A few chapters this time. I'll try to keep it short!
Chapter One: Chemo 4, Done!
A quick recap: I had my last does of Adriamycin/Cytoxan on Wed. Hurrah!! I have three weeks off (which will take me to the half-way point in my chemo!) and then leap into 12 solid weekly treatments of Taxol and Herceptin. The Herceptin will continue for a year.
That takes me to next fall and surgery, and possibly radiation.
Chapter Two: Side Effects from Chemo 4, So Far
I'm going through fatigue already, also a fair amount of nausea, but that's minor so far, just frequent and uncomfortable. Ginger helps lots, and I have meds for when it gets more pushy. Also getting steroid jitters -- not to where it gives me physical energy, just mental jitters and emotional something-that-I-can't-pin-down, enough to keep me from sleeping at night and add to the fatigue. Today's the last day of steroids so I should crash tomorrow. (I know I've said it before, but how can people stand to deliberately take steroids for long periods of time? Yuck! Can't tell you all the negative ways it makes me feel!)
I also talked to the NP about my trouble swallowing post-chemo; it doesn't last long (3-4 days), but it makes it hard to drink liquids (but not swallow food. Go figure). Anyway, after finding out the reasons for that, I think I have a solution for when it starts (probably Sunday), so that should help. Drinking my usual 96 ounces daily! There wouldn't be enough rest stops on the highway for me right now!
Side note on fatigue:
I found a nice explanation of fatigue: When you're tired from exertion, if you get enough sleep that night, you usually feel better the next day. With fatigue, you feel generally tired all the time and lose interest in people and the things you normally like to do.
Fatigue from treatment can appear suddenly and can be overwhelming. Rest doesn't ease fatigue and it can last for months after treatment ends.
I'm fortunate in that I don't have such strong symptoms all the time. But when I do, it is, indeed, overwhelming. Should be hitting that wall this weekend. The good news is, I know it'll pass!
And the really good news, no more A/C! Onward and upward!
Chapter Three: Woo Hoo! Just Call Me Baldie!
OK, it wasn't planned... but I got in the car yesterday to run errands and get my Neulasta shot, and my scarf was slipping and falling, and I was trying to fix it, and was getting all hot and my head was sweating, and I said, to heck with this! Off came the scarf and off I went! It's not an attractive look, for sure, but I don't care. I'm still me and if people don't like the way I look, too bad.
It feels SO much better than those hot scarves... the weather was just getting to be too warm for them. And it feels very freeing.
Bald is Beautiful! Or at least freeing!!
Chapter 4: PM Update
Ugh. Nausea all day. Controllable but uncomfortable. Can't eat except small amounts of bland, dry food. Oh boy! Haven't had nausea this fast with previous treatments. Well, ginger helps, and if that doesn't, the meds will.
The heat/humidity are going to make it tough to sleep tonight. Indiana summer!
But all this shall pass!