I’m going to continue where I left off on my last post regarding my battle with breast cancer and the start of my chemotherapy. I hope that maybe you find this interesting and also that maybe will be able to find something within to help you with a personal battle of your own or maybe someone you know. As always, feel free to comment or offer your experiences and advice, and God bless you and yours !!
Friday, day 5 of my first round with chemo. I couldn’t go to the bathroom, and hadn’t since five or six days earlier. I’d been taking fiber and doing metamucel heavily, all with NO results !! I finally gave in and gave myself an enema, and had some results, ( which I noted in my last post, and was a HUGE mistake by the way ) but I had abdominal discomfort for the rest of that day. Next day, saturday, as I was feeling less nauseated, I still had abdominal discomfort. I paged the doctor on call and he told me to watch for fevers, anything greater than 100.6 needed immediate attention. The next morning I woke up feeling near death. I had absolutely NO energy. I took my temp and it was over 101, I woke up my husband and had him take me to ER, paged my Oncologist and she said she’d meet me there.
Long story short, I was there for 5 LONG DAYS, in isolation for 4 of those. My son couldn’t even visit me for the first 3 DAYS !! That sucks. I had NO white blood cells in my body, and I had to have Neulasta and Neupogen to stimulate my bone marrow to make more WBC. VERY boring to sit in a bed for 5 damn days !! I’d been “ok” mentally til then, but I had this weird, “Walls closing in on me” feeling and asked my oncologist if I could start an anti-depressant. She said “I’m surprised you haven’t asked before now !”
On about day 13, I started to feel my scalp tingle and could pull hair out easily. I didn’t want to get upset by it, so I called in the reinforcements, some friends and family to bring over food and we’d have a head shaving party. It was the best thing I could have done !! I took control of it before it could take control of me. Remember that. We shaved my head and had fun, took pictures, which I will share and even my husband shaved his !!! Trust me, thats not a big step !!!
Every 3 weeks on a Monday I recieved my damn chemo-cocktail. Oh yum !! It’s not a margarita, trust me. I drank water by the gallon, ate all the time and became a napper extraordinaire. I’d sleep 9-10 hours at night, plus a few naps when I had days off. I worked all through my chemo, really wasn’t too bad because as a nurse I generally only work 12 hour shifts 3 days a week. My boss just rearranged them to suit my chemo, I loved her for that !! ( She’s no longer with our hospital )
Halloween fell during my chemo, and in the middle of a cycle, and I thought, I’m bald, let’s have fun with this. I went as Howie Mandell from “Deal or No Deal” and 2 friends were my “briefcase girls”, the quirk was that one of them was a dude in drag !! Trust me, my husband, would NEVER have a part in that, god bless him. We ended up winning 2nd place at a costume contest !!
The fatigue and nausea got progressively worse with each round, and I needed more meds. By the 5th and 6th rounds I dreaded going, even though I knew it was necessary.
I was SO glad to be done, the last one was December 11th, a very, very good day. By christmas I felt good enough to enjoy the day, just a little tired.
I’ll go more into this later and will soon be adding pics here for you to see my steroid bloated face and bald head !! What a treat for you !! As always, feel free to include your input.
God bless you and yours always,
Meredith – RNC