{04} Chemo, The First 7 Days

Here are my minute by minute, day by day notes from my first chemo infusion, which was originally written solely for me.   To keep it authentic, I left my notes in their raw, unedited form to give you an honest glimpse of my first seven days.

Day 1
Lots of sitting as I was warned.  All ok and in good spirits.  Had decent vein so no port!  Took about 4 hours total.  IV’s:  Saline, then Decadron, the one chemo drug, then the last.  Took 3 Zofran somewhere in the beginning of the IV’s.  Nurse and pharmacist were amazingly helpful.  Nurse showed Mike complete injection into a pillow and then he got to do it from start to finish.  I drank a ton of water!  They say to dress comfortably which I did not heed too well.  I wore jeans, a tucked in shirt with a belt.  It was all a hassle with my one arm stuck with an IV so I recommend a cute sweat suit with some Uggs.

Came home kind of scared with anticipation.  Stomach had a slight touch of the gurgles and a hint of heartburn.  Had raviolis and watched tv.  Popped a Decadron (even though it hadn’t been 8 hours just quite yet) and went to bed at 10pm.  Watched more tv and slept from 10-4?  Up until 7am then slept til 8:30.  Decadron doesn’t seem to hype me up like most so I’m able to sleep pretty good.  Drank more water and Gatorade even through the night!

Day 2
Woke up feeling almost completely normal, like no chemo happened.  A tad shaky and spacey but ok.  Took my decadron as prescribed with breakfast.  Drinking lots to counteract constipation.  Puttered around the house and yard.  Ran a couple errands.  Went for a short walk.  Sat outside in the sun and read Vanity Fair.  Plopped onto the couch at 4pm.  Ate dinner and watched TV.  Tired and went to bed early.  Slept almost through the night.  Took no additional meds the whole day and night!

Day 3
Wake up feeling good again.  Went to church.  Still a tad shaky and ditsy but good. Had my first shot by hubby – went fine.  A bit more tired today.  Took an afternoon nap and then watched Super Bowl, ate chips and nachos, went for a short walk.  Probably go to bed early.

Day 4
Woke up feeling pretty good.  Showered, went for a short drive and then I think I hit “the wall”.  Felt like a bobble-head doll.  Was in bed pretty much from noon to next morning.  Real achy, glassy-eyed and sad.  Felt like the flu; not stomach flu, just the flu.  Felt bad about my boob, my impending hair loss, my aches, my tongue, my scalp, everything.  Finally turned out lights at 10pm with tears in my eyes.

Day 5
Woke up still feeling really crummy and discouraged.  Our heater broke in the morning, Mike had to leave for work, and so I just crawled back under the covers for another hour or so.  Woke up cautiously optimistic.  Felt a little better.  Slowly shuffled around.  Fixed some breakfast.  Stayed in bed until 11am or so.  Showered.  Graduated from the bed to the couch for the rest of the day. My feet have been freezing cold for days, so Mike set out the heating pad under my feet which was like heaven!

Day 6
Slowly feeling better again.  Showered and went to my art class.  Moving slow, but I could fake it pretty well with a big smile.  Drove around with Mike. Went to dinner and then parked it on the couch for the rest of the night.

Day 7
The words “slowly getting better” is getting monotonous but it’s true.  Tired, but trudging through some small at-home tasks today.  My gut feels icky.  I’m not sure what is going on.  I always have this hungry feeling, but I also feel bloated. Drinking lots of water and apple/prune juice to help clean me out.  Did well for the day; did a few things at home.  The bone pain is becoming horrible.  It aches and throbs.  Feels kind of like growing pains when I was little but its all over my back and legs.  Taking Tylenol regularly which helps.  I feel so old.  It’s laughable to watch me try to get up – if I had a cane it would be fitting.  And my gut really bothered me today so I got some good live probiotics.  After a couple hours after my first pill and I already feel like my gut is a bit healthier.

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