So I am now seven days out from round 2 of chemo. At this point, I would like to award gold stars to anyone who has ever done more than 4 sessions of chemo. I feel like I got off so lucky comparatively since I only have to do this 4 times. As my loved ones are fond of reminding me, this is short term pain for long term gain and in truth, the pain part is relatively minor. Chemo is not painful. Chemo is, however, a pain in the ass. I'm sure a lot of it is mental. I have always tried to be relatively pious about what I put in my body. I eat well, I drink almost exclusively in extreme moderation, I don't take illicit substances, heck I don't even usually take tylenol. My body is a temple....blah blah blah...you get the picture. This mantra is quite antithetical to willingly having poison shot into your system. I've struggled with knowing that the cure is also terrible for you and worry about the unintended consequences and side effects of this decision. I also know that had I not opted for chemo I would have regretted that decision as well. Sometimes the grass is just yellow on both sides of the fence. People should really stop peeing all over the grass.
However, for all that talk of poison, I do know that chemo has come a long way. It isn't nearly so toxic or hard to handle as it once was. And it is completely doable.
I'm sure you are all wondering what chemo really feels like. I wish I could adequately describe it. It is like the flu, only different. It is a more ominous flu, if only because you know what the symptoms really mean. In my case it has also meant crazy heartburn. I never knew what a true suckfest heartburn could be. I would like to apologize to anyone for whom I have not appropriately empathized over this problem. It sucks. I get it now. I'm sorry you have to deal with this for a longer term than the one week stints I've had to cause it is no picnic.
Chemo continues to mean a lot of napping - in the early days I was aiming for at least 2 a day. I like to aim high. Unfortunately, this round chemo has also meant more moping. Depression is another on the long list of potential side effects of chemo. Although, I have to wonder how much that one is chemo related and how much is just the fact that the whole situation kind of sucks. You would have to be a special sort of Pollyanna to run through chemo with smiles and rainbows and lemon drops everywhere. I am not that sort of Pollyanna. Baldness does not bring out my better side.
What does bring out my better side is taking my medication on time, as prescribed. Turns out all those pills they make you take actually do work. And I don't like what happens to me when I forget to take them and they stop doing their jobs. Let's just say that Saturday was not my finest day and part of it may have been spent sitting on Paul, crying. It was sort of like visiting a bald, beardless, very handsome Santa who can't grant you any wishes. Tis the season!
However, I feel that I have turned a corner and the worst of round 2 is behind me. I worked today, I'm still awake, I just ate salsa and it is only mildly burning my throat. Wins all around! By the end of the week I should be in fine form (except for the pesky not having any white blood cells and being vulnerable to illness bit, but that was a breeze last time!). We're nearly half way there team.