Thursday, September 27, 2012

9 days post chemo

I haven't written since my first chemotherapy infusion... mainly because I have just been trying to cope.  I am receiving standard dose Taxotere & Carboplatin.  I also began receiving the herceptin that I will be getting for the next year.  The infusion itself was very easy and almost pleasant.  It was nice spending time with my husband and relaxing in the infusion room.  It went so well,  I even drove myself to my support group in Palo Alto.  No problem.  I was ready for anything....

The reality set in pretty quickly.  I won't go through all of the gruesome details, suffice to say I had some pretty horrific side effects and ended up in the emergency room on day three post chemo.  My temperature spiked but the nice people in the emergency room gave me lots of IV fluids and sent me home.  The weekend was particularly difficult - lots of nausea, cramping, exhaustion, and overall discomfort.  Think the worst flu you have ever had in your life with the added bonus of knowing that you were going to have to do this many times over.  I started to feel human again early this week.  Today- aside from feeling like I gargled with razor blades- I am feeling much better.  Some say the side effects have a cumulative effect- I am hoping that isn't true.  I am hoping that next cycle I will know what to expect and be better prepared.  I am scheduled to do this five more times.  Sunday that didn't feel doable.  Today it does.

My mantra has been - "this is temporary- and I will feel better."

I did want to share some art that I have worked on for the last week.  I wanted to create a piece of art to track my symptoms so that I can share it with my oncologist at my next check up.  The pinks and oranges represent health - the greens and blues represent sickness.  I also wanted to do this so that I could look at it and remind myself that these horrible feelings are temporary.  I will get through this.

I feel like there is so much going on in my body- that there is no way I can be a good reporter for my oncologist without some record... and being visual, this was more fun than just writing things down.  You can click the image below to download your own blank template. 
So next cycle, I have learned the importance of staying hydrated and moisturized.  I have also learned that there will be days I can do nothing- and days that I am capable of still doing quite a lot. 

1 comment:

  1. Great mantra Deann. As Joseph Campbell put it, "where you stumble there lies your treasure." Besos.