Chemo Ain't for Sissies
by Marilyn B.
Well, that was unpleasant. But now I have an idea of what chemo is going to be like, and as a fellow survivor recently told me: Chemo ain’t for sissies.
Unfortunately the week did not progress as I expected. I braced myself for Wednesday being the rough day, but I really didn’t hit the wall until Thursday, with Friday being the worst. I admit, once I got past Tuesday and Wednesday I felt a little cocky. So when I started going downhill, I felt a little betrayed and very much disappointed—not to mention pretty darn lousy.
On Thursday, my biggest problem was the side effects from the antinausea medication. I was very tired and started having stomach issues; I couldn't eat, and my stomach began to bloat—big-time. By Friday, I couldn't get out of bed from the fatigue and the gastro-intestinal issues intensified. I was not eating and the taste of any liquid was a bit off. After discussions with my doctor's office, a trip to the drugstore, and more than a few trips to the bathroom, I stabilized and fell back asleep (I know—way too much information!).
Now I know and will be psychologically prepared next time. I'm also hoping we can avoid some of the side effects the second time around.
My husband, Jonathan, was a trooper, keeping me fed and hydrated (ice water with lime finally worked) and running the house. My friend Donna D. was my savior—I finally had the big sob that had never seemed to come until yesterday. I don’t know why I hadn’t really cried until then. I think I just didn’t want this to be happening to me, and if I could keep the emotion at bay, I still had some semblance of control. I’d like to say that the wall is now down, but on this sunny, beautiful morning, I’ve stuffed all that emotion back inside. I’m sure it will be back, just not today!
My daughter, Emily, had a tough week too—mostly school related, but she was stressed more than usual. I have some issues to work out in relation to being a sick parent. I don’t want this to be part of her story. I need to accept that I have no control over that. This morning she came bouncing downstairs, on her way to lacrosse practice, not a care in the world. The fact that I was awake, vertical, in the kitchen making oatmeal seemed to lighten everyone’s load.
I don’t want to set myself up for another disappointment, so I’m going to try to manage my expectations for the next two weeks. Thanks for all your support.