Side effects

28 11 2013
It has been a week since I received my first round of chemo and a week since I last wrote anything. I am overwhelmed and speechless at the same time. There is so much that I want to say and yet I cannot find the words. 

I started this post yesterday after my herceptin infusion, and could not go on … for no other reason than I am not feeling motivated. There is plenty I can write from the last 8-9 days. Most of it you would not want to read. It has not been pleasant. I guess the first thing … what I have been thinking about most … is just how surreal this all still is for me.

Chemo? I sat in a chair playing games, blogging and watching bad tv for 5 hours last week while medical professionals were infusing my body with poison that is intended to kill any cancer cells that remain in my body before they can find a home, be fruitful & multiply. The problem with this is that the poison cannot discern between cancer cells and other “fast growing” cells, so my insides are under an attack that the doctor and I have approved. I didn’t even feel it going in. I just sat there … curled up in a recliner like it was nothing.

Now … it’s almost 8:30 PM on Thanksgiving evening. Today has been the best day since chemo so far. Having heard so many things from so many people, I was really expecting to have a couple of really bad days following the treatment and then get back to normal. What I have experienced, however, is a different unpleasant side effect each day. Some linger longer than others, but it has been a solid week of headaches, bone pain, indigestion, stomach troubles of multiple kinds and fatigue. I cannot believe the amount of different medicines I am taking -both prescription and non- just to deal with the side effects.

As much as this really does suck, I cannot help but remain thankful for my health. I have been to the oncology center twice now, and I am the youngest by at least 20 years. I see these other patients whose bodies are already frail, who are enduring the treatment in order to try and shrink tumors they still carry or to try and stop metastatic cancers from spreading or continuing to spread. As cancer goes, I really am blessed to have a “best case” rather than a worst case scenario. I think often of my high school friend Kathy who lost her battle with cancer just three years ago. When I reach my low points, I remember her faith and the way she suffered well despite a terminal diagnosis.

So what’s next? I am scheduled to go back to work on Monday. That scares me. I am worried that I won’t remember what to do … I am still self-conscious about how I look since my “new boobs” are still not in their final resting place. I have one more herceptin infusion before the second round of chemo. Based on what I have been told, I expect my hair to start falling out in about 10-15 days. Not really ready for that one. Izzy told me she has some anxiety about it too … we spent Wednesday morning having a professional wig fitting, and she mentioned that at lunch. This round of wigs, however, were MUCH better than the first. So, I am feeling much better about the prospect of going bald. They were so nice/fun, in fact, that I may stick with wigs from here on out! Enjoy the pics from this trip … as much as you can with Izzy’s shaky photography. ;o)

Wig #1 in dark brown, auburn and blond.
Style 1 - dark brownimageimageimage
Wig #2 – I like this one but not sure what color. 
Wig #3 – Really like this one too, for the color … thinking maybe #2 in this color.
Wig #4 Tried on this one for the cut/style but David loves it … better than the other blond one, but still not ‘me’.
Wig #5 – eh
Wig #6 – really just for fun … TOO long. 
Which one(s) do you like?




One response

15 12 2013

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