The second chemo treatment started just like the first, not much the first day. I wasn’t worried about that … I dreaded the immune system boosting shot given on Friday. But I had done some research. Others were saying that Zyrtec helped with the pain. An antihistamine? I’m willing to try anything. Dr. Washington said it couldn’t hurt, so Zyrtec became part of my daily vitamin/supplement routine. Amazingly, it seems to work … or after the first shot, the others aren’t as severe. I don’t know, but I continue to take Zyrtec – I’m not taking any chances!
Side effects after the 2nd chemo kicked in on day 4 … and this time they were severe. In bed for 4 days, vomiting & diarrhea. I couldn’t keep anything down – not even the nausea pills. The only time I left the bed was to go to the bathroom – resorting to children’s pedialyte pops and ice chips to avoid dehydration. Before I’m ready, it’s time for my weekly herceptin infusion. I’m so weak I have to traverse the long hall in a wheel chair. I’ve never felt more like an invalid. During the infusion I was given fluids – that helped. Although tired, within a day or so I felt stronger again.
I dreaded preparing for the 3rd chemo, although I kept telling myself halfway there! Talking with Dr. Washington about the effects of the last one — she was not encouraging … she said it would just get worse the further we go into this. But she was glad that I was learning to cope with the effects. Cope? I think it’s called survival.
The 3rd chemo … the wait … I started taking nausea pills before the chemo nausea meds had worn off and continued for the next week. No vomiting, no diarrhea … yay! But the pills made me sleep for 4 days. This time, instead of getting sick, I developed intense muscle pain in my thighs and my arms. Perhaps dehydration? Maybe not flushing the chemicals out? Whatever … but even water tastes bad.
It’s now 2 weeks out from the 3rd chemo and time for the weekly herceptin infusion. Muscles still hurt but not as severe. I keep moving, thinking about others that have it much worse. I can see the light at the end of this tunnel – yes, I’ll have weekly herceptin treatments into next October and there’s the radiation plan and more surgery … but there’s only 3 more chemo treatments. I’ve always said I can tolerate anything in the short term. And, I’ve been given an amazing Christmas present, actually two … my daughter is getting married on the 27th and I get to skip treatment Christmas week!
This Christmas I pray that someday a different solution will be found … that we don’t have to poison our bodies to get rid of cancer. I pray for those that have to deal with chemo on a weekly basis or are looking at chemo for the rest of their lives. I pray for those whose treatments aren’t working … and I pray for our doctors and researchers … that the cure for all cancers may be found soon. Oh, and of course, for world peace!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year … may all your dreams & wishes come true this holiday season ❤