This is not a post to invoke sympathy or pity. Positive thoughts, prayers and comments are always appreciated but I'm not writing this for that purpose. I just want, no, need to tell it like it is.
I'm having a hard time writing this... I don't want to be negative, but my goodness, how can I not be if I want to tell the truth? I don't want to sound like I'm whining and I don't want to appear weak. I know others who are going through tougher regimens. But I would be doing myself an injustice if I skipped this part and sugar coated it into the background. My goal is not to scare anyone, but to be truthful.
The Truth is... chemo sucks. No surprise there, right?
This round of chemo, round 5 out of 6, really kicked my ass this time. I knew the side effects were cumulative, but still... Last Tuesday was a normal day of infusion, but the night time began the nightmare. Severe lack of sleep despite sleep aids. Wednesday I completed some work and went to get my Neulesta shot but was so out of it. I told myself I'd take Thursday off. I packed a few orders and parked on the couch watching bad daytime TV and Lifetime Movies. My bones began to ache. My heart started fluttering. My stomach felt like it had a brick in it. My muscles ached and started spasming. Restless legs and body. My fingers and toes were numb but at the same time sharp little pinpricks would stab them. My head was dizzy and my balance was off. That lasted all day and into the night and I thought I might just die on Friday and Saturday. My brain didn't really care. I think I left the couch about 4 times to pee. I'm grateful MrC and LilC were home from school because I was scared to be alone. (They probably don't know this.) I couldn't function. I couldn't get up. I drifted in and out sleep all day, trying to get comfortable with my aching bones and muscles. Hat on, hat off. Hat on, hat off. Etc. I ran a slight fever those two days. Not enough to call the doctor, it was only the mid 99's and I was told to call when it's 100.5. But it still made me feel like crap.
MrC took care of everything, setting up play dates for LilC, driving her, making dinner, going grocery shopping, packing orders, etc. I just lay there and didn't care. That's the part that scared me the most. My brain wasn't functioning like normal. I had no energy to even think. I just wanted to cry. And slip into an oblivion where everything goes away...
Today is Sunday. I feel a bit better today. Walking across the house exhausts me but I'm awake and vertical. I even sat at my desk for a few hours and worked on some art work. I read and answered some emails. My stomach feels like the Ferrets are playing toss with bricks, but I was able to eat a sweet potato for lunch and a chicken breast and rice for dinner. And some ice cream to cool my mouth. My mouth feels like my taste buds are burned off. This I expected. But I didn't expect my mouth and the sink to fill with blood when I brushed my teeth with my Winnie-the-Pooh toddler toothbrush! I can feel more mouth sores forming as I write...
I'm scared about what the next cycle will be like. Every cycle has been worse than the one before. Exponentially worse, not just a "little worse." I am 5 days past my infusion and I am already feeling anxiety about the next one. I don't want to do it. I find it hard to breathe when I think about it. I have to keep telling myself that it's my last one. That's the ONLY thing that calms me down a little bit. But then I think, what if it kills me? Wouldn't that suck?
I just want this to be over. I know that tomorrow I will feel a little better. (My rational brain is coming back.) And the next day will be better. And so on. In a week I'll start forgetting how bad I actually felt. (Isn't the brain amazing?) In two weeks I'll feel good, normal even. And I will do what I can to recover my strength and repair my cells so I'm in the best shape I can be for next time. And soon it will all be over and I can start living a normal life again. Although that's a misnomer because I have a feeling things will never be normal again.
But for now I'll deal with the guilt of "cancelling Easter" for LilC... not a chocolate bunny nor a colorful Easter egg was to be found here :-( I'm so sorry.