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!
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!