It is almost eleven o'clock pm on Friday night. I had my sixth chemo treatment today, and I feel awful. I know taking my anti nausea med will help, but that means going downstairs and getting it, yet I sit staring at facebook on my computer screen. So much time passes, when finally I make myself get up to take a pill, and find some mint gum. Why is it that the simplest actions are sometimes so hard to perform?
I also grab an extra layer while I am up. Although it is warm outside, I am sitting here shivering. I don't have a fever, it's just one of those chemo things. Hot then cold, fine then nauseous.
When I had my last treatment, I told Dr. Safran this round of chemo has felt much harder than my last. He asked me to tell him about what was different. I told him I felt sicker after my treatments. That it felt like there was a brick in my stomach, heavy and horrible. He told me he could tinker with my dosages and try to make it better. He changed some of my premeds, switched out the new anti nausea med and gave me the one I had with the folfox, took out the steroids so I could sleep. It seemed to work. I wasn't up crazy late, even though I took a nap in the late afternoon. I did go to a concert that evening, so maybe that helped to tire me out, but I slept well. I only felt a little nauseous, but I took my ondansetron, and felt better. I slept more in the days following my treatment than I usually do, which is hard to imagine, but I did. The adjustment seemed like a good thing. I still felt tired over the week following chemo, but I have realized that this is a part of my new pattern, and I need to plan for it. One extra activity during the week, and that's it. Even if it is just knitting with my friends, it wipes me out for the rest of the week. I missed a meeting and stained glass, because on Wednesday and Thursday evening, after working all day, I was too wiped out. I find it terribly annoying that it has taken me five treatments to figure out this pattern. I realize that if I were writing about it more, it would have been apparent sooner, but at the end of my days, I am too tired to string words together.
After thinking I have made this great breakthrough with my chemo, pinning down what works and what doesn't, I wonder why I feel so horrible this evening. I had been telling someone this week how much better having regular nausea is than that brick in the stomach variety, but tonight I feel like it doesn't matter. This regular nausea is no fun either.
My treatment went fine today, except they added peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the menu of foods available. Now it will be one of the foods I associate with Fain 3 that I can't even name without feeling sick. I make a fair number of peanut butter sandwiches for daycare, so this could be a problem. We may only get to serve them on my off chemo week.
I did meet one of my fellow chemo mates today. We were both called to our appointment together, and she chose the pod next to mine to receive her treatment. We started talking as we were seated, and then sat on the edge of our chairs having a conversation around the sliding partition which separated our pod. We were getting along so well, we spent most of the morning talking. Once we were all hooked up, we took turns sitting in each other's space. It made the hours go by much faster. At one point she had a visitor, so I went back to my chair, and fell asleep. This is not something I usually do, but I was feeling so tired. When I woke up I found Carol, which I think is my new friend's name, peaking around the corner to see if I was awake. I guess I napped for a while.
I am a little embarrassed that by the time I got home from my treatment, I could no longer be sure of my friend's name. She will understand better than any one else how this could happen though, especially on a chemo day.
On Sunday there is a walk a thon being held at Brown University to help support Dr. Safran's cancer research. I am looking forward to seeing her there. I am not sure how much we have in common besides our treatments, but I am looking forward to figuring that out. We share a bond with where we are at this particular point in our lives, and I look forward to sharing and cheering her on from the next pod over.