Whew, chemo is no joke. I try to be all tough and power through it, and then I’m in bed, legs twitching in pain, unable to even watch tv, falling asleep mid-thought.
This round is mostly like the last one, but I’m managing the 💩 side effects better and just know what to expect helps I suppose. I’m doing okay, feeling positive, strong mentally, and write this post just to record the experience, rather than to whine out loud.
The other day I slept 17 hours of the 24 according to my Fitbit. My eyesight got really bad again and is just starting to improve today. Bad enough that the tv is super blurry and there is no way I’d drive. I had this last time too and it got better so I won’t fret about it.
The new medication has kept the bone pain out of my toes, but otherwise the pain was still quite bad. I did take the Tylenol 3’s at night when it gets really bad, so I can sleep through it. It starts feeling like the growing pains you may have had when you were young, but then it feels like your bones are being run over and slowly crushed by a really big truck. Then it feels like someone is wringing your bones, squeezing out the bone marrow. I have this from my thighs down, and in my wrists and forearms.
The numbness is getting worse in my fingers and toes this time. Neuropathy I guess it is called. My chemo doctor really wants to stay on top of this because she knows my job relies almost entirely on typing and my fingers will need to work when I’m finished this. She even mentioned the possibility of lowering the chemo dose to save my finger dexterity. We talked about going back to work too, even part time, and she very strongly wants me to not work at all during treatment. She said each round is going to be worse on me, and I’ll have about 5 decent days every 3 weeks. She said it is important I use those good days to do something fun and live life so I can get through treatment. Thank goodness I have a supportive employer. There is definitely a guilty feeling to being off work so long, thinking I should be doing something more productive.
Back to these shitty side effects – something new happened today. I’ve switched to baths because I’m scared of getting all weak after a shower and passing out like last time. Today I was relaxing in the tub, because it feels great for the pain, and then sat up to wash my chrome dome with some baby shampoo. As I sat up, my nose started bleeding. I hadn’t touched it or blown it or anything! I guess this is a common side effect too, but I could do without it! I better not have to give up my baths too!
Losing taste isn’t that fun either – mostly because instead of everything not having a taste for a couple days, I find everything tastes like soap, or like a mouth full of old toothpaste or something. It is really terribly gross! Taste is so important!
Anyway, now that I’ve passed the worst day, I spend a lot of time in my recliner chair rather than in bed. I’m really light headed and feel weak to walk around, like when you get up too fast and have a head rush, only it doesn’t really go away, and my feet are a mess (sore and numb somehow at the same time), so I sit here for long periods of time. Hank has started joining me. He’s been so calm lately! We took some selfies for Jeff this week to pass the time:
He’s just so goofy! When he isn’t on my chair, he’s sitting beside me in this arm chair that is just too small for him, but he tries hard.
So my chemo doctor seems iffy if chemo round #3 will happen on schedule. The day before, I do blood work, and if my blood values aren’t at a certain level, then I have to wait. One of the values needed to be at least a 1 and I was only a 1.1 this time. She said there is nothing I can do to influence this number so we’ll just wait and see. I don’t know if that means chemo waits a week? Or another 3 weeks? I would probably feel a little defeated to have to drag this treatment schedule out longer, but it sounds like it is really out of my hands. (come on blood, cooperate!) I also don’t really want to travel all the way to Whitehorse for nothing. Oh well.
Here are a few more pictures for you. Here’s the morning sun when I caught the early flight back to Dawson last week:
And here is a few of the Klondike from my last walk before I crashed for a few days:And here is the sky looking off our back porch at noon today.Our trees are yellow now and we’ve finally had a couple good frosts here in town. The cruise ship tourists have stopped flying in for their side trips to Dawson. Restaurants are posting their upcoming closing dates. The border to Alaska closes in less than two weeks. Winter is on its way!