Sorry that it has been awhile since I last wrote, so this one will be a little longer!
See that picture of Bella to the right? That’s kind of been my face lately.
My treatments are a little off schedule. I only had the second round of chemo last Thursday. My counts were too low the week before for treatment. However, the oncologist has decided that going forward, even if my counts are low, that we will proceed with treatment, as keeping to the schedule is important, despite any increased risks in infection.
Sounds good to me! The sooner this is all done, the happier I will be!
Something else I learned is that the oncologist’s office can do blood tests in about 5 minutes. The hospital tastes 1.5 hours or more. So last time, I was at the hospital for hours before they told me I wasn’t getting treatment. Frustrating to say the least. So, despite the additional expense, I have decided to do all my blood tests at the oncologist’s office the morning of treatment. It’s a small price to pay for spending less time in the uncomfortable hospital. I suspect this will reap dividends come winter!
On this 2nd round, I experienced the same intense nausea for 4-5 days, and still have lingering nausea. I’m now on my third medication for nausea. I guess we’re just going down the list of medications till we find something that works…I am used to my stomach being weak and upset on a regular basis, so this sort of pain is nothing new, but it’s certainly something I don’t care to have to deal with. I suppose until the chemo is long done and gone, my tummy is going to be upset to some degree. I’m writing this 11 days after my last treatment, and my stomach is still bothering me. Yesterday, it was probably the worst it had been since the days immediately following treatment. I’m learning to live with it, but sometimes it just gets the better of me. I get cranky and defeated.
Thankfully, this time around, I have not had the headaches, fatigue, and mouth pains like I did the first round. Part of that may be because I was not also recovering from surgery at the same time. I attribute the lack of mouth pain to really being on top of oral hygiene. Brushing after every meal, baking soda rinse, and mouthwash. I understand that part of the problem with the mouth sores is that of a bacterial one, which is heightened by your body not being able to fight off the bad bacteria in the mouth as it normally would. So, keeping the mouth as alkaline as possible is the best fight against the sores.
Speaking of surgery – my wounds are healing well, and most of the time I don’t even realize my port is there – until I bump into something – then I know!
One new symptom I had was that for about a day or two after treatment, everything tasted awful, and the same. I’ve read that some people describe it as a “metallic” taste. Whatever the taste, it was unpleasant.
I have, however, been eating better this time around, even through the nausea. The trick really is to eat little but eat often. My parents probably think that I am eating as much/often as Luyang does now! Before treatments began, I definitely wasn’t eating too much, as the symptoms of the cancer itself had really taken a toll on my appetite.
Speaking of parents, my folks have been here for the past two weeks to help out with daily life. From bringing me home from the hospital, to grocery shopping, to making food and fixing things, it has been a wonderful blessing to have them here. It definitely took some burden off of us for awhile. Bella, I think, was most excited of all!
We are very blessed to have such a loving and supportive family to help us get through this challenging time for us. We know not everyone is so fortunate!
My next treatment, Round 3, is coming up this Thursday. Hopefully the symptoms stay mild!
Until next time, thanks for reading, checking up on me, sending me cards, offering help, and all those wonderful things. God bless!