I’m overdue in updating you. Please know that I read and enjoy your messages as they arrive, even though I’m not always prompt in answering. Things are going as expected, so this won’t be a long message.
Now 5 days into the second chemo cycle, I am seeing a pattern emerge. Without the distraction of recovery from port insertion, looks like chemo on Thursday, feel OK through Friday, feel a little like I have flu for about 3 days (headache, fuzzy headed, queasy), and then climb back to normal. So I’m starting to shake the flu feeling as I write.
The routine on Thursday was report to the Oncology clinic, have a catheter inserted into my port, draw blood, see nurse practitioner or doctor for review of blood test and general discussion/education, return to infusion center for chemo, and go home. Of course, I expected all of that to take around an hour and we ended up there for more like four hours! We did have a very informative session with the nurse practitioner. She walked us through the blood test results, explained which numbers she was most interested in and which thresholds were important to determine whether chemo is a go or no-go on a scheduled day or if I am subject to new vulnerabilities. She also gave some advice on my use of the backup nausea medication which has made this round more comfortable. Everyone is incredibly knowledgeable and so nice!
As expected, I have started losing hair. So far, it is taking the form of general thinning, but I expect I’ll be taking on a different look soon – probably a mixture of bald, wigged or capped, depending on the venue. Sort of curious to know what I look like bald, in an abstract way, though not a look I hope to sport long term. Everyone says my hair might grow back different. Will be interesting to see what I end up with … curly? straight? same color? different?
As I learn the routine, I have been able to schedule around the days I don’t feel great. I am able to work most of my scheduled hours. Knowing downstream when the treatments will happen and how I’ll feel makes it easier to plan. And my symptoms have fallen far short of worst case, thank goodness!!!
I know I am blessed to have all of you rooting for me. The knowledge is energizing as the war rages on.