The new clothes and make up have really made me feel good about myself even when I don’t feel so great. I have really tried to minimize the amount I come in contact so I ended up staying in at home and when I did have to go out to places I knew were “higher risk” (like my kids’ school or hospitals) I ended up wearing a mask.
I started my chemo regime on Friday 7 September 2018. I have to admit that I was pretty nervous heading into it, not knowing what to expect in terms of reactions to the treatment were weighing heavily on my mind. I decided that I was going to wear something fun, but I ended up looking like a camp counsellor. We brought way too much stuff with us. It looked like were going to be there for a week. We both had backpacks with blankets, pillows, and every device and charger to go with said device and we barely used our phones…
The first infusion I had to suck on something cold because it is suppose to minimize mouth sores that can come with the drug, so I chose to have ice chips in my mouth. I found that a lot of people wanted to talk to me during this time which was very difficult because my mouth was filled with ice chips and was numb. HAHAHA! The second drug had to be supervised that meant the nurse sat next to me during the entire infusion and double checked that the infusion was going well. This drug, is one in which some people call the “red devil” because this is the one that gives you the most yucky reactions (nausea, hair loss, etc), but my good friend Jordana put a great spin on it calling it the Angel because it gets the cancer out of us 😃. This drug hurt going in for some reason, which meant they slowed down the infusion so as not put put too much strain on my vein. The last drug caused a slight headache and sinus pressure, but for the most part it went well. The medical team there are absolute angels and they made me feel like the most important person in the world. I have to admit I was quite surprised at how many young women were going through chemo at the same time as I was. One lucky woman got to ring the bell to celebrate the end of her chemo treatments. This ringing made my heart swell and it gave me even more hope and showed me the light at the end of the tunnel.
The first day of chemo went pretty well until about the evening. I was pretty restless and nauseated. The second day (Saturday) was pretty good throughout the day, I even felt well enough to go for a short walk but the nausea set in right afterwards. The third day (Sunday) wasn’t great. I mostly felt nauseated and even lost control of my bowels and bladder at one point (sorry if that’s TMI). The third day was probably that worst, I unfortunately slept too much (the medical team’s recommended amount is 20-30 minutes at a time so as not to mess up your night time sleep) and I slept for hours…this resulted in not being able to sleep at night and feeling extremely nauseated such that I was dry-heaving several times and pacing all over the house trying to find somewhere comfortable. I ended up sleeping a few minutes in the chair that we had bought for nursing/the baby’s room…good thing we still kept it. On the 4th and 5th day (Monday and Tuesday) I had extremely blurry vision, even with my glasses on (which I don’t wear very often). I ended up calling the triage nurse at the cancer clinic. They decided to change my anti-nausea meds but I didn’t end up needing to take any and my vision finally got a little better on the 6th day. My vision was so bad that I couldn’t do anything…couldn’t watch tv, read a book, do work, or write my blog. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that I couldn’t sit, stand, or lay down for longer than 5-10 minutes. By the 6th day I was feeling much better. My vision was still slightly blurry but I was much more comfortable. This day came with a visit to my medical Dr though (on base) because I had found blood in my stool and was advised by my oncology team (this is what you call cancer specialists) to get it checked out by my regular Dr. The blood was likely cause by my numerous bouts of the aforementioned TMI and I was sent on my way with some cream and as a bonus I acquired a few free face masks (so that I could go to public areas like my kids’ school). The picture below is how I showed up at my daughter’s school when she had to come home due to a sore tummy. She was a little shocked and I got a lot of weird looks, but if that means that people will stay away from me, I’m all for it.
This session saw a lot of online shopping to make myself feel better. Kris and I started watching the show Suits, so I obviously had to get some pencil skirts and some form fitting tops 😃