October 12, 2012

CHEMO IS NOT FUN!

I know that the title of this post probably sounds stupid..I mean, who actually thinks chemo is fun??  I am here to tell you that it is not.  I heard so many stories before I started.  I heard the worst case where women end up in the hospital following chemo because they are dehydrated…all the way to the best case where they are home making dinner for the family and going about their life without an interruption.  Those best case stories….I am warning you…I’m not sure if I believe them!

 

I would say that I have been right about middle ground.  Could have been better…but could have been a lot worse.

 

The main thing that I have been struggling with is the extreme weakness that I feel.  My neck muscles are so weak that I actually compare myself to a bobble head when I try to sit up.  My neck muscles don’t feel strong enough to hold my head up for long and then Nick ends up having to prop up my head with a small pillow.  I am also weak everywhere else.  It makes me feel so useless.  Just walking to the bedroom to try to go to bed is an ordeal.

 

Other than weakness, I have also dealt with considerable bone/joint pain.  My upper arms, sternum, back…  I guess I wasn’t as prepared for chemo as I thought I was.

 

The other “not fun” part of my first chemo has been the fact that I had a terrible headache from Thursday, October 4th (day 1) until this morning.  Yes.  This morning.  October 12th.  My head hurt so bad that there were times where I didn’t know what to even do with myself.

Nausea.  I was told that the nausea would be the worse on days 1-3 of chemo and by day 4 I should be ready to wean off of all of the anti-nausea meds.  Wrong.  I’m still taking them.  Every time Nick tries to wean me off I start puking.  So we have had to talk to the triage nurses at the oncologist’s and they said to keep taking the meds around the clock for as long as I need them.  We are trying to stretch the time between them, but when it starts getting close to time for the next dose I am heaving.  Not a pleasant site.  Doesn’t feel very well either when you have HARD tissue expanders in your chest wall.   I hate these things.  I am convinced that they are some type of torture device.  Seriously.

Nick is still taking very good care of me.  He is acting as my personal pharmacist.  You should see the excellent records he is keeping when it comes to my medications.  He has alarms set on his phone to wake him in the middle of the night to give me my next dose.  He cheers me up when I start to get down.  He helps to plump my pillows and attempts to keep me in a comfortable position.  He has even let me out of the house TWICE this week.  He wasn’t happy about it, but he understands that I am going crazy sitting in the house all of the time.

Beckie went to school all dressed out in pink today.  She has bought two breast cancer awareness shirts, a pink rubber bracelet, and now has an adorable pink ribbon charm bracelet also.  She really isn’t leaving the house much except to go to school and work.  I worry about her.  She is my sensitive baby girl.  I am worried that she may be trying to hold things in so that she doesn’t upset me.  Beck and I are going to start going to counseling on Monday.  I know that I need it, and she said that she would like to go also.  Nick is going to try going back to work on Monday, so my mom will be our mini taxi that day to take us to therapy and then deliver Beckie to school.

Domenic is still his funny, charming self.  Always ready with a joke.  But when I try to talk to him to make sure he is OK, or to see if he has any questions, he just shuts down and says that he isn’t comfortable talking about it.  I am trying to respect that, but I am worried, so it is hard to do.  Domenic also bought a breast cancer awareness shirt and wore it to school today.   He is proud to wear pink!

I am trying to stay positive as I prepare to go into chemo treatment #2 later next week.  Nick is enforcing a new rule.  He said that he is afraid that I did not drink enough water to flush all of the chemotherapy chemicals out of my body and maybe that is why I have stayed sick for so long.  He really cracked down on me yesterday and had me drinking water until I thought for sure that he was attempting to drown me!    I am also afraid that my oncology nurses are not going to be happy when he tattles on me.  Plus there is the fact that I am down about 10 pounds this week.  I haven’t told Nick that one yet.  I’m sure I will hear about it soon though!  I know that I needed to lose some weight, but this has not been a pleasant way to do it.

So…all in all I guess I am doing OK.  I could think of many other more enjoyable things that I could have spent the last 6 weeks of my life doing, but over all, if this is what it takes in order for me to be here with my family, I will do it.  They are my life.  I have many more years with my husband and children to look forward to.  I have grandchildren to look forward to spoiling.  Retirement and traveling the country with Nick as we have planned.  There are way to many things left to do to just sit back and give up.  No easy way out.

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