Archive for September, 2009

Past the Halfway Point

September 29, 2009

I’m past the halfway point!  I had my seventh round of chemo a week ago, and I’ve only got five more to go.  It’s a good feeling.  Side effects are still manageable, but I’m ready to be done.  It’s pretty frustrating to feel great for a week, to get into the swing of writing sermons/answering emails/editing Office of Education material, then to feel too groggy and gross to do anything of much use for a week.

I’ve had enough treatments now that I can be pretty sure of how my chemo weeks will go.  I get chemo on a Tuesday morning, and by Tuesday afternoon I feel sick to my stomach and have a bad taste in my mouth.  Plus I feel uncomfortably warm, due to the steroids they give me to keep me from getting nauseous.  Tuesday nights are the worst – they’re the only times when I’ve felt like I’m about to throw up.

Wednesday I usually get the hiccups, although for some inexplicable reason I didn’t after the fifth or sixth cycle (they were back for the seventh).  I still feel a little gross in my stomach, and still feel a little too warm from the steroids.  On top of that, I’m usually a little fuzzy-headed.  And tired.  The tiredness that comes from chemo is hard to describe.  It’s an artificial tiredness, like someone’s pushing down on my eyelids – not just pushing down on my eyelids, but pushing the “sleep” button in my brain without a normal feeling of being tired. Actually, maybe that’s part of the fuzzy-headedness t00 – the feeling that someone’s pushing on my brain.  Like I said, impossible to describe.

Thursdays I usually still feel a little gross, but they aren’t as bad as Wednesdays, and are often better than Fridays, actually.  Friday is often a little worse than Thursday, with the sick feeling  and bad taste in my mouth a little stronger.  And Saturday is frustrating – I feel like it’s been long enough since my last treatment that I SHOULD feel better, but I don’t, and it irritates me.  Sunday I can still feel some of the effects but they tend to diminish, and by Monday I usually feel fine.

As frustrating as the process is, I actually feel blessed that the symptoms are so mild.  I get annoyed, but I don’t feel miserable.  And I’m very grateful for the good weeks – I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through six months of this without any kind of respite.  The great thing about those 8 or 9 days when I feel well is that it’s long enough that by the end of it the last treatment feels like a long time ago – it’s not like I get hit again right after starting to feel good.