Since I was advised that chemo is cumulative and that the symptoms are likely to become more pronounced with each treatment, I asked the nurse who changed my PICC bandage to show me how to load the syringe for the anti-nausea injection. Just as she was about to she was called in to help another nurse, so she said ‘Youtube it’. She said it was very easy and low risk.
The appointment with my medical oncologist went well, though he was concerned about the poopfest I had with cycle 1 and advised that they would ordinarily reduce the next chemo dose. I didn’t want that (no one wants that) so we agreed that I would try Imodium for cycle 2 and see how that goes. I was cleared for cycle 2! Huzzah!
Katie and Steve both came to chemo cycle 2. Since only one person is allowed in the pod with the patient, they decided to each sit with me for half then switch (but half way through I just called Steve in since the place was empty and I had two chairs!).
The great news – blood counts were aces and we were good to go with full strength cocktail! Take that Timor! 🐢
While Katie and I were hanging, the man sitting across from us was watching his iPad. Katie says “I wonder what he’s watching” just as he says “OH MY GOD” really loudly. We figured an action movie or the news. A few minutes later he pops out his earbuds and starts talking to us, and he says how the iPad saved him these past months in chemo (he has 3 days in the chair every couple of weeks). He informed us that he was watching ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and there were contortionists on (and we laughed, because now the OMG made sense) and then switched to Simon and Garfunkel live in Central Park. Good choice. It was his second last chemo for a while, which is great!
My infusion went fine and the highlight was
when I went to the bathroom and watched a tuft of pubic hair fall into the toilet. I laughed out loud.
When I got back to my pod I told Katie and she laughed and said we should start trying to pull out my armpit hair for something to do! We didn’t.
Once we were done I was in a serious rush to get the hell out of there. I need to stop this avoidance behaviour where the Cancer Centre is concerned because this is the place that will help me get rid of Timor. The staff are wonderful and there really isn’t any reason to not want to be there. The side effects I have are nothing, really, so I don’t get why my head is playing games. More meditation is needed.
Chemo makes me feel weird. Seriously messed up in the head. And blah. I’ve come to know that I feel strange after chemo, then numb and ucky on day 2 with zero appetite but very thirsty, hit by a small truck on day 3 with less than zero appetite but still thirsty and zero energy, and start coming out of the fog on day 4 when I start to eat a bit more but can’t drink. By day 5 evening I’m feeling GREAT with a side order of fog. And because I hardly sleep the first few days, I sleep GREAT for the next week.
I know it’s really important to eat, but because I was so dehydrated after chemo 1 I focussed less on forcing food in than keeping fluids up. And the Imodium worked like a boss. 🙂 I also didn’t need the anti-nausea syringe this round!
One side effect that was worse with cycle 2 was my constantly moving legs. I came to realize that this was my body to try to counteract the aching from the Neulasta shot which makes my bone marrow go into overdrive creating healthy white blood cells to fight infection. By Saturday morning I remembered I could take some Tylenol to take the edge off because the ache in my bones felt like when I eat gluten but x 100. The achiness lasted longer as well – until Monday night, but was manageable (with a bit of whining). Which leads me to:
…once my hair started to give up I was advised that my scalp would be sore. Holy mother of God I didn’t expect it to feel like I had pins jabbing into my scalp! You know what makes it worse?
When people run their hands over your hair against the strand. OH.MY.GAWD. And who does that? Pretty much everyone! So then I tried a hat – OUCH. And then I laid in bed in a state of such self-pity-whiny-baby trying to pull my hair out because rumour on the street is that once it falls out it stops hurting. I googled and sprayed lidocaine (solarcaine) on my head. Nope, no help. Then, while Steve was sweeping the i2P run and Katie and Shervin were out having lunch I took the electric shaver down to zero and buzzed.
Holy shit that hurt. And didn’t make it feel better. This was a low afternoon for me – my scalp was really sore, my bones were aching and for the first time I looked like a cancer patient. And I did a shitty job on my hair! I then hopped in the car and visited some friends, and THAT made me feel better!
Upside, the next morning it was slightly less sensitive and I got angry with myself for letting a bit of pain get to me, so I went for a run. Exercise really helps with the bone pain and I felt more like myself again! I really need to make the time to get out for more runs after hit-by-a-small-truck-day. But there were so many friends to visit with 🙂
I spent the rest of my off week pretty much out with friends, cleaning my house (YESSSSS) and reading. It’s been pretty great actually!
I also received great news yesterday – the genetic tests are in and I don’t have the BRCA 1 / 2 genes! That’s a huge relief to me, and to my siblings, daughter and nephew! ❤️
Two AC down, two to go! 👊