Tomorrow morning I have the second treatment for this round of chemo. I find myself reflecting on the first treatment.
Master of Chemo
Tuesday after chemo was amazing. Sure, I was hooked up to my pump and had to carry this annoying “man purse” of chemo everywhere I went, but my energy level was through the roof. This was not the chemotherapy I remembered from last round. Maybe these new drugs were going to be easier to tolerate. Could it be I had become the Master of chemo treatments and was going to float through this process?
Now this I remember
Wednesday morning, I awoke for the first time in the early morning. I awoke again mid-morning. The next time I came to it was time for lunch. I managed to wake up two or three times before dinner and then a couple of times before I retired for the night. In case you are wondering…this is just a very long-winded way of saying I slept the day away.
Wednesday was one of those chemo days I remembered from last round. I was barely able to move all day long. When I talked about this Tuesday, Wednesday transformation with my doctor he just smiled. “You were on a Steroid energy high on Tuesday, Wednesday you crashed.” I do not remember that from last time.
Thursday and Friday I slowly began to feel more like myself.
Slow build vs light switch
If you have been following my journey you may remember that there was a time last round when I shared that I started to move like an “old man.” It took a while to get there. Once there every step, movement became deliberate and thought out. Something as simple as standing up was a process.
Coming into this round my expectation was that I would have a few treatments before I returned to my “old man” ways. It turns out that my body remembered the effects of chemotherapy and very quickly returned to what I respectfully refer to as my “old man” ways. Rather than a slow build it was like someone flicked a switch and I was immediately tired and found it hard to move around.
A matter of perspective
The Friday after chemo I met with my oncologist. As our time together began he asked, “How are you feeling, any side effects?” As I shared the reality of my side effects he started getting excited. “The side effects confirm that your body is getting treated by the chemo. The more you have the more likely your treatment is working. We can always treat the side effects, or lower the dose of chemo. It is an encouraging sign.”
During the two weeks after my first chemo treatment I have worked to stay busy. There have been appointments, meetings, and study to do. I have taken naps as needed but have managed to maintain a normal schedule.