40. Going dark for the holidays... Or the end of Chemo 3 right into 2019 and Chemo 4!
Like many people around this time of year, I decided to take a little “time out.”
Not so much because I was worn out, but because, honestly, talking about and dealing with “cancer treatment “ gets boring as fuck.
While there have been a couple of surprises, it seems that Chemo Round 3 and Chemo Round 4 have been completely predictable. Which honestly, has been completely welcome. It kinda just went like this...
Day 8- The phlegm didn’t kill be but is still raging. Overall I feel fine, impart because I have been overdosing on Christmas Movies.
Day 9 - I teach my classes, worried about the possibility of doing vocal damage on account of trying to produce sound through so much phlegm and no microphone. But I sweat balls off, but seems to help in getting this shit out of my system.
Day 10 - Last night, my “phlegm monster” attempted once again to kill me, but I prevailed. Am now sleeping with a humidifier with Vicks tabs feel like I am a five year old. Also have first audition with bald head.
Day 11- Kidney biopsy time! One of the intake nurses keeps giving me the hairy eyeball because I am sniffling, and keeps asking if I have been sick. I say no, it’s just side effects from the chemo because, A) I believe it is and B) I DO NOT wanna push this off until next year. Biopsy comes off without a hitch. I am actually awake and ask the Dr. if I can watch on the monitor. He says “no”, because he’s afraid I’ll move in reaction to being scared. (Yeah, he’s never met me, but why argue with the guy with the needle?) I have to stay as an outpatient for four hours, to make sure I’m not bleeding anywhere. Long day, but an hour after I get home, my agent calls from an inn in snowy Vermont, to tell me I have BOOKED my first job for the year. Maybe this bald head is good luck?!
Day 12- Chemo wise, feeling fine. Biopsy wise, not sore, but have been instructed to not move except to get up to go to the rest room. I figure standing to decorate an Xmas tree is kinda the same thing.
Day 13 - Sub some classes at my old home gym. Again everything is feeling fine. While I tire more easily, dare I sayI might be feeling like “my old self?” Food actually starts to taste like something, which is a huge deal.
Day 14- It’s Christmas Eve. I actually feel somewhat festive! Well enough to even run to the mall for last minute shopping. Though I am super tired of this damn congestion.
Day 15 - Merry Christmas to me! All I want from Santa is a clean biopsy report! I sleep late, I wear PJ’s , I even have a couple of mimosas!! ( I am allowed to drink, but have made a point to not imbibe, with exception of some special occasions.) Despite the fact that there is no snow, it’s actually feeling rather holiday like.
Day 16- I have to call it Boxing Day, as I married a Canadian. Again, as per usual, from the 2nd into the 3rd week of chemo, I feel great. I even do my OWN workout! (Some treadmill intervals and some weights.) It’s easier because I have an added kick - round 4 starts tomorrow and I am hopped up on steroids.
Well it seems my belated Christmas gift is Chemo session #4. Because, of the holidays it’s been pushed up to 17 rather than 21 days… Lucky Me? But I am feeling good and prepared.
After the bruising I took on session number three, I am SUPER hydrated, and of course, full of steroids. Because of the holidays, the infusion center is packed, and it seems with sicker patients than I have seen in previous visits. There are also more family members here, which makes the couple of people who are alone stand out even more. Chemo, is a pretty boring process, but it is always nice to have someone there with you. After checking my blood counts - my white count is super healthy thanks to Neulasta, my red count is low on account of the chemo, so eating more foods with iron is high on my to do list in the coming weeks, we hook up the sack of drugs and let it drip-drip-drip into my arm.
Day 1 : Smooth sailing, no problem with needles, and I feel totally normal with infusion. Unlike Round three, I am not even overly tired. #Winning.
Day 2: Still on my steroid high. Utilizing the energy to organize, get rid of things, organize and pull together. I have decided I am a Facebook Marketplace MASTER!! When the Neulasta alarm goes off - a Beeping sound from he injection device on my arm - I feel a distinct change. I can feel the medicine coming into my body and more importantly, I can feel my sinuses starting to clog up. Maybe this is my congestion culprit?! The master of my phlegm monster?
Day 3 : Steroids have worn off, and my thinking is cloudy. I can feel the bone pain beginning and take an Advil. Productivity is not high on the priority list, so shopping and returning things fills my day.
Day 4: Flu-like symptoms have set in. Bone pain higher, and an overall sense of irritation and restlessness are present. (DAMNIT why didn’t I do this AFTER New Years?!)
Day 5: It’s New Years Eve and I feel like dog shit. I said I would teach so I do, and thankfully adrenaline allows me to ignore how crappy I am feeling and eek my way through. Post class, I go home and resume my place on the couch, heating pads and leftover Oxy for pain fill a night with RBG films and a sad “fall out” by 10.
Day 6- Hello 2019 !! Drug-induced sleep has made me feel a hell of a lot better. My bones are still achey, but my disposition is much better. That’s the thing about physically feeling shitty, emotionally you can go really dark. I mean there’s a bunch of poison running through my body, changing my chemistry, so you’d have to expect there would be a difference, if only temporarily. I feel better but tired and make it to a whopping 8pm, knowing the next day begins a brand new schedule at the gym.
Day 7- Wake up at the crack of dawn to go teach my classes. Feeling precipitiously better, though congestion is being a bitch with my voice in classes where there is no mic, so I am trying to conserve my vocal-chords so as to not hurt them in anyway while this process continues. (Sometimes it’s the little things, I so miss my higher to middle range just singing along in the car.)
Day 8 - Did I accidentally take more steroids? Cause I suddenly feel GREAT! Still a little bit of bone pain, but I seriously want to go run a marathon. I don’t because it seems the neuropathy has settled into my fingertips and feet, making them feel slightly numb. I’ve had traces of this before but this time it seems to be sticking longer. URGH…
Day 9- Again, fingers and toes a little numb, but I feel great. Also get “results” from biopsy, that tell me the procedure went well. Ummmm DUH!!! Apparently I am waiting for pathology results through another weekend.
Day 10- Congestion ever present but sub a TRX class and see some old friends. Overall I am feeling better, which is good. As I mentioned, I booked an acting job, and thankfully it shoots in the sweet spot of where I generally feel better.
Maybe it’s gonna be a great New Year after all…I guess we’ll know if those damn results ever come back.