Do you remember Sir Mix-A-Lot? “Baby Got Back” was the song in the early 90’s. Over the years I’ve heard several variations of the original lyrics. Before my chemo start date I changed the lyrics and was rappin’ (I use that term very very loosely) “I don’t want chemo and I cannot lie!” Today my lyrics have changed to “Week one done, hun!” My apologies to Mr. Mix-A-Lot …
CHEMO START DAY: Although I took the recommended prescription to help me sleep last night, I just didn’t. When I wasn’t praying, I was tossing and turning. This morning I could actually feel my heart racing as I brushed my teeth. The source of my anxiety isn’t because of chemo; it is the not knowing what the day will be like.
It didn’t take long to get checked in and get the process started of a blood draw, seeing a nurse and meeting staff in the treatment center. Before I knew it, I was getting help getting my Paxman cold cap in place. (More on that in another post.)
The Hubs and I had the opportunity to meet some really neat people. A patient named “Janice” had just completed her last dose. We celebrated her crossing the finish line. One lady did a work-out video during her infusion. That is dedication I don’t have right now!
Seven hours later, we are done! I’m exhausted from the high anxiety level of today.
DAY ONE: WOW! I slept like a rock! My energy level is totally off the charts. (Patty said this might happen!) I’m contemplating training for a marathon again or building a tree house in the backyard. Honestly, I feel like I can knock both of those things out today.
I did some housework in record time. Just as I was starting another chore (before going to Home Depot to pick up supplies for said tree house), The Hubs put the kibosh on any more strenuous activity. In his wisdom, he reminded me that I needed to pace myself and rest even if I didn’t feel that I needed to.
DAY TWO: Started out the day feeling pretty good. I got good rest last night. No issues with acid reflux or nausea. Went to P/T and was surprised how winded I got after a few minutes.
My day is declining fast. My back is achy like I’ve got the flu. My stomach hurts because I haven’t been able to go “big” in days. I feel like I can’t take anything else in until a whole lot comes out. OOPS! That may have been TMI. Just being transparent here!
I am reconsidering my lofty goals of training for a marathon and building a tree house.
DAY THREE: Oh my-lanta. I didn’t sleep last night. The Hubs suggested I take the prescription for anxiety so I could get to sleep. I told him that I didn’t think I was anxious, I just couldn’t settle myself down. He burst out laughing and reminded me that was what anxiety is! Even after his gentle prodding, I was sure I could get myself to sleep. I was wrong. So, so wrong.
Like a toddler that finally surrenders to exhaustion, I drifted off to sleep around 10 this morning for a couple of hours. Today was definitely not a good day. Matter of fact, it was quite crummy and I cannot lie!
Scrapping the idea of building a tree house in the backyard. I’m not sure I have the energy to look at a picture of a tree house! My marathon isn’t going to be running 26.2 miles or even driving 26.2 miles. Nope. It is going to be getting through the day!
After much struggle, finally had some “movement” in the right direction. It isn’t over, by any means. But I am feeling some much needed relief.
DAY FOUR: Looks like I’ve traded constipation for a ferocious nosebleed.
Even with starting my day out with a nosebleed, I’m feeling better today. Then again, it wouldn’t take much to improve on the way things were yesterday. Easing into the day with a cup of toasted graham coffee and some overnight oatmeal. Yes, I’m living on the edge!
Running a couple little errands just drained the energy out of me. Can’t believe how darn dry my mouth is!
DAY FIVE: Nosebleed round two…
Yes! On the upswing! Had good energy to go to church and visit with many of my friends. The Hubs had to escort me out of the building because I wanted to keep chatting with people. He knew I needed to eat and then rest. Of course he was right.
For the rest of the day, I felt a lot like my pre-chemo self.
When it comes to going through something like chemo, it is impossible to know how your body will react. Sure, you can learn about all of the side effects and how to deal with them. Every well-meaning person in your life can suggest ways to cheer yourself up, but until it is your body going through it, you don’t know.
Even being past the first week, I still don’t know what to expect next week or the week after that. Granted, I have a better idea of what I will feel like and how to manage nasty side effects. In the end, I am not in control. Allowing myself to feel my emotions and my body twinges is how I can feel some relief from all of this.
This is the path that God has me on right now. I trust Him. He has plans to give me hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Thrive Through It!