August 25, 2018

chemo 2 and 3 and other cancer thoughts

I thought on my “good” weeks I would sit down and write more. This week I have felt much better than I did during last week (chemo 3). But on my good weeks I find myself really busy trying hard to be a regular person (like who grocery shops and cooks) and a regular mom (who changes diapers and carries her baby and goes into the school) and also trying to fit in a bunch of fun stuff to keep myself going (like lunches with friends, date nights and girls nights) that it is hard to sit down to write. Not to mention that my brain has a hard time processing and thinking these days anyways.

A girl who went through breast cancer last year told me that sometimes she misses being in the middle of cancer. At first I thought she was crazy, but the more I think about it the more I think she is on to something with that statement. Yes, it sucks and it is hard and I would never choose to do it again or wish it on anybody else, but there is something really special about this experience and the ways it is stretching me and filling me with faith and love. I feel a deeper connection in my relationship with Heavenly Father and my Savior and in my relationships with others. 

I went to a friend’s house for a girls night the other day. We were going to watch a movie, but we decided we wouldn’t actually watch the movie anyways so we all just sat around and talked. The significant thing about that night is that I showed up bald. It’s not comfortable wearing wigs and hats. And I’m still at a loss on how to tie scarves in a way I like. In a moment of bravery and I don’t care what anyone else thinks of me, I left the house without a covering. It’s not like I’m ashamed of cancer, but I don’t necessarily like everyone noticing my pointy ears. But I went bald. And it felt scary for me to show up bald somewhere for the first time. Super scary. I tried to put on a brave face about it, but inside I was trembling. Of course, my friends are amazing and no one even batted an eye or skipped a beat about my stubbly head. As we were chatting, there were even a few minutes that I forgot I was sitting there bald and that felt good to be able to relax like that. 

I came downstairs today and when I got to the bottom step I saw Kyler’s friend was here. He was looking the other direction and as soon as I processed he was here I turned right around and ran my bald head as quick as I could up the stairs. He probably saw my baldness streak by. I guess I wasn’t very brave today. 

Chemo numbers 2 and 3 were very similar. I meet with the dr before each infusion and tell him all the misery of the week and how chemo effected me. Then I head back to the chemo room. Everyone gets a reclining chair. We have found our groove and we sit by a wonderful lady named Wendy each week. Talking with her helps to pass the time quickly. And she has given me a lot of good advice. I brought my chemo bag to chemo 2 packed with books and things to do. I didn't even bother to bring it last time for chemo 3 because we just chat with our chemo friends the whole time.

This is my neulasta shot I get each week. It releases the medicine to boost my white blood count 24 hours after we put it on. I call it "the bomb." When they put it on it beeps at me for awhile and then it stops. You wait nervously for a minute. And then....snap!! Like a rubber band. It does its thing to attach itself to you. It flashes a green light. Twenty-four hours later it starts to beep at you again. After the beeps, it clicks for awhile while the medicine is released. Then the light changes to red and you can take it off. See, it is like a bomb on your arm or belly (you choose where they put it).

After these last two infusions, I was sick for about a week. I alternate between nausea and fatigue. The gi issues are awful. I have days when I'm really foggy brained. I get pretty dizzy, light headed, and shaky. Usually by the following sunday I am just a little light headed and dizzy and then Monday I mostly feel like a regular person again.

My last AC (red devil) chemo is on Monday. I can not believe we will be halfway through chemo! I get sick thinking about having to do it again (like I am literally feeling nauseous just writing about chemo), but at the same time I just want it all over with. So yay for (almost) halfway!