Another day and other chemo. It is interesting as I always feel nervous the day of a chemo even though it doesn’t hurt, I don’t hurl all over the place, I don’t feel too terrible and overall it is just not a bad experience. But I feel nervous none the less.
I think film and TV really do a disservice to people by not portraying things accurately. I have seen so many really horrible portrayals of cancer treatment where people are falling down puking their guts out and behaving like it is a totally miserable thing. It really hasn’t been for me. It hasn’t been nice either but no worse than a really long bout of flu. I will say this; there are drugs recently available that take care of so many of the bad chemo side effects. I really benefit from these medications while some others don’t get any good effects at all. And chemo used to be much more of a physical blitzkrieg than it is now. Things have been really fine-tuned. While chemo can be really bad for some most have an easier time of it.
Normally I try to go to my chemo with an empty stomach (a mental thing for me with my vomit phobia) and I take a pile of pills before I even get hooked up so I get all their benefits immediately. I get the chemo which does not burn or hurt in any way. I don’t even feel it going in and the worse pain I feel is the needle stick. Nothing major at all. Since I take Ativan to mellow out my anxiety-ridden ass when I come home from chemo I climb right into bed and zonk out for the night. What I do beforehand is make up a time schedule for all the meds I have to take, as I have to swallow some kind of medication every 4 hours. So I set my alarm clock and it goes off day or night to keep me on schedule.
The following day I nap most of the day away too. I might get a bit queasy just before I am due for a pill dose but that is usually taken care of with the pills or a couple little puffs of pot. Yes, pot REALLY helps. It instantaneously turns off the nausea like a light switch. Normally I don’t do drugs of any kind but this does really help and who am I to shun that. Normally, over the rest of my post chemo days I use marijuana two or three times -if that. The drugs really help for the most part. Then starting on the second day I am more up and about but feel a bit dizzy and lethargic. When they told me that I would feel tired I expected to feel sleepy. I don’t usually sleep more than my normal hours (except immediately post chemo) but lack overall motivation. I just feel blah. I am not really eating at this point too, just snacking on grapes and watermelon. And lots of water! Must drink the water. By day 4 I am eating broth and crackers along with my fruit. I sit and watch DVDs or read or blogstalk. I don’t comment much as my brain is fuzzy and I have no sense of humour. This is when the strong smell thing is the worse. Maybe I will have funny tastes in my mouth. Cold food is best which is why the grapes are so good. By day 6-7 I can slowly start eating normally again in small portions without any stomach issues. By day 7 I am pretty much back to normal but with the usual fatigue and stuff.
That, my friends, is chemo in a nutshell. I have my appointment later this afternoon. I’ll post again in a few days. Everybody have a great weekend.