December 18, 2014: The Battlegrounds of Chemo

Chemo Night #2 – I WON!
Chemo Morning #3 – Currently Losing!

The nausea monster returned last night around eight o’clock. We started the anti-nausea regiment, and I snuggled in to watch the Sing-Off. I couldn’t wait to hear Home Free (last year’s winners) back on TV again. Tim, the bass singer, is our friend, so they are a pretty special group to us. I really wanted The Exchange to win, but the judges disappointed me.

By the time it was over, I was ready for bed. The nausea wouldn’t stop its thing though, so I got to try out my new anti-nausea drug. (Ativan, for all you drug people) Within ten minutes, my stomach quit hurting. This is good because by this point I felt like a limp noodle unable of moving even if I wanted to. The next best thing that happened was sleep in my own bed next to my sweet man! Deep and restful sleep. The world could have exploded, and I wouldn’t have noticed. I needed that kind of sleep after the first night.

When I woke up, I asked Jonathan what he was doing. I was shocked when he told me he was making sure the kids were up and getting around. I couldn’t believe I’d actually slept all night long. That hasn’t happened since Nov. 20th. God told me He would bring me relief and grant me rest, but I’ve also learned God’s timing isn’t always my timing. Thankfully, they aligned last night.

Unfortunately, morning came in with a violent wave of nausea. I took my primary anti-nausea medicine (Zofran) and drank some water. Jonathan brought me my five pill morning stack of pills. I looked at them and knew once they hit my stomach I was going to lose it all, so I asked him to bring me some Jell-O. It had worked yesterday, but today it didn’t taste good. I ate it anyway.

Once I felt like the nausea had slowed a bit, I decided I’d try one pill and see how it did. Better to waste one than five. These pills don’t come cheap! I was smart in doing so too. The rush of clamminess with my mouth watering was all the warning I needed to get out of bed and to the toilet.

Addison’s Disease adds a whole new element to chemo. When my body tells my brain, “Danger! Danger!” my adrenal glands will attempt to fire. If my cortisol level is too low, my brain decides to shut all systems down immediately, so I pass out. Passing out is not fun in any way!

This morning my cortisol was too low, and I hadn’t been able to take my steroids yet to try and balance it. When that violent wave of nausea came getting me out of bed, my brain decides I can’t handle this, so it’s just going to shut down everything it can to protect me. Jonathan stood beside me forcing me to breath, to look at him, to talk to him, and anything else to keep me from going down. It worked, but it didn’t keep me from throwing up.

Red Jell-O and water is at least easy coming up. For this I can at least be thankful. Jonathan laughed and said at least it looked more like Gatorade than Jell-O, so he thought that might be easier to clean up.

I took more anti-nausea medicine and went back to bed. Jonathan cleaned the bathroom. He was also still in the middle of making sure the kids got off to school in time. Being the caregiver is not an easy job.

I still haven’t tried taking my medicine. I haven’t tried eating anything else. I’ve sipped on some water and that was frightening enough. The nausea is still here, but maybe I’m done puking for the day.

My head is hurting badly. That’s Addison’s Disease talking to me. I’ve learned that this deep inside my brain headache is really a message to say, “Hey, Dummy, your cortisol level is too low. Please help us out.” I’d love to, but until my stomach stops rolling there’s no use in even trying.

My hair even hurts today. I’ve been warned about that. I know what it means is coming too. Please keep me in your prayers. Having hair that’s one inch long has been hard enough to get used to. Being bald might be more than I can handle on my own.

My mouth is tender, but so far I’ve managed to avoid the ulcers. I know my toothpaste won’t work anymore because it burns too bad.

Burt’s Bees chapstick is always close. My friend sent me one called “Island”. Every time I open it, I dream of being on an island. I love the warm weather, sandy beaches, and the sound of the waves rolling in and out. Too bad cancer can’t be cured in a hammock between two palm trees listening to island music mixed with the sound of the ocean.

I’m hoping my day improves, but right now I’m so very thankful I didn’t have to try and go to work. I’m trusting God has a plan in place for all this once January comes and I return to my classroom. Today, I don’t see how I can teach when I feel like this, but I’m giving that one to God to handle.

I’m hoping my next post will bring better news.

About courage2conquercancer

At the age of 40, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is an account of my journey from my discovery and beyond.
This entry was posted in Addison's Disease, caregiver, chemo and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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