Monday, November 30, 2015

Round V, Part II

Today, I received the second infusion of round five. It was not so bad. I've decided that outpatient chemo has its perks. Sure, by the end of those 3.5 hours, you're ready to slide out of their plastic recliner into a puddle of melted goo. By the upside is that you're in not living in a hospital bed for 4-5 days, actually experiencing the side effects while the drugs are still coursing through you.

Also, in outpatient chemo, there are snacks:

(Okay, please. There's a hospital cafeteria that lets you order off their menu at any point in time during inpatient chemo, too. But the food just seems better when it's brought around on carts and I get to harass Dan (or maybe Bob... we aren't sure what his name is) about when I'm gonna get my next treat.

Today, I had this swell chocolate Magic Cup. It's like ice cream, but packed with protein. I won't lie, it tastes like a fudgecicle and is pretty darn good. (The vanilla kind? Uhm, not so good. Just keep that in mind, should you ever be offered medically modified ice cream during a chemo drip. Go with the chocolate. Words to live by!)

I also got a fruit and nut bar, and a cup of cottage cheese with fresh berries in it, and two bottles of water, and a quinoa cookie with chocolate chips in it. It was all very exciting!

So... I've been getting a lot of questions on how this chemo is treating me. That's a hard question to answer, since last week, I just had the easier drug.

That said, last week:

*I slept for 18 hours a day for the first three days

*I experienced fine motor skill loss - I couldn't type or write (as in, with a pen... I know, because I tried) until Saturday... that was real awesome

*I had the pretty standard, around the clock, nausea thing going on (thank heaven for pills, I tell you!)

*I'm thirsty... I mean CRAZY thirsty. I'd forgotten about that side effect. I often take two 25 oz bottles of
water to bed with me and I wake up with at least one and a half of them gone every morning.

*My skin is starting to dry out, and my nail beds are loosening (it's horrific)

*I'm pretty constantly running low grade fevers, which means that my face is generally red and splotchy

*The beginning of the mouth sores. They're not horrible yet. More like a bunch of cankor sores lining my tongue. Which, yeah. Not 100% pleasant, but also not as bad as coating my tongue and gums and traveling down my throat through my entire digestive tract. So, I'll take the white and puffy tongue. All. Day. Long.

*The start of salt and other flavor sensitivity. When I eat Taco Bell Nachos, all I taste is salt. No cheese, no beans, no sour cream, no mild sauce. Just salt. It's a real tragedy!

*I've upped by standard two stool softeners and laxatives a day to three (last week) - today, I go up to four

This week, I am expecting:

All of the above, because today's dose is last week's medicine plus the harsher chemo. In addition to those fun and games:

*There's a real possibility the some/all of my toe and/or fingernails will start to lift right out of their beds. I'm real excited about that. Obviously.

*Hair loss. Possible thinning. (We're "thinking thin" here, people. As much as I didn't mind being bald. Not one bit. I'd also really like to hold onto as much hair as I can, at least some of it, if possible.) I'll know in the next ten days or so which way that cookie crumbled, and will report accordingly.

*Neuropathy. Loss of feelings in my hands and feet, accompanied by sharp pains in said otherwise numb limbs. Sounds like a real treat. I'll let you know how that goes.

*More constipation. Because while everyone else's body gets diarrhea when they have chemo... my system freezes right up. (Just one more reason to be glad you're not me. Amen.)

*Weight gain. Wahoo! Between the steroids and my body's new found love for salt absorption, I've been told not to be shocked at 3-5 lbs a week in water weight retention. My feet are already so swollen that I'm down to two pairs of flats that I can comfortably get them into. (And it's been 7 days. This should be a real blast.)

The good news is that my back injury (thanks again, Superman... there was a reason that Batman has always been my true love!) is starting to heal up. It could just be the steroids that I'm on to help my body through this round of chemo, but... my back is getting better. And this is very, very, good, because when I was down with my back, and I was so tired I was sleeping for 18 of the 24 hours, I was on my back A LOT. Which wouldn't pose such a problem, except that any weight that I put on the left side of my back aggravates that broken rib. In the last week, my body has changed so much that you can feel the difference in my ribs on my left side. They're higher and curved more, and that lowest rib is starting to jut out of my back. ... It's pretty scary.

Fingers crossed that the second dose of chemo this week works and it starts to stop the growth of that bad boy, because in the three weeks since that scan... the outside of my body has changed dramatically. I hate to think of what is probably going on inside of me.


Jenni said...

Well, you look fab.

Have you watched Parks and Rec yet? Oh my lands. That's some funny stuff. Netflix. Go.

Evvie Turley said...

The sweet smile on your face sure covers up a plethora of side effects! You are the!! Love you. :)