I’ve had Chemo Round 2 and am now in its hangover period. Two lovely friends took care of me Thursday, with one taking me to chemo and another spending that night with me and taking me for my blood-count-boosting shot. This time I wasn’t as nervous for the chemo, so I could actually feel some of the effects as the meds were going in. Some wooziness and some stomach flips. Oh, and I made it over the blood count hurdle so that I could even have the chemo treatments. I’ve got to find a way to eat more protein even when I don’t have much appetite so that I can help out the blood counts. It’s a little more challenging since I’m not eating dairy and most meats don’t appeal to me.
Speaking of eating, I’m back to the yuck time when nothing sounds good and whatever I eat gives me indigestion. But maybe it will be like the last round when by Monday at least I could eat some foods other than soups and crackers and baked potatoes and grits and eggs. Bland foods, but plain chicken and cooked veggies along with the potatoes and soups and breakfast foods. Tea brewed with fresh ginger root hits the spot for me, and even did the night after treatment, so I’m glad I found that. I had to call my neighborhood grocery produce manager to get them to carry it, and he happily ordered it for me.
This chemo hangover period involves a lot of sitting and lying around, sometimes nauseated a little, sometimes not. And sleeping. And doing computerly things that don’t require much thinking. And mindless television. The days kind of run together and time seems to curl back over itself so that yesterday can seem long ago. I think that’s what illness time is usually like. A kind of limbo of almost no-time.
Oh, and I almost forgot. I got my head shaved after the chemo treatment on Thursday. They assured me at chemo that my hair would definitely be coming out soon, and I’d already had that happening a little, so I figured why not get it done all at once and not be dealing with the clumps falling out? Here it is. The elderly man over my shoulder said, “That fella over there is getting it all shaved off.” And then his stylist politely told him about my situation. I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of “fella” type comments, such as “Yes, sir?” when people wait on me, especially on my ball-cap days, but I hope to be able to smile and go on. So far the baldness doesn’t bother me. It’s nice and cool and easy. And I still have eyebrows and eyelashes, so I’m not so odd-looking as I will be when they fall out. I do have a kind of pointy head, but not as bad as I expected.
So here in my Chemo 2 hangover period, I’m hanging in there, making the best I can of being a breast cancer patient. It’s quite the journey. I’m learning more about myself and my resilience each day, and I’m getting to experience people’s compassion and caring each day, too. I get cards in the mail and notes tucked into my front door and lots and lots of Facebook well-wishes as well as phone calls and texts and surprise packages in the mail – lots of assurances that people care about me and are thinking of and praying for me. All in all, it’s a blessing. And I’m grateful for each of you and the ways in which you hold me up.