Thursday, June 13, 2013

an update from me this time...

i know i'm still a chemo novice, but what i've learned from this first round, and, only speculating that it will hold true for the next seven rounds, is that the side effects do not abate in a nice linear fashion.  (and when i say linear, for all you mathematicians in my life, i'm picturing one of those line charts, with the line that starts at the top on the left and goes down like a slide, until it hits zero.)  i had chemo two fridays ago.  let's forget about the nausea.  that was short-lived this time around and manageable.  and... predictable.  and... linear (see definition above).

the tiredness side-effect seemed to hit at random times with different intensities for the first seven days.  there was never a day i spent completely under the covers, shut off from the world.  in fact, in my own memory at least, there was never a time i was in bed for more than a couple hours, though maybe greg or his dad remember it differently.  in general though, i'd become more easily tired out after putting forth a normal amount of effort toward, for example, taking care of our guys, changing the sheets on our bed, a bike ride... i came to an early conclusion that an early bedtime was the way to go, but i was not always able to accomplish this for the mere fact that i still value those quiet nighttime hours above an extra hour or two of potential sleep... that and the fact that any fears i have (of metastases, of long-term side-effects from extreme treatments of extreme diseases) will inevitably hit me hardest when i'm supposed to be falling asleep.  still-- maybe for the future i'll do a better job at worrying earlier in the day and prioritizing more nighttime sleep the first week after treatment.

tuesday was perhaps the peak of exhaustion for me, but this may have only been because of the fact that i was in school and tried to get through as much of it as i could before finally succumbing to the fact that i could not sit there any longer and left during the break of my second class.  on saturday though-- eight days after treatment, i got through an entire day without feeling like i needed to lay down and rest for whatever amount of time.  sunday as well.  you even would have caught me running a bit on my walk that day (and also helping a woman with dementia who, in the end, according to the nurse who came down the street and found us wandering around together, didn't actually need my help.  oh well.) and monday too... a day full of normal energy.  

tuesday though (two days ago, 11 days after chemo, week two, when apparently my immune system is at its worst) i went to class, which was actually brunch at my teacher's place, and started feeling achy.  i considered not going to math class after, but thought perhaps the bike ride over to school would revive me a bit.  but math was just aches and feeling cold, so at the break, i left.  a twenty minute bike ride feeling like that isn't so grand, but i was happy enough to get the forced exercise.  i got home, got under the covers.  got up a little while after the guys got home from school... feeling better but not all better.  but the next day (yesterday), i woke up and all was normal once again.  not tired. not achy.  just plain old, all better.

so who's really to say what fault chemo or cancer played in tuesday's outlier.  it never led to a fever, so i can't complain.  i pushed it on my bike a little bit to get to the brunch on time, and because i was feeling so good, so perhaps it was that.  i've been a bit more careful on hills the past couple of days after that.  i do notice that my muscles feel tired (at least temporarily) pretty quickly after, say, going up a hill.

today i go to the oncology shrink, just to shore up any loose ends in the mental health and stress department.  maybe to find a way to quiet those fears i mentioned earlier.

also trying to find that good balance between omega-3's an omega-6's.  it would be good for you too... we should all be finding that balance together.

so that's life.  some of it at least.  but i can tell you, it's so much, much fuller than this... as you must surely know too.

2 comments:

nina said...

I totally admire the fact that you are striving to keep active and fit. You have a ton of spunk in you and that's a good thing.

How late does it stay light outside now? I do like June in northern Europe for all the light it gives you!

Phyllis Noble said...

An oncology shrink! What a great idea! I do hope that person speaks English very well, native-speaker-well, so that you can tell it like it is.

May the third week be a charmer!