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.