there was more to it- more pills to swallow and more alarm clocks set to certain times but it was the solution to what at the time seemed like an impossibility so I did not mind.
I was soon getting up before dawn and making my way half asleep to my desk where my laptop sits and accompanies the ten little pills that now rule my life. Though it was easy there were times I hated it. Especially when I was warm and comfortable under my covers and the temperature outside was not or when I knew I had an early morning the next day and tried to squeeze in any extra minute of shut eye- but for the most part the routine came easy. Second nature. Not bad.
Things began to change the night I decided to go out and meet some friends up at a local patio bar without a sweater on. I knew better than to be out with nothing but a t-shirt on when the temperature outside required at least two extra layers of warmth on your skin but I wanted to see them so bad. I wanted to spend time with my best friend and her boyfriend. I wanted her to see me with my boyfriend and have her tell me how much she liked him or how cute we were together. I know my reasons sound irrational maybe even juvenile but lately all I want to do is just be around the people that make life seem just a little bit normal.
I woke up the next day with a sore throat and a minor cough. That cough soon became the wall between a decent intake of air and suffocation.
I stayed that way for about two weeks with the cough being constant and with little signs of improvement. When my next doctors visited rolled around and I layed in the chemo room with Peter by my side ready for my session to start, I was hit with yet another curve ball.
The nurse stood next to my bed with a stack of papers in her hand. I knew something was wrong. I was terribly right. She informed me that I would not be receiving chemotherapy that day and that they had found that my T- cells were too low and insufficient for me to go through my regular treatment.
She assured me all was fine and that once my cough was gone and I was back to my normal self they would go through with my usual session. My instinct was to panic immediately. I felt defeated again…like no matter what I did or took nothing seemed to matter. Defeated and with the papers the nurse had brought in with her in my hand I walked out of the clinic and made my way home.
A week after that I called in my medicine for a refill. Turns out there were some issues with my insurance and that too had to be put on hold. I had to reapply and fill out more paperwork in order to figure out what could be done to fix the issues ahead.
Each day that went by without any news of what would happen next my pill box became less and less heavy. Each time my alarm would go off announcing it was time to take my daily dose I worried if I had enough. I became so consumed by this that I began to wonder if it would be ideal for me to just skip a dose so I could make the pills last. And then finally after a week or so of trying to hold off it came down to zero pills and no more daily alarms.
So here I am, almost two weeks without any medicine and a day away from seeing my doctor to figure out what the next step is. I am without chemo treatment and without my defenses. I guess for those who don’t know why this is such a big deal or why this has me all in my feelings you should know that me missing just a couple of doses of my daily intake is crucial. My body, my blood, my cells could build resistance to the such meds and outsmart the treatment. So much to the point where the virus becomes immune to what is suppose to be helping me battle the germs in my life. It is not just a pill or just your regular over the counter treatment- it is what could potentially give me Ten extra years of life- more if it wants to be generous. To know that my body (my cells to be more precise) are trying to fight the germs that contaminated my blood and are now found without any weapons frightens me. How can you go to battle without any armor to protect you from harm? How do you fight your own body and convince it to just hold on? Just to give you a few more days to figure shit out without letting itself give in?
I keep telling myself everything will be alright. I keep thinking it’s just part of the ongoing fight. I keep reminding my body- talking to it if you will- and keep telling it to not let the germs multiply and let me be the only Germ in my life.