It’s been 3 1/2 weeks since the last chemo session, and it’s been a hard recovery time for me. I’ve been physically exhausted, compounded by not sleeping well or through the night. My spirits have been good, my attitude generally positive, but the lack of physical fitness has been disturbing.
Having to work last week was an unexpected setback.
Mostly, I haven’t even been able to walk as long as 15 minutes. Until a day or two ago, I couldn’t even go 5 minutes without feeling wobbly — like I’d run a marathon. Going up and down stairs too many times would produce the same feeling of exhaustion in my leg muscles, complete with pounding heart.
I am the heaviest weight of my life, all because I can’t move more than briefly without wanting to fall over. It’s been a terrible time, and a terrible feeling.
Now, I’m not one to give in to adversity (a blessing and a curse, of course), so I’ve been trying to get out with J at least for the evening Sasha walk. By slowly pushing it, I could make it as far as 10 minutes.
Today, however, I took Sasha for a 15 min walk all by myself. (It was even raining.) Although I feel tired, I do not feel exhausted. This is a huge step forward. HUGE.
The final session was overall good, but it took us a while to get started.
I began with my usual great session with my oncologist. Dr. H. continues to be a great person to work with.
My wbc (white blood count) was at 24.9 — so we were GOOD to go (remember, the ‘normal’ range is 4-10, so I have continues to be a powerhouse of health).
We ran into trouble actually finding a vein. Apparently I have ‘thick skin’ — not subcutaneous fat (I asked) but literally skin that is hard to push through. (Dad tells me he has the same type of skin). So it took almost an hour and four attempts to finally get a vein. Ouch is an understatement.
We ended up going with the vein in my right elbow. Its a good vein, but the danger of damage from a leak is much higher. I had to be careful not to bend my elbow and inadvertently block the drip.
Otherwise, it was my usual easy-peasey time. We talked, I drifted a bit. John and Dad hung out.
Last night we went to dinner at Melrose Grill (filet mignon and a perfect baked potato!) and walked Sasha.
Today I’m tired, very tired. I’m going to try and walk Sasha this morning, but its a tough call. Definitely with Dad (John’s at work) so I have back up if I need it.
It’s a slow recovery this time I think.
Tomorrow (5/5) is my final chemo session. Part of me is incredibly happy it will soon be over. Mostly, however, I’m just very tired and drained. I’m not actually ready for another round — it’s like I didn’t recover from the last time.
Sorry to be a bit down, but it’s not that I’m UNhappy, or sad, or anything. Just tired.
It’s the last one, folks. (Fairly) soon, I’ll be back to normal.
Chemo #3 went well . . . but there was quite a bit of aftermath.
First of all, I seemed to get a bit of an infection that required antibiotics. This was on Wednesday, chemo day. I absolutely had a brain freeze and just didn’t think to tell my oncologist (yes, I know — stupid of me) until Thursday evening. (Thanks to my mother for politely pointing out that I needed to make that call immediately.) So I spoke with the on-call oncologist and he insisted I come in for a consult the next day.
So I did.They explained to me in simple terms that any infection may have serious repercussions. That I was not smart to not have told them, and don’t do it again. Moreover, they really don’t want me getting seriously ill because it may delay the next (LAST!) chemo treatment . . . the worst case scenario is that I would have to start all over again. The result of which is that I was given a choice between having a Neulasta shot or coming in every day over the weekend for a GbGH shot. So, despite my reservations, I had the Neulesta.