So many things during the thirteen months of knowing that Diane had cancer are really fuzzy, a blur. Is it because of all the stress during that time? Is it because my own age and mental processes are slowing down or diminishing? Who knows? Thankfully I have three journal sources: The Wornsandals blog, my notes from all our “visits” to the doctors, and then my own personal journal. I am glad for all that documentation.
Seven days after the beginning of radiation I noted in my personal journal: “Diane is so up-beat, so positive, so excited and joyful. The only time I have seen Diane like this is at Iona” (Iona, Scotland was the destination of my Sabbatical in the early 2000’s, and that was an up-beat, positive experience.) A week later I wrote in my journal, wrote oh so naively, “Diane had eaten way too much sugar and that affected her. She has been so hyper, talkative, active that it has been hard for me to be around her.” How little did I know that what was taking place in Diane had nothing to do with sugar, but with a reaction to the Dexamethasone steroid that was being given to her. It would only get worse.
The following is someone else’s writing that I found at MD Junction on the internet: “I’m not bipolar, but I had to be on steroids for the short term- 2 weeks. They made ME manic. rapid speech, sleeping and hour or two and full of energy, lots of ideas… It was horrible. I called my doctor and said taper me off these quick, I’m losing my mind! At first it felt good and fun, and then I was just so hyper and tired. I think I got a taste of mania! If steroids can do that to a normal person, it must be ten times worse for someone who is bipolar.”
Am I saying through all of this that the administration of Dexamethasone is wrong? No! For countless thousands of people the side affects are minimal and and far outweighed by the benefits, but for others, such as Diane those side affects were extremely detrimental. People need to be aware and alert.