I went in for a bag of fluids with an anti nausea and steroid cocktail added just for fun to add to my white blood cell booster shot. I’m totally great with fluids. The shot was as painful as ever, but I’m getting used to it. That cocktail brought back the restless leg syndrome. I am not a fan of this miserable side effect. I’ve learned a hot bath is where relief comes though, so despite the initial misery it wasn’t an all night nuisance. Praise God for that!
Night sweats returned during the night last night but only once. I can live with that. I had those really bad after Chemo #1, but I didn’t suffer from them at all after Chemo #2. I’m thinking hormonal issues bring this on.
Weepy Eyes hit at the moment of chemo. My eyes just tear up for no reason. Many times I look like I’m either about to cry, I am crying, or I just stopped crying. No, my eyes are just weepy. This time has been the worst to date. Last chemo I was still weepy eyed on a Monday before I started this chemo. I have no idea what causes it.
My hatred of smells are much worse in the clinic than at home this time. But at home I’m learning to avoid all the smells I can’t stand. I can’t get away from the smells at Texas Oncology.
Emotional side effects are the ones we hate to admit to but are a part of the journey. I’ve been on the most amount of drugs to stop the nausea this time. I have had to take extra doses of steroids to try and combat an adrenal crisis this round. Needless to say, I’ve cried a lot of real tears too. I’ve allowed myself to get beat by the emotional toll of everything that comes with cancer. I doubt people realize most of the “tears of cancer” have more to do with other things.
In my particular case, I believe my actual cancer that truly had the potential to kill me was cut out of me, studied, thrown in a bucket, and disposed of on November 21st, 2014. The tears that fall now are all caused by the side effects of cancer and the way others respond to me. Some days the tears are happy, joyful tears because I feel so blessed, so loved, so cared for, so protected. Other times the tears fall because I see the hurt, the fear, the brokenness, and the pity in myself but mostly the ones I love.
It’s hard to be on this journey and not want to hide some things. I’m sure there is a lot I don’t write, but I don’t try to portray a simple line for this journey because that wouldn’t be any truer of a representation than one that was full of treacherous mountains and steep winding curves. This journey is a lot like the one you might take if you traveled cross country daring to get off the interstate for most of the ride. There’s some wonderful, unexpected blessings on this journey where I’ve met some really amazing people. I’ve watched as my husband has taken on the role of caregiver better than anyone. I’ve had to painfully watch as my children have had to stretch and grow up quicker than I’d like because of this experience. It’s painful on any momma. It’s even harder when you once were the child and later young adult still acting like a child when you experienced their pain.
There’s a lot to cry over. I’ve experienced pain like I never have before in my life. I’m scarred forever in places I can see and places only I can feel. My breasts, and all that go with them, are gone and being replaced with a foreign substance that has totally changed their past appearance and feeling. I willingly allow poisonous drugs into my body in the hopes of killing cancerous cells that might or might not have escaped. It’s the “might not” part that’s caused a lot of tears actually. Losing my hair has probably cost the most tears post-chemo. An then there’s all the little things that really shouldn’t make me cry but do. Things I can’t do because of restrictions, sleeping too much, or not sleeping enough, worrying about all the things I truly have no control over at all. I cry even more when I realize I’m only crying because my faith in God, whose promised to care for me, is weak and lacking.
I’m a work in progress. God knows that. I often think He uses my writing as a wake up call to remind me He is here. He is bigger than all of this. He loves me and cares for me. He allows me to cry because it’s how we often heal, but He won’t let me stay here because He knows that’s not healthy.
So far Chemo #3 has been more of an emotional struggle than a physical one. We controlled the nausea so far – Yay! Today, we’ll find out how the bone pain goes.
Psalm 91:2 – I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”