may day

The hardest part of writing post-chemo is clearing my head.

Ryan told me the other day that recently, when I’m tired, I talk like Yoda. That is, I often cannot figure out what order the words go in, and sometimes even the correct number of words to use. So many thoughts and parts of thoughts are swimming around in my head these days that I’m flailing around, grasping at them and putting them together, hoping they make some kind of sense, and sometimes they don’t.

I feel pretty good today. My energy level is higher than it’s been in four days or so. I’m hungry again, too. It’s been five days since my first treatment, and while I can’t say that this experience has been fun, I’m managing. At my support group, one of the ladies said “you’ll get through it and you won’t remember it afterwards. It’s like labor”. I didn’t really believe it then, but I know now this could be so much worse.

I’m getting three different drugs to fight the nausea. So far, they’re a miracle. At any given time, I’m never really ravenously hungry, and there are times when I’d rather not eat anything, but I feel my appetite coming back a little at a time. I won’t be jonesing for a burger anytime soon, though. I’m managing on mostly yogurt and applesauce for now. Heavy and spicy foods are forbidden for me, but luckily, I don’t really want them.

I also need a daily injection. Ryan is giving me daily doses of a drug called Nupagen, which helps increase white blood cell counts. My oncologist wants me to have treatments every two weeks instead of the standard three. The Nupagen raises the blood cell counts more quickly into an acceptable range so I can get treatments more often. Injections are the least favorite part of my day. The needles are tiny, and I don’t even feel them. Still, it’s so hard to sit still get a shot.

Sometimes, I overestimate the amount of energy I have, and start to do something, and find out that I’m too weak to finish. That might be the hardest adjustment I’ve had to make, so far. Ryan and I have been taking two or three times daily walks around the neighborhood. I start out feeling prepared to go twice around the block, but find I can’t go any further after one go-round.

I think I’m doing well, though. I still have months of treatments ahead of me, but I’m hopeful I can handle them.

7 thoughts on “may day

  1. You are such a strong wahine, Jen. Everything you’ve done in your life will stand you in good stead now. You are a courageous woman, you have an incredibly supportive husband and kids, and you have the determination to succeed. It doesn’t matter if you don’t finish stuff. You are in a battle right now, and the most important thing and you are doing your very best. And that’s all that anyone could ask of you.

    It’s okay if you can’t walk twice around the block. You do what you can do and that’s what you do. I’m proud of you!


  2. The most important thing you can do right now is take good care of Jen. Just do what you can handle, and don’t worry about the rest. I’m sure it seems like a long time ahead of you now, but I’m also betting that your support group is right and once you’re finished with the treatment it will seem like it went by quickly.

  3. Your writing shows no signs of chemo-brain, Jen! You sound great. Does changing your treatments from every 3 weeks to every 2 weeks mean you’ll finish sooner or that you’ll have more treatments? Praying for the former.

    continued healing hugs…Tutu

  4. Ah Nupagen, had to inject myself with it many many times while in treatment, but so needed to elevate white b.count. Ryan must be good at the injections as I recall they stung(!) Yes, appetite sure changes during chemo; just eat something even if you don’t feel like it. Yogurt sure tasted good and felt nourishing (calcium an protein!). When you’re further down the recovery road, you’ll soon be craving that burger!

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