Antibiotics. Quarantine. (Not really.)
I’m gonna live.
Antibiotics. Quarantine. (Not really.)
I’m gonna live.
Thinking positively here…
My fever has gone. I’ve spent the entire day in bed, reading and now watching The Incredible Hulk (getting closer to my Marvel goal!!).
I have eaten a bunch of junk today, with the exception of some grapes. Actually, I had a sunflower butter and strawberry jelly sandwich on whole grain bread, which was healthier than the Moonpies and chips.
I have been managing the aches with Tylenol and ibuprofen. It’s working a little, so is the rest. I’m pretty sore at the site on my right side where Dr. H stuck the drain needle yesterday. There’s a lot of squeezing involved in the draining, to manipulate the fluid to the needle. I don’t usually feel it, but since I’m slowly regaining feeling on the sides, it’s starting to get sore. It’s not terrible though. My lower abdomen is pretty sore on the surface, all around. I just hope I don’t regain full feeling any time soon because that is not going to be fun with a GH in my belly! Ouch.
Funny story: I was laying in bed and Daisy was laying on Brad’s pillow, Sam was laying by the front door. A ridiculously loud burst of thunder came out of nowhere and shook the house. Daisy jumped up and off the pillow, and Sam took off across the house. It was pretty funny.
Anyway, tomorrow will be a better day!
I fell asleep early last night. I felt very achey and exhausted, so I passed out. I checked my temperature, and I didn’t have a fever, but I had taken some Tylenol for the aches.
I woke up several times throughout the night to use the bathroom. I swear, it was like I had drank a swimming pool full of water. One of those times I checked my temp and it was 100.5. Yikes! Might not seem high, but for someone whose temperature is usually “normal” around 97, it’s kind of high. I was so hot, but so cold. Achey…traditional fever stuff.
It was kind of weird since I hadn’t had a fever before I was gutted yesterday. I took my second dose of antibiotics this morning and no Tylenol, and the fever went down. It’s around 99 now, but at least it’s going in the right direction and the antibiotic is doing its job.
I was going to take a pic this morning, but dear lord it looks nasty. It’s just very raw and red and yellow…thank goodness for antibiotics.
I’m also pretty sore around the incision area. I called out of work today, which I hate, but I knew I’d be useless with a fever and body aches. I’m trying to spend the day in bed so I’m not putting pressure on my tummy area. It just hurts to get up and down, up and down.
Oh, and the solution I use on the gauze before putting it in the hole smells like bleach. Why? Because it is bleach…I give up trying to understand some of the weird stuff I’m told to do.
Anyway, I’m just laying around and reading. I’ll probably nap again here soon, but it’s hard to get comfy on my back when I’m not completely exhausted, so we’ll see how this works.
Wish me luck for tomorrow! I hope it’s a better day.
Happy New Year!!
Sorry I haven’t checked in since before Christmas. I was chemo sick during the holiday and haven’t had much new stuff to report.
I can say that I didn’t have the texture issues with food that I have had in previous cycles, with the exception of potatoes last week. I had steak fries at lunch on Friday when we went out for Brad’s birthday, and the texture of the fries felt gritty and gross. Same problem with McDonald’s fries when Brad and I were road-tripping. I’ve been avoiding French fries ever since. Probably not entirely a bad thing, but I can’t say I’ll never eat another French fry again. Ha. Right.
All in all, the fatigue this cycle has been brutal as always, and I’ve had this insane sinus garbage going on. The sinus issues are causing an evil post-nasal drip that will not go away, and subsequent dry cough, particularly in the AM and late PM. I tried a humidifier, and I’m not sure if the humidifier doesn’t work, or if the humidifier just isn’t helping. So there’s that. I’ve also tried a variety of meds. Most alleviate some, but not all, of the symptoms, so it’s just not worth it to take them. I have enough of a cocktail going on.
I took the generic Prilosec for heartburn this time around, and it either worked or I didn’t have heartburn, at least not in the beginning of the cycle. I started taking it the evening of chemo as sort of a preventative measure, and like I said, it either worked or I never had the heartburn, which works for me either way. I did have heartburn a couple days ago, and a combination of Tums and Prilosec knocked it out. Yay.
Diarrhea is still super present. It’s been the one constant through this entire experience. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I’m finally regular again. It has become the new normal for me to be irregular, but I’ve learned how to manage and alleviate some of the less than desirable things associated with diarrhea (which, let’s get real here, is pretty much everything associated with diarrhea). Vaseline is my best friend. I even bought one of the small tubs (normally used as lip gloss) to keep in my purse for emergencies.
My last chemo is January 8th. I’m super excited for that part of this journey to be over and done with. I’ll still have to go for injections for the hormones, and I’ll find out the schedule for that on the 8th, but the days won’t be as long and the side effects won’t be as bad (except for the hot flashes, yuck!).
I hope everyone reading has had a nice holiday season! Despite feeling utterly crappy on Christmas, I had a nice day. And despite falling asleep before midnight last night, I had a nice evening yesterday as well.
Before cancer, I used to take for granted the ability to do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. If I wanted to go window shop at a store, I could go any day, any time, as long as the store was open. Yeah, I had to shower and get dressed if it were one of my lazy days, but that was a small price to pay.
Nowadays, 90% of my time is spent feeling some degree of crappiness.
About 100% of the time, I have to be conscious of where bathrooms are in case I need to make a run for it due to my wonderful digestive tract and its inability to be regular. In addition to that, I want to surround myself with people I feel comfortable enough with to make that mad dash, if need be. It’s one thing talking about it candidly here, it’s a total other thing being in public, making that face, grabbing my stomach with my eyes darting like mad for the nearest restroom, and praying for a vacancy as I run like I’m being chased by a bear.
Other times, I feel foggy and fatigued. My brain doesn’t quite want to work properly, and I lose track of conversations I’m an active participant in. Even when writing these posts, it takes me a while. I write a little, re-read to see if what I wrote makes sense, lose my train of thought and wonder where I was going with whatever I was writing, and so on.
Sometimes I feel nauseated. Granted, it doesn’t last long thanks to the magic of Zofran, but it’s still there often enough and isn’t a comfortable feeling. Along those same lines is the lack of appetite/need to eat everything in sight – all at the same time. Imagine how fun that is for someone who likes to eat. I want to eat, but I can’t really eat, partly due to nausea, partly due to not being able to taste things properly, and partly because it exits almost as quickly as it enters and there’s just no fun in that. But if I don’t eat, then I get nauseated from the empty stomach. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. This last cycle was better with food, and I think that was mostly due to the fact that I was on point with my Zofran consumption. Every. Eight. Hours. Things still tasted sort of funny or different at times, some textures were odd, but I could eat.
With all that being said…I don’t want to do anything.
Yeah, I go to work and school when I feel well enough. But usually, even on good days, I’m too fatigued to do anything else afterwards, even grocery shop or clean the house. The regular household stuff typically gets taken care of on the weekend when I have more steam. Brad takes care of some of it, but I have a need to contribute, so I do it when I can. I like doing laundry and vacuuming, straightening up the house, etc. I enjoy it because it’s normal, and I try to do what’s normal as much as I can because I’m not a complete invalid. Sure, there are days when I don’t get out of bed except for getting something to eat and using the bathroom. Visit me during week two of my chemo cycle and you’ll most likely witness that. But when I have the energy, I’m up cleaning or organizing something because that’s normal to me.
But leisure activities? Those barely even happen for me.
We go to trivia on Friday nights – mostly because it gives me the chance to see my parents outside of them chauffeuring me to doctors appointments, it’s completely no frills, and it’s entertaining and a chance to exercise my brain. I went to a book event a few weeks ago – I was miserable but it was nice to get out, be a nerd, see people I hadn’t seen in a while, and meet people I hadn’t yet met in person. Went to a dinner for Brad’s work because free food, ok? Spent time with my family over Thanksgiving. We actually realized it was the first time our entire immediate family was all together, ever, which was pretty cool as someone was always missing for one reason or another. I trick-or-treated with my niece and nephew, sister- and brother-in-law on Halloween. Hosted a couple of games at home this football season.
And that’s about it. That’s pretty much the extent of my leisurely activities.
I often can’t do anything because I don’t feel well, or I don’t want to because I’m tired and would rather stay home so I’m not the tired, little fuddy-duddy in the corner not talking to anyone. I often can’t keep up with conversations as I’m suddenly staring into space and not paying attention right in the middle of a sentence.
So I need a mental health day. A moment to feel sorry for myself because this cancer crap is for the birds. It doesn’t just affect your health, it affects your entire existence.
Can’t do this.
Can’t do that.
Finally feel well enough to do that, but you can’t because of this, that, or the other thing.
Feel like crap because you’re constantly saying “no, sorry, I can’t, not today, I don’t feel good” when asked to do stuff.
Getting used to that metaphorical perch in the window where you wave good-bye to everyone who gets to do fun stuff and live their lives while you’re at home, physically feeling like some form of garbage.
Pity party, table of one.
I really shouldn’t be whining. Other people have it far worse than I do. In a year, this will all be nothing but a bad memory. Some people have to live with whatever ails them all their lives.
But, damn it, today I need to whine.
I think I’m coming off the high of having had two good weeks this cycle (since I pushed chemo back for Thanksgiving), and getting ready for the doom and gloom that is chemo day – Monday.
Anyway…I’m going to curl up on the couch with a book (an audiobook because I can’t friggin’ read a book to save my life these days) and eat my pizza and cinnamon bread. Tomorrow is a new day, and I think I might put up my Christmas decorations.
As if I need more medical excitement in my life.
So yeah, my cold-like symptoms have persisted and yesterday Brad called the oncologist for me (I had completely lost my voice) to see what I could take to alleviate the coughing, congestion, etc. They said it sounded viral, and recommended I call my primary care doc. So I went to the nearby Roper St. Francis Express Care (a super nice doc-in-a-box type place that is also networked with my oncologist-added bonus is that it’s like 2 minutes from my house).
So now I have cough syrup and an antibiotic to add to my medicine cabinet. The antibiotic is sort of preventative. Bronchitis is viral, so an antibiotic is typically not needed, but I’m a special case and we take added measures.
Oh yeah, and when I went for my CBC blood draw on Monday, everything was fine (why we knew none of the sick stuff was due to an infection). Since I was feeling pretty blah and not getting a lot of fluids in me from being sick and having diarrhea, I got some fluids while I was there.
So yeah…coughing, no voice, still have that horrible post-chemo taste in my mouth (and I’m salivating like crazy, which is just great with that taste!), I’m doing fabulously!
It’s also raining outside, which sounds wonderful. I love to listen to the rain.
So I’m hoping I feel well enough to go to class tonight, but we’ll see. I can’t take the cough medicine and drive, so there’s that. I also can’t speak…
Saturday I’m heading to Columbia for a book signing! I’m super excited since I couldn’t go to the one last weekend, so I’m hoping I feel at least 80%! We’re just planning to go for the day, which is no big deal since it’s only a little over an hour away.
What else is new? Nothing really that I can think of. I’ve been binge watching Sex and the City on Amazon Prime video. I also joined Passionflix, a Netflix type service that’s making some romance novels into movies! I watched Hollywood Dirt, Which was written by Alessandra Torre, and Afterburn Aftershock, which was written by Sylvia Day. Well, the books were written by them, not the movies. They were pretty good! I read Hollywood Dirt, and the movie was pretty true to the book. I haven’t read Sylvia Day, so I don’t know how well it translated. Anyway, the service offers one new book to movie a month, and there are some more good ones in the works! There is also a small library of some other romance movies available to watch while you wait for the new releases.
I’ve also been playing a heck of a lot of Song Pop 2. A heck of a lot.
The first few sick days I’ve had to take off were kind of nice, like a little vacation from reality, but I was still sick so it wasn’t exactly fun. But now I’m feeling the ants in my pants start to dance. Boooored. I’m probably going to take a nap so I don’t have to taste this awful taste in my mouth…
(I’ve tried soooo much to mask it, and there’s just nothing! Mints, Listerine, toothpaste, food, drink, Biotene, etc. If you have a recommendation, bring. it. on!)
I knew it. I knew I’d jinx myself talking about how awesome I felt.
I started to go downhill on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I guess. It’s when the fatigue really hit. I woke up miserable. I was able to work my second session and go to class, though I probably should have stayed home. Friday, I met with a classmate for an assignment at the library in the morning. We worked on it all day, and after that, I was pretty much done for. I made it home and crashed in my bed.
I spent the evening and overnight hours monitoring a low fever, the highest it reached was 100.2. If it hit 100.5, then I have to call the doc. It didn’t, thank goodness.
I have felt like crap most of the day. Pretty sure it’s a just cold that has hit me like a freight train. Lots of coughing, runny nose, headache, and body aches. I laid low with soup and sleep today, some Tylenol.
My appetite has been fine, and I haven’t had any other chemo side effects, at least not at the moment, so we’ll see how the rest of the cycle goes…maybe it’s just a cold after all.