What I Learned From Off-the-Charts Pain
By Jennifer Moore Ballentine
A week after my first chemo infusion for breast cancer, I woke up feeling like I’d been beaten with sticks. By mid-morning, my temperature was 103◦ and I headed to the ER. By the time I was admitted with neutropenic fever, I was discovering the true meaning of the phrase “My head is about to explode.”
The pain was unbelievable. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t see, I could barely hear what seemed like a parade of disembodied voices offering this or that remedy, all of which had exactly zero effect on the pain.
The morphine had an effect—but not the desired one. The only thing that helped at all, the only thing that got me through the next 48 hours, was a CD player, headphones, and the neoclassical dark wave group Dead Can Dance on continuous replay. [Read more…]