Saturday, November 29, 2014
Well, here I am almost halfway through the first type of chemo I have to take. I'm still alive - yay! Other than that fact, life as I know it is pretty darned different.
In some ways chemo hasn't been as rough as I expected it to be, but in other ways it's been worse than expected. I'm learning in many ways that I just can't 'expect' or count on things being one way or the other! I expected to be dealing with lots of nausea. There has been some, to be sure, but not nearly as much as I expected. What I've had more of is just an unsettled digestive system, and pretty much a total lack of appetite. Not nearly as bad as I expected. On the other end of the spectrum is the fatigue. I didn't expect to be hit so hard so fast, but that's how it's been. Makes me really scared for how that aspect will be after the next two treatments (and the twelve to come of the 2nd round of chemo).
Other surprises - the two chemo treatments I received so far did not affect me the same way. I really thought I'd be facing the same ole, same ole each time (when receiving the same chemo drug), just probably a bit worse with each subsequent treatment. Nope, treatment #1 was totally different in effect from #2. Wonder what #3 will be like? I'll know soon. Also unexpected was how fast I'd start losing hair. Two treatments down and I'm all but bald. That was fast!
I think the biggest shocker for me is the one thing that shouldn't have surprised me. It's the fact that I have zero ability to set my mind right and just *power through* this. Chemo totally and completely dictates what I can and cannot do. It is large and in charge, and I just have to deal with it. I am so used to just getting my stubborn on and being able to push aside (most) any challenge. Chemo laughs at that, and then knocks you on your butt.
This round of chemo will end with my 4th treatment on December 16th. Then I get a 3 week break before I start the next type of chemo the first of the year and running through the end of March. Then I'll be looking at a mastectomy, and then radiation, unless the plan changes sometime mid treatments. Presuming no changes, I guess I'll be finished with this mess sometime mid-summer. Not one to wish my life away - especially now - but I must admit I will be glad to get to the end of this season in my life.
So far I've been continuing to work as much as I can, which admittedly has been a lot less than I thought I was going to be able to do. Work has been excellent in letting me work from home a lot, and this will probably be more and more as I progress through treatment. I won't be surprised if (when?) the time comes that I just have to go out on disability. I know that if not before, it will happen when I have to have the mastectomy.
So...that's where I am in this. My family has been wonderful, my co-workers have been very supportive, my church family has been great. Being loved is awesome. With any luck, this journey will lead me back to incredible health as well.