There is a point where it all hits you. My chemo day is a wednesday. I have the treatment every 3 weeks. In each round you are supposed to have a pretty ill initial period then a period of recovery. The idea being that before your next round you have had at least a short period to feel well enough and strong enough to go into the next round.
What we learnt from my first two rounds was that I was having a dangerously high dose. Actually a little more than I really needed and it put me in hospital twice with quite severe reactions. I has sepsis and was neutopenic and I also flat lined. You can read about that partcicular episode here.
After reviewing my dosage levels cycle 3 was much better. I did have a secondary infection but antibiotics from my own GP treated that and I managed to escape a hospital stay and manage the other symptoms at home. I think because I had such a rough time and had not managed to get any recovery time I was still suffering the effects into round 3 which made it hard so I am hopefully this round for an even better round.
So here is how it goes.
On the week of treatment I get a super high dose of steroids. The steroids make me buzz. Actually I am pretty high. The steroids delay the crash. The steroid delay the effect of the chemo chemicals so instead of an immediate reaction I have a delayed reaction. Usually I hit the crash on the weekend. I start to go downhill on saturday and by Sunday I am entering the really bad bit.
This is the point where I need the phone by my side. With the hospital hotline dialed in – just in case.
My Dad brought meals on wheels but truthfully eating when I hit the crash is really hard. I don’t feel like moving never mind eating and anyway I start vomiting quite badly so keeping food down is quite a challenge. My main focus is keeping my temperate monitored and staying hydrated.
So it is Sunday now and the Shit scale has hit 6 or 7 today. Head hurts. Stomach hurts. Joints ache. Weak and feeling crap. Some days it’s not as easy to feel upbeat and all amazing. Some days you realise how much you ought to appreciate the very simple joy of just being able to get out of bed and not feel sick and totally crap.
I’m strong but sometimes your body fights against you and your strength feels drained. Wonder Woman pants in the draw today. Today I feel shit and truthfully just don’t want to feel shit. Fed up with feeling shit. Just fed up with feeling shit!
It’s Easter and the kids are on holiday and enjoying some down time at my Mum’s and all I want to do is have Easter Sunday with my family and eat an Easter Egg but instead I just feel shit.
I’m lying in bed thinking about eating but not wanting to move and not being sick. Totally fed up with feeling shit ! Today I just want to feel better ! Does it come across that I feel shit. Well this is the crash. This is the hard cold reality of what chemo treatment is like.
Be grateful for the simple things is my thought today. You never know when those things will become so special.
There are also injections.
I’ve got used to the injections but these are the ones that make the joints ache. Always sick not long after too. The home injections are one of the things that make the first week so rough.
I am totally needle phobic so I am pretty proud that I manage to administer these myself.
Looking forward to next week and getting a few days with the kids. A few cinema trips and things would be good. First to get through the deep shit to the less deep shit.
These days of being sick and having runny poo aren’t much fun but all part of the process. You look forward to the days of at least being able to move for long enough to not be sick. The less deep shit so to speak.
At least I know that a normal cycle is supposed to have days when I can stand up and think and not wind up in hospital. Better days are coming. That is what I hold onto when I am being sick and feeling – shit basically.
I know I will look back and feel good about getting through all this but for now I am descending into the crash so give me a short while to muster the positivity and fight which on days like that are harder to reach for.
Give yourself a break. You can’t always see the light but you will shine again.