Saturday, June 26, 2010

AC Graduation, Tossing my Pink Cap into the Air

I don't know if I've ever talked about the day after chemo.  Let me back up.  So yesterday was the end of my AC course.  Yeah baby.  High five me!!!  Each session has been very different for me.  Let's review, shall we?

With most all of my chemo sessions, the day of receiving chemo treatment was the same.  I would leave chemo very hungry, more like ravenous, and then feel really tired.  I would want to rest or nap, but felt wired, shaky, anxious and extremely irritable.  On that first day, I did not feel better until very late in the evening, and usually could not sleep until 2 or 3 in the morning.

On the second day, which for me falls on a Saturday, what a difference a day makes!  All the good meds they gave me during chemo, have all kicked in like super powers.  I also take the 2nd and 3rd day Emend pill. 

By the Sunday following Friday's chemo, the nausea is medium intensity, chronic but manageable with meds.  I start to feel more fatigued.  The real heavy duty side effects for me were not really felt until the following Tues, Wed, Thurs after chemo.  Those side effects were different each week.  Oh I forgot, I learned the hard way, and I mean the hard way, to start taking laxatives and/or stool softeners the night of chemo and the next couple days.

Chemo Course 1:  terrible constipation, extreme headache and vertigo I think from coming off of Vicodin used for biopsy and port surgeries, lots of pain because of surgeries, chronic nausea, lots of pain in port.  My first "good" week, I got my period. 

Chemo Course 2:  lifeless fatigue, almost intolerable nausea, mouth sore problems, dry mouth, some foods did not taste right.  My 2nd "good" week?  I caught a cough and cold.

Chemo 3: chronic but tolerable nausea, terrible melancholy, extreme fatigue, mouth sores got better.  My 3rd "good" week? A surprise guest, the period I was not supposed to get anymore, and it was brutal.  One of the worst I've had.  I won't scare you with the gore on that one.

Chemo 4:  the day of, terrible metallic taste during chemo, lots of fatigue, weird sensations in Flopsy during chemo - like electrical impulses and some burning, nausea started right away.  Usually the day of chemo I am tired, wired and irritable, but it all gets better by late evening.  Did not happen. Side effects stayed and I went to bed with them.

Woke up Saturday, and felt great.  Wow, these Saturdays when all the good meds kick in are really strange.  Not sure what to expect this coming week.  My last labs showed my hemoglobin count was down so expecting additional fatigue this week and not sure what else regarding side effects.

Spent most of today relaxing so I could attend another of Batman's competitions.  This is one of my favorites, held at Stanford University.  What a beautiful stadium and the acoustics are incredible.  The Blue Devils came in first place!  and of course, my boy was the best and handsomest one out there.  I made it through the evening, getting home very late, and although tired, generally feeling good and wide awake even though it is now 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

I am still counting this as my Saturday blog.  What you going to do about it?

I don't know what to expect in these next few days, or in the good week.  I will keep you posted.

I am relieved to have the AC course done.  I start weekly Taxol on July 9 and will be on that through the summer and into September.  The Taxol is supposed to be much easier as far as side effects, and will only take about an hour to receive, as opposed to three or four on the AC.  Also, I won't need the 7 days of neupogen shots for my bone marrow anymore.  My only concern at this point?  Having my port accessed weekly.  My port and incision site is still problematic. I hope they can come up with something for me.

Boring blog tonight I know.  Just a wrap up.  We can put the AC to bed.  Rather, send it back to hell.

You are outta here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you and eff you AC.

Best tips throughout this first course of chemo?  Get plenty of rest.  Drink lots of water.  Fruits and cool foods seem to be tolerated easier.  You need lots of moisturizer, lip balm, and toothpaste and mouthwash specially formulated for dry mouth.  Get obsessive about your dental health and taking your vitamins, including vitamin D3.  Keep your stress to a minimum.  Stay on top of your anti-nausea meds, don't wait until you are too far gone to pop one.  Take them at the slightest hint of nausea.

Surround yourself with the things and people that are comforting to you.  Make sure your bed has clean sheets and you have comfy socks.  Place items that comfort you and are for your convenience near your bed.  Write a journal, get this stuff out of your head.  Stay in close connection, however you like to do that, with the people you love and who are positive and supportive of you.  I have found that talking on the phone was just too much for me.  I preferred texting and emailing.

Popsicles are mandatory, I like the fruit based low sugar ones that actually have nutrition.  You will find there are times where all you feel like eating is something cool and refreshing.

and don't forget your music and favorite TV shows or movies.  Have at the ready the music you love to listen to.

I am proud of me.  I still have a long way to go, but when I look back since my abnormal mammo on April 7, and everything I went through, what a rough rough start, I am proud of me.

Thank you everyone for all your love and support and cheerleading and prayers and lifting my name up.

Thank you.

Onward.

2 comments:

Donna said...

Proud of you--for sharing and for paying this forward. Karma's just gotta be sooo on your side. Hang in...

masonmft said...

Well I was thinking I could show up at your door at 12:01am to see what the heck was up with no blog. Then I remembered I live kind of far away. Darn. I was also thinking you might try some hypnosis. They still gonna stick you but a nice trance might be a better place to be at the time. Love you.

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