I have now completed two chemo treatments. Two down, sixteen to go. The thing I discovered quite quickly after my first treatment is that chemo really does effect every person individually. What I had mentally prepared myself for and then what actually happened were two very different things. I expected to be tired and slightly nauseous the first two to three days after treatment, which I was. I didn’t expect that my digestive system would actually get worse as the week went on and into week two of treatment.
Last weekend I woke up on Saturday and immediately started with digestive issues. I thought I should have been feeling better by the weekend, since my treatment was on Monday. This continued on into Sunday, and then by Monday I was feeling pretty miserable. On Monday, I had my second chemo treatment. The kids were out of school. The mom of one of Peyton’s friends graciously invited Peyton over so that Peyton wouldn’t have to come along to the cancer center. Riley wanted to come, so she, Steve and I went down together. Of course no trip to the cancer center with a teenager is complete without an infusion selfie!
Chemo went as planned and we were headed back home within two hours of getting to the cancer center. I had felt pretty uncomfortable going into the treatment, so when I got home, I laid down for a bit.
The thing with digestive issues is that once they happen, they tend to snowball. This was not what I had expected, so things quickly got out of hand. I will spare you all the details but I spent the better part of Tuesday and Wednesday morning in pain and honestly just feeling miserable. Since this had started on Saturday, I called my doctors and talked to a couple of friends who work in health care and decided it was time to go to the emergency room. Steve had to go in to work for a mandatory training Wednesday morning, but he left halfway through the day and took me to the ER.
In the ER, I got some much needed medication. I was still awake all last night, in and out of the bathroom, but hopefully today marks the turning of the corner. I will stay home in bed trying to rest and regain some energy today. The last time I ran was on Sunday. That turned into a run/walk because I felt so sick. I never take four days off in a row (the exception being after my surgery). I hope to get out and do a couple of easy miles tomorrow. Going into this, I said my goal was to run minimally twice per week. This week might mark that minimum goal. That’s ok. Some weeks will be like that.
I cannot close this out without mentioning how fortunate I am to have some truly amazing people in my life. I could not leave the house for a couple of days. My husband’s job is not a flexible one, so when I am unavailable for any reason, it really becomes a challenge to coordinate kid drop off, pick up, practices, lessons, etc. This week, I had friends bringing me medication that I needed. I had one gracious couple bring both of my kids to their respective schools, and help out with Peyton after school when I was in the hospital. Another friend kept Peyton during my chemo treatment. I had friends checking in on me by text and email, offering to help out with the kids, offering to bring food, offering to take me to the hospital and guiding me into making decisions when I was unable to make a decision myself. I have friends who work in health care who have been so patient and helpful with my questions. Their compassion, concern and humor has helped give me some peace of mind and reassurance through this whole process. I would be remiss if I did not mention the counselors at both girls’ schools who have taken time out of very busy schedules to check in on a routine basis with my daughters. This has been so exceptionally hard on my kids and knowing I have fabulous women reaching out to them makes me feel very fortunate. Of course, my husband Stephen, who always has my back. I do not think I could ever put into words what he means to me. It’s easy to be a good partner when times are good. Being a good partner in times of difficulty takes true love and a depth of character. I married a really special guy.
To say I feel indebted to everyone previously mentioned here is an understatement. There are certain debts of gratitude that I may never be able to repay. I hope everyone in my life knows how much I appreciate them. This has been a really challenging week. Hopefully I have turned the corner and can get the side effects under control going forward.