Yesterday marked a week since my first chemo infusion. I had lab work done in the morning and met with my oncologist. She said my blood counts looked "phenomenal" and she anticipates that I will weather chemo quite well. I kinda have to agree with her. After all, that's why I'm doing all this work at home- juicing, exercising, complementary and alternative therapies.
The first 4 days were the hardest, but even they weren't too bad. My nose was super sensitive to every smell, while my taste buds were numb (like I'd scalded my mouth). This combo led to little appetite, nothing sounded good. My nausea was pretty mild, more like heartburn, but made it difficult to find anything "good" to eat or drink. I didn't juice on those days. I couldn't handle the smell of the vegetables. Especially celery. 😉 Back to normal now and that brings me great joy!
The day after my chemo infusion I received an injection of Neulasta, to fight neutropenia. It's to help boost my white blood cell count so I can fight infection. Since white blood cells are made in the bone marrow, and this is now being simulated, this causes bone pain. For 3 days after my injection, I would have flashes of pain, especially through my spine and upper back. While the pain would stop me in my tracks, I was able to breathe slowly through it and it would pass. Again, no pain meds. Thank you, Lord!
My goal for the week was to be in church on Sunday. I was there with my family and praising the Lord for all the blessings that the week brought, all that was mercifully spared, and praying that the chemo was working even as he was healing my body. Hallelujah!!
Monday I felt good but I was getting restless. Charlie and I made a spontaneous decision to drop in on our local ballroom dancing classes. I figured it was safe to see how I'd do. I'm so glad we went. We aren't getting much alone time right now so it made for a nice date night. 💜 And I was fine. I actually think it was great exercise for my still-healing right arm. I'm still praying for those damaged nerves to heal completely. Meanwhile, I got to dance with my beloved. And whenever we dance there's always laughter. 😆 And laughter is good for the soul.
By the way, my dad's surgery went well. He's up and moving and ready to go home as soon as he can. Thank you all for praying!
Tuesday I went to an infrared sauna as part of my recommended care. I don't like hot and I get claustrophobic, so I was a little concerned about 40 minutes in 130° in a tiny room. And sweat I did. I felt like every cell in my body was weeping. Take that cancer!! 😅 I'm hoping to be able to do this at least once a week.
So that's it. I go back in next week for my next infusion. I'm slowly starting to add regular activities back in as I'm able. I spend way too much time in doctor's offices with sick and frail people, but knowing that God has me there for a reason. I'm struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness. I had reason to celebrate last night and no one available to join me. Feeling raw. If you're healthy and have the time, call me. I told a friend the other day, "I'm still me." I happen to have this cancer battle taking up a lot of my time right now, but there's so much LIFE still going on. I still like coffee and time with friends. I like to read and paint and get outside and watch my kids thrive.
So, for those that have been asking how I'm doing, that's as real as it gets. I'm on this journey to heal and I'm trying to find joy along the way.