Saturday, March 26, 2022

The State of Rain

Hey all! Thought I'd write a check-in post for all those asking how I'm doing. I'm still alive! Still fighting cancer! Still trying to live my day to day life like it's my normal day to day life.

Except it's not really normal. I have chemo every Thursday morning. This past Thursday was my halfway point, and I have six more weeks to go. Halfway there! It still seems like an insurmountable amount of time, but soon those six weeks will be behind me, just like the past six are. Gotta keep my eye on the prize.

Up until last week, it was actually pretty doable. I have been doing the DigniCap, and tolerating it well. It's only really uncomfortable for the first 20 minutes when it's "pre-cooling," but then it's not so bad. I'm noticing more hair coming out now than I had seen the first five weeks, but it's not huge clumps. If it stays at this level, I should still have most of my hair by the end of chemo. In the meantime, I have to treat my hair like it's spun glass. Only wash it once a week, brush it once a day, no hair products, and no styling. Can't remember what it's like not to have my hair in a bun on top of my head.

I also hadn't had any nausea or vomiting from the chemo, my appetite has been fine, and I haven't lost any weight, which is a good thing. It's probably partly why my blood counts have been great week after week. The only issue is what I will just refer to as constant stomach...drama. A neverending war between two kinds of poop. I'll leave it at that.

But with this last infusion, something changed. I started to feel a little queasy when I was getting my pre-meds, and by the end of my Taxol infusion, I was vomiting profusely. The Zofran they gave me did nothing to help. My doc found it very unusual to be fine for so many weeks and then suddenly have this kind of reaction, so I am hoping it was an anomaly. She's also going to try a different anti-nausea med next week, and I really hope that does the trick, because I want to get back to my chemo days actually being one of the better days of my week!

I'm still feeling a little unsteady two days later. I hate not feeling as close to normal as possible, because it means I can't go out and do the normal things I allow myself to do these days, like long walks, or grocery shopping...which, let's face it, is about all I can do. I'm still avoiding any kind of crowds, or things like indoor dining because I don't want to catch ANYTHING, let alone Covid. So my social circle is very small, and every day is not very different from the last.

I'm still working full time, from home, aside from the hours I am at chemo. So far, I've only taken one sick day. I have no way of knowing if I'll be able to continue that for the next six weeks, but I hope so, because, for one, I need the money, but for another, work is a good distraction from my illness.

I'm also doing as much self care as I can. My hospital offers six free massage therapy sessions which I've been taking advantage of, and that's definitely helped with the overall tension this whole experience can elicit. And I've been getting acupuncture, which I think has helped a bit with my night sweats, and even if it hasn't, it's at least a calming experience for the time I'm there. 

So, that's basically my life right now. Lots of needles or various kinds; nurses and therapists getting all up in my business; work; and the occasional foray outside of my home. I can't wait until my normal life actually feels closer to normal, although I realize it may never feel really normal ever again. Once chemo is over, I am looking at a month of radiation treatment, nine more monthly Herceptin infusions, and then years of hormone therapy.

But! I am planning on going to Palm Springs with the gals again in July, so I have that to look forward to. And once my immune system is back up to snuff, and my doctor says it's OK, I can't wait to get back to the cocktailing, dining, and socializing I've been missing for THREE YEARS. Y'all better be ready for me! I got some living to do!