Thursday, October 8, 2009
Cycle 5a, Day 3 - survived first queasy day
On Tuesday I had my first dose of the new chemo cocktail (Carbo+Gemzar). I was excited to learn that I would not need the oral steroids on days 2-3 with this combo and realized the benefit of that omission almost immediately when I got home from the infusion, crawled into bed and slept for three hours. I woke up excited as I realized I wouldn't be spending the first five days following chemo wired on steroids. But by this morning it occurred to me that I was also losing out on the benefit that those steroids brought me - a feeling of strength and well being that carried me through that first five days which are usually the hardest to take with most chemo drugs. When I woke I felt heavy, worn out and uneasy in the tummy. I got up, took the anti-nausea meds and crawled back into bed. For past cycles I could/would just take the meds when I was ready to be up for the day and I never felt queasy or sick but took the meds preemptively as recommended by my doctor. This morning, I needed them just to be able to continue sleeping/laying in bed. Thursday is my breast cancer support group day and there was nothing that was going to keep me away from it since I had to miss the past two weeks of meetings while I was out of town. I really wanted and needed to be with my warrior sisters today - I needed to be understood in a way only they can understand. But I felt terrible and struggled to get out of bed. I decided to let myself stay in bed until I had just enough time to put clothes on, make my shake and head out the door. Poor Bob was worried about me driving because he hadn't seen me feel this crappy since all of this began. He knew I needed to get there. As soon as I walked into the group room I forgot about how I was feeling physically and I was glad to be there. We had a few new members and the meeting was spent almost entirely on introductions which was a bummer for me since I had so much I wanted and needed to talk about. When we ran out of time one of my friends from group asked if I had time to go get lunch and I was so relieved because she was exactly who I wanted and needed to talk to today about what had been bugging me. We had a great lunch and she was an amazing listener and supporter as I shared my frustrations regarding some recent events. I'm so grateful to my friend for being there for me - thank you, T! When I got home my tummy felt even worse than earlier, probably because of some not- so-smart lunch choices (I forgot that some types of food can make it worse and since I was feeling OK at lunch I forgot to be cautious). I took a mid-day anti-nausea pill (first time doing that) and Bob sent me to bed where I stayed until dinner time. I'm so grateful that he knew immediately what I needed (rest) and helped me get it without me even needing to ask. Bob took over with Cooper once the sitter went home so that I could continue to rest for a while. At one point I laid in bed and couldn't stand the thought of not spending time with Cooper today so I got up and got him dinner and spent a few hours with my two favorite men before putting Cooper to bed. I skipped dinner, afraid I wouldn't keep it down, until Bob handed me a can of organic lentil and veggie soup and told me I needed to eat something...so that's what I had before heading back to bed. I turned "Grey's Anatomy" on, looked at the episode description, watched less than one minute of it during which time a character threw up blood and then I changed the channel. There was no way I could handle blood and guts or cancer talk tonight. Then I picked up the laptop and began this post. For those who may be wondering why I refer to this chemo as cycle "5a" (not just 5)--my new chemo meds are administered in two doses, with a week between them. I go back in Tuesday of next week for the second dose (which I'll refer to as "5b")of this cycle and then will be off for a week and then I go back the week after for dose 6a and will continue that process until I complete "8b". Thus far, the fatigue and queasiness are it for side effects. I'm hoping and praying that remains true as I progress through this week and next. Despite how I felt today, I still deem the treatment to be a blessing and a success. I'm grateful for the medicines I'm receiving and view them as God-sent miracle drugs - even if they make me feel crappy. So when I reveal how I'm feeling, I am not complaining at all - just informing. I know that things could always be worse. I consider myself very lucky and very blessed.