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First Week on Chemo...reflections and looking forward

Monday, September 09, 2013

I woke up early this morning on day 4 post chemo not sure how I felt. I am supposed to take anti-nausea medication round the clock for the first three days and then as needed for the rest of the week. I've been taking the anti-nausea medications as directed, and have felt pretty good through the first three days. I felt "funny" as soon as I woke up this morning, so I've gone ahead and taken the anti-nausea medication and am having a cup of green tea as I write this. It seems to be working.

I've noticed that I've suddenly started sleeping much sounder at night since I started chemo. I think that it's that I'm feeling less stress since the chemo has actually started. I am really pleased how good the first three days have gone. I know that it is a cumulative thing and this first week is probably the easiest week I'll have, but I'll take it!

I have 12 weekly sessions of this chemo and then 4 biweekly sessions of another combination of chemos. A part of me wants to put a big calendar on the refrigerator door where I can mark off the days. I imagine other people going through chemo have done a similar thing.

I'm in good spirits the vast majority of the time. Since I've been diagnosed, it seems like cancer has dominated my thoughts nearly 100% of the time. I think it's normal to have that reaction. Kris Carr, who wrote Crazy Sexy Cancer, describes it as "having cancer hijack her life" when she first got diagnosed. I think that is a great description of the way it feels at first.

Now that I feel like I'm starting to settle in for the long haul of the next nine months of chemo, surgery, and radiation, I want things to think about things beside cancer. Things to distract me and help make this time more engaging. I look at this coming winter as being a winter of rest and healing, but the more I find activities that I can do and hobbies I can enjoy the more healing and peace I think I will find as I go through this journey.

Anyway, as I sit here, I'm thinking that this winter might be a good time to go back to crocheting, reading, and creating SoulCollages to help pass the time when I'm really fatigued.

When I'm feeling good, I'm already going to yoga and stretch classes, and walking outdoors. There is an upcoming tap dance class at our local senior citizen place that I'm thinking of taking. I think that would be a hoot! Jim and I also plan on signing up for a fall ballroom dancing class at the senior center. They have lots of activities there....and we feel very young when we go. Most people there seem to be about 20 years older than us.

They do a lot of activities at the senior center like bingo and board games that wouldn't take a lot of energy, but I'm thinking I don't want to be in close quarters with a lot of people. I don't want to expose myself to unnecessary germs while I'm in treatment. I'll figure out something.

One hobby we will be doing over the winter is indoor gardening. We have already started preparations for that. I've always grown herbs indoors in the winter with grow lights, now we are going to be growing a lot more. I am juicing a lot of low carb vegetables so I've already started pots of kale and we want to grow wheatgrass for juicing. I also already have little "sprouts" operation going on. Each day, I start a mason jar of sprouts and in three or four days they are ready for juicing. I could easily see us getting into indoor gardening this winter.

It seems like I have a long winter coming up, but I feel like there are a lot of things I can do to make it the best winter possible.

Life is good!

Kay


PS. Jim just got up and we decided to take our kayaks out on the lake this morning for an easy ride. The lake is smooth as glass and it's a beautiful autumm day. It will be my first time paddling a kayak since I had my port implanted, but I think I will be fine. The anti-nausea drugs have kicked in and I'm going to take it really easy. A little paddling and a lot of gliding!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELER 9/16/2013 1:29PM

    I haven't been on Spark for awhile, but I've been thinking of you. So glad to read that treatment is going well and you are in good spirits. Dancing sounds like a great activity. It's an expression of joy. I can't help but feel good and have fun when I'm dancing (wish I did it more often). The music and movement frees me from any thoughts except being in the moment. Hope it does the same for you. Keep up the great outlook. emoticon

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OWL_20 9/12/2013 2:29PM

    That part about tap dancing caught my eye--have always wanted to take those lessons and Gene Kelly is a favorite of mine--no one ever looks sad when they tap dance;-). Glad to hear you're doing okay so far and super glad to hear you were able to get out with your husband on that lake. You rock!

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PINKNFITCARLA 9/12/2013 2:23PM

    Hi Kay, well, I just saw this blog posted and had to go back and catch up with your other blog. I'm so sorry I missed your diagnosis of breast cancer. I've subscribed to your blogs now, so I won't miss any more :-) Hang in there, sounds like you're doing great and I love your plans for the winter.

emoticon emoticon

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ROXIGIRL 9/12/2013 1:32AM

    emoticon Best wishes for your speedy recovery

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COOKWITHME65 9/10/2013 10:10PM

    Love all your ideas to keep you busy while you rest over the Winter Kay. My Mother also re took up knitting during her treatment last winter. She started with scarfs then mittens. She winged it and used no patterns. We also bought her a Kindle so that was a lot of fun teaching her how to use that. The great part is that she can look at Pinterest and see things that interest her so we are always off to Michaels to get the items for her craft projects.

I love that you and Jim are joining together to do interesting fun things. They all sound so wonderful. From the gardening, to the kayaking, to the ballroom dancing. You too really are so lucky to have each other. Sounds like you are having fun each day despite your obstacles. Reminds me of my Mom and I.


Like a previous poster said Kay. I love your attitude! You are taking control and I admire you so much.

Hugs - Kristan

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JESSIG5 9/10/2013 4:27PM

    I also noticed that since chemo, I sleep better than I ever did in my life. I don't know why.

It's funny reading your blog sometimes because I did some of the exact same things when I came home from the hospital. Eventually, I joined the Silver Sneakers class to get my strength back and every person in the room was around 10 or 20 years older than me so I felt young for once.

I think your positive attitude and the support you get from your husband is just as important as the other parts of your treatment.

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GOING-STRONG 9/10/2013 12:40AM

    Great attitude and that makes all the difference. I went through chemo/radiation/surgery 22 years ago and it is now a distant faded memory. One thing that really helped me was I tried to keep my schedule as "normal" as possible. I felt less sick and it also helped the rest of the family stay positive. I think it is great that you want to try some new activities like tap dancing. That will make you feel like a kid! Spark on!

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FLORIDASUN 9/9/2013 9:01PM

    Fantastic plans for the winter months! You might also enjoy puzzle working..that was a big favorite of ours at our little cabin up in the N. Carolina mountains. There's nothing like a great 5,000 or 10,000 piece puzzle to clear your mind of everything but interlocking edges. emoticon
I've also started my soulcollaging again and find it very peaceful and intuitive. It's funny but SO many of my pics include blissful mountains, streams, and woods. I think this is most definitely my soul steering me towards the peace that only nature provides to all of us. Quite inspirational and VERY telling don't you think?
Hugs to you my brave and beautiful friend walking in HEALTH! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DARLENEK04 9/9/2013 7:48PM

  Kay,

I do think you should avoid getting sick from some bug going
around, but you seem to have your schedule figured out pretty
well, so I am just going to say I think you are amazing....

Hugs,
Darlene
K

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GMO_JEN 9/9/2013 6:28PM

    I'll echo what everyone else has said- you are amazing! I hope the rest of the week goes smoothly, and that the nausea is hopefully controlled. I agree with avoiding bingo or board games- really close contact with oodles of people may not be the best the best thing in the winter, but it sounds like you and hubby have some wonderful ideas on spending time together. Hope you had a great time kayaking-sending healing vibes for the rest of the week.

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MISSG180 9/9/2013 6:02PM

    You are my hero.

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MOM2ACAT 9/9/2013 5:22PM

    I love to crochet too, and I also like knitting with my Knifty Knitter looms. I have made hats to donate to our cancer resource center here for cancer patients, and infant hats that I donate to the hospital. It gives me something to do on the days I can't be physically active, and it makes me feel "useful" to make something for someone else. When I do something that makes me think of other people, I feel better because I am not spending as much time brooding about my own problems.

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CINDHOLM 9/9/2013 5:15PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ZELLAZM 9/9/2013 3:08PM

    Yes to the gardening! and the gliding! emoticon

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BONNIEMARGAY 9/9/2013 1:41PM

    Wishing you health and wellness.

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TRICIAE2 9/9/2013 12:45PM

    emoticon

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CTUPTON 9/9/2013 12:08PM

    emoticon Your positive attitude will do great things to help you through this. chris

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MICHELE142 9/9/2013 11:54AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/9/2013 10:50AM

    emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/9/2013 10:14AM

    You are amazing. Sending healing vibes your way. emoticon

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SAWYERPATTI 9/9/2013 10:04AM

    Best wishes for your full and speedy recovery!
Hugs! emoticon

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CLEARNIGHTSKY 9/9/2013 9:44AM

    Thank you for the inspiring blog post!!

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HEALTHY4ME 9/9/2013 9:32AM

    YOu have it all worked out and I hope it stays as well as it is, I wish that if anything happens like this to me, I have half your spirit and support!!! HUGS

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LOPEYP 9/9/2013 9:21AM

    Enjoy the nice day. You deserve it!!

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KIPPER_KID 9/9/2013 9:06AM

    Enjoy the kayak!

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BUNNYCATS 9/9/2013 8:57AM

    I'm glad you are handling the chemo. Great that you got out on the kayak. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SNS1968 9/9/2013 8:24AM

    I wish you the best.

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SHIRLEYDILLARD 9/9/2013 7:54AM

    Can't say it enough. I love your attitude. emoticon emoticon

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