Today's chemo surprise? Tingly legs!
I awake early at four this morning. After having done chemo for six rounds, I am noticing certain patterns have emerged. This seems to be my day after chemo waking time, no matter what time I have gone to bed the night before.
The temperature is in the mid fifties, but I decide to go for a bike ride even though it seems a little cool. I don myself with gloves, wool socks, running pants, a hoodie, jacket, and a neck warmer, just in case. I figure I am ready for anything. As I am riding, my throat starts to feel a little sore, which sometimes happens on cool, dry mornings. Just to see if this is a side effect, I pull up my neck warmer up over my mouth. My sore throat almost instantly disappears. It was a cold/chemo reaction.
That problem solved, I head down the hill at the end of the boulevard. I start to have this weird feeling on my thighs, as if the stubble on my legs were grabbing at the fabric on the pants I am wearing. The feeling gets stronger as I pedal on, and I realize that what I am feeling is the tingling sensation I get in my hands. This is a surprise. No one mentioned to me that other parts of my body would have this reaction. I thought my extremities were the only parts subject to this side effect, not any other part of my body.
I decide I shouldn't ride any further today, and head home to warm up my thighs. As I turn on the shower, I realize I can't just jump in. I am still hooked up to a pump that can't get wet, and I have a bandage on that shouldn't get wet either. I put some face cloths in hot water and place them on my legs. Warmth and relief!
One of the reasons I make myself exercise is it makes it easier for me to drink more water.
My throat seems super sensitive today though. The bottle of water that I keep
at room temperature gives me that crunchy throat feeling. I don't have
enough milk to make hot cocoa, and I don't really want tea, so I
tolerate the mildly uncomfortable feeling and drink my water.
There is a box on my table that came in the mail yesterday from my friend Julie. I decide to open it after I am all warmed up to see what is inside. It is a birthday gift with a theme. There is a pair of black fuzzy gloves that look warm and toasty, a pretty travel cup with cherry blossoms on it, and a book. These are things that will keep me warm, hydrated and keep my mind busy, all working toward good health! They are beautiful and practical, lovely gifts.
I am able to use the gloves right away, when Anna comes over to bring me to the grocery store. The gloves are warm, and even though it is still a little chilly out, no cold gets through at all. Since the temperature is cool outside, I don't even mind wearing them one bit. Anna still helps me by picking up the frozen items for me. I don't want my fingers to get too cold if I don't have to, and she is happy to help. Once we get back to my house, Steven helps us unload the car and puts all of the perishables into the fridge for me.
After the groceries are all put away, I get my radio, gloves, and tools, and head out to the garden. It has been sorely neglected all summer. Even though it doesn't look too bad, the lawn hasn't been cut since June and it is my goal to get it done this weekend. Listening to NPR as I garden is one of my favorite weekend activities.
I get one side of the walkway weeded, and the edges trimmed before breaking for lunch. I am thinking I will cut at least this half of the lawn after eating, but instead opt for a nap. I sleep two and a half hours. This shortens my day considerably.
I was hoping to visit my friend Dana today, but I have to skip it. I go to visit my Dad, and while driving over I witness a freaky accident that starts on the 195 split, and ends soon after exiting on the Wampanoag Trail. Someone in a small, green car came tearing around the curve at the end of the ramp and rammed his car into an SUV. The back of the SUV was hardly damaged, but the small car was crumpled in the front and the tires were leaning in. That driver sped ahead somehow, with the SUV in pursuit, honking his horn for the small car to pull over. I lost them after the Washington Bridge, but as I took the exit onto the Trail, I found the SUV and the small car stopped on the left side of the road. The small car had hit another car on the trail. I stop to provide a witness account, which means a much shorter visit with my father, but I feel it is important. It is also good fodder for conversation with my dad. He is a quiet guy, and a good conversation starter is always important.
I find my dad sitting in a chair next to his bed, and he seems to be in good spirits. He offers me the chair, but I tell him I can sit on the bed. He was disappointed that he couldn't leave the nursing home with my sister this morning. He was going to get a new phone and a hair cut, but he fell over in the bathroom, so his caregivers cancelled that trip. Still, he didn't seem too upset. He was very interested in the accident I had seen, and enjoying the licorice Alex had sent him. He always offers to share it, but not many people take him up on it. I notice the bag is getting low, and tell him I will get him some more when I visit next. We fiddle with the remote control to try and figure out why it will not work. The batteries were just replaced today, but we still can't get it to change the channel. He tells me I can turn the television off anyway. It is in competition with his room mates, and there is nothing on he wants to see. I give him a hug and a kiss, and tell him to be good.
When I get home, Alex is there. He has been house sitting since Wednesday, and I haven't seen much of him. We have a short visit before he heads back to watching the house and the dogs.
I go to bed early, considering the nap I had.