Well, I did it again. It’s like I just can’t learn from my past mistakes.

I went back off my drugs thinking things were going alright and I was tired of medicating for my medications.

If I just stop taking steroids, I can stop taking everything else, right?

Wrong wrong wrong.

Wrong Deirdre.

Get it through your thick skull that you are not smarter than billions of dollars of research and thousands of hours of medical education. And you’re in a total mental fog from what – a tumor, chemo, radiation, drugs – so who do you think you are anyway making these decisions?

Get it straight. Just do what the nice people tell you to do and everything will be OK.

Right, so I had to have a little moment with myself after two weeks of fatigue that felt like sleep deprivation practiced on Cold War spies, or dizziness that kept me eyeballing stair railings like they were life rafts from the Titanic, or confusion that was like a group of Tibetan monks at a Baptist revival.

What is swallowing a few (handfuls) of pills compared to ever-tilting horizons, broken sleeping habits, or not remembering what I’ve said to whom?

And I didn’t even come to this conclusion on my own.

“I’ve gone off my steroids again,” I bragged to Alycia, who has a masters in nursing and 15 years’ experience. “And in other news, feeling pretty bad overall.”

“Did your doctor tell you to cut the steroids?” she asked.

“Well, no, not exactly,” I kinda sorta told the truth.

“OK, Deirdre,” she said, staring me straight in the eye, “Swelling in the brain can cause permanent brain damage, and steroids keep that swelling down. You really need to either go back on them or tell your doctors what you’re up to.”

Alycia can be such a killjoy. But I’ll tell you what, the notion of permanent brain damage was enough to get me on the wagon (or would that be “off the wagon” if you go back on drugs?) and start ‘using’ again.

So, for the second time, I am back on my pill and herb regime.

And if you ever hear me say I’m going off something again without consulting the people in white coats, slap me. Hard.

Pictured above: The inside of my purse on any given day. That represents a small portion of the pills and tinctures and herbs I take. 

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