Tuesday was the last of my AC chemo cocktail. I hope I never ever see this again.
So what have I been up to the since the last post? I’ve slept. A lot. They tell you that chemo is cumulative, and while I feel I’ve gotten off easy compared to some on the AC cocktail, it’s not easy. My body is buzzing from the time I get home from chemo and add all the anti-nausea/anti-emetic meds and I’m pretty much in a zombie state until three days later.
I get very weak and faint and sitting up is a guaranteed way to have me pass out. So I lie in bed staring at nothing, or with my eyes closed, waiting for Friday afternoon. I drift in and out of sleep having really strange dreams, but mostly am awake. I will catch up on my sleep on the weekend. I barely eat because I can’t really think of food and try to drink the 2.5 litres of water I’m told I need to or I will die (slight exaggeration).
Then as I start to feel stronger and can sit on the couch mainlining movies and TV shows and scrolling through Facebook and Instagram to see what everyone else has been up to, I eat a bit to try to put back some of the 8 lbs I lose over these 3 days. Day 4 is better, lots of couch time and for cycle 3 I was able to go out a bit. But with this cycle 4 I’m very faint and need to sit/lie down… which has been my day today, day 5. With cycle 3 I had a few fainting spells on day 6 but I’m hoping that today is the end of it because it’s pretty much constant.
To add to the yuckiness of food, everything smells like rotting meat. I realized that it’s actually the rapidly reproducing cells in my nose that are making that smell. So the no sugar diet is out the window while I suck on Werther’s, Jolly Ranchers and Ginger chews to distract me from the smell/taste because it’s nauseating.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as the off weeks progress I’m still shaky but I do get out a bit more as I get stronger and I’m able to do mundane things like get groceries (the “food” that tastes the best for me the past month is All Dressed chips… sigh), meet up with a friend for half an hour and one night last week we even went out for Pho with a friend.
On the off weeks I’m also able to focus enough to read which is GREAT.
And now for a PSA…
I had a great phone call a couple of days ago with someone very dear to me who has been sending me cards every week. She said “there’s no right thing to say, but I wanted you to know I was thinking about you”. You DO know exactly the right thing to say.
What’s the wrong thing to say? Let me tell you about my grocery trip this morning with my brother… We wandered around the store for about 30 minutes and as he was doing the self-serve check out (I already went through a different cash and joined him) the cashier says to me “why are you covering your tattoo?” (I guess she had noticed my tattoo at some point over the years) I tell her the sleeve is to hold my PICC line. She asks about what that is (for chemo), what type of cancer I’m being treated for (boob) and then proceeds to tell me about the 5 people she knew in the last two years who DIED of cancer and how most people die at home now, which is really great because it’s really inconvenient and uncomfortable to go visit in the hospital.
While this is happening I can feel myself getting clammy and know I have about 3 minutes before I pass out and I start looking for a place to sit… but because I don’t want to be rude (!!!) instead I lean on the cart while she continues blabbering until my brother is done and we start walking away. I say to her (with an undertone of sarcasm) “well this was fun”. She wishes me luck.
I proceed to tell my brother about this conversation and he says “I thought I heard that?!??” and we start laughing. He immediately had some amazing comebacks and I was kicking myself for not feeling well enough to make this a teachable moment, with a side order of bitch.
10 hours later this is still sitting with me. I know she meant no malice but I never think that this cancer may kill me. EVER. But it did shake me a bit and while I’m feeling puny and weak today, that’s not really the conversation I needed to have. But then I look at my card display and am thankful for all the positive and encouraging cards I receive on a daily basis from family, friends, and strangers alike. ❤️
AC is done – next up 12 weeks of Taxol. Booyeah!! 💪