I hope 2013 is treating everyone well so far. My New Years resolutions are to gain a few pounds and to be 100% cancer free. With a pint of ice cream under one arm and an IV of chemo drugs in the other arm, I’m well on my way.
I had my first chemo treatment on New Years Eve. It wasn’t exactly a walk in the park but it certainly was not as terrifying as I was expecting. The infusion center in the Smilow Cancer Center is a large room full of hospital recliners along the walls. There are curtains so you can have some privacy if you wish. I was lucky enough to have my parents and my brother there to stick out the six hour infusion with me. The woman receiving treatment next to me was watching telenovelas at full blast for hours. I think if I get on her chemo schedule we may become a bilingual family! Despite the long day, the treatment itself wasn’t terrible. You’re just hooked up to an IV for hours and the worst of it at the time was just feeling really thirsty- no big deal.
I didn’t feel too bad the next day; however, day 3 and 4 were fairly brutal. I was VERY fortunate not to experience nausea or a metallic taste in my mouth. On day 3 and 4 I was incredibly fatigued, my muscles ached, and I had very little appetite. It felt much like a terrible hangover that spanned over several days. The worst of it is the insomnia. They give you steroids the night before and day of chemo that stays in your system for a few days and does a number on your ability to sleep despite how tired you are. 10 mg of Ambien STILL didn’t put me to sleep- unreal. After a week of sleepless nights I learned that ZzzQuil and magnesium are a delightful combination for a restful night’s sleep. I have to say that if this is the worst of it then I will be in pretty good shape for future treatments (until my hair falls out…that may be a different story).
Last but not least my leg is coming along nicely! I was discharged from physical therapy although I will continue to have occupational therapy for a few more weeks. Parts of the leg are a little less numb and I am able to see more consistent full muscle contractions in the quad. For now I was advised to continue to use my cane if I leave the house but within the house I can walk around easily without it. Woo-hoo!
So far so good! I have much to look forward to now that the scariest parts are over. My oncologist has referred me to a great oncologist in Providence that will monitor my transition to treatment at Women and Infant’s Hospital. In a few short weeks I will be back in little Rhodey and back to work! February cannot come soon enough.