Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Weeks of Chemo: Day 7

This is part of an ongoing two-week series. For more info, see this introductory post.

Let's start with a minor complaint for the day: acne. Without fail, a week into my two-week cycle I get a lovely breakout of acne. It's unavoidable and made annoyingly pronounced my starkly bald head. This brings us to the topic of hair loss.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Two Weeks of Chemo: Day 6

This is part of an ongoing two-week series. For more info, see this introductory post.

Today, I'm at the dentist! Yay?! Ok, not my favorite place, but one I frequent regularly. I had bad teeth before I had cancer and strangely enough, they're still bad. As much as I am loath to devote an entire post to dentistry, I have learned too much from my dental exploits this year to ignore them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Two Weeks of Chemo: Day 5

This is part of an ongoing two-week series. For more info, see this introductory post.

Unsurprisingly, Day 5 takes up where Day 4 left off: gradually decreasing nausea and a lingering bad taste in my mouth. As there is not much else to say about that, I will spend my post today writing about the port implant through which my chemo medications are infused.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Two Weeks of Chemo: Day 4

This is part of an ongoing two-week series. For more info, see this introductory post.

Day 4 is the turning point from the "weakend" back to normal life. No, that sounds too dramatic. It's more like the first point of a poorly executed 3-point turn back towards normal life. Any lingering nausea can be overcome at this point. I can brave the world again.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Two Weeks of Chemo: Day 3

This is part of an ongoing two-week series. For more info, see this introductory post.

The first thing I do on Day 3 is take my meds. I have three anti-nausea medications that I take periodically throughout the first few days. It really is harder than it seems to remember to take something every six hours. I apologize to members of my family with greater medical problems and medication lists than I. It's still unacceptable to forget to take them, especially when they are for more than combatting nausea, but I understand how their constant intrusion into your daily plans can grow tiresome.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Two Weeks of Chemo: Day 2

This is part of an ongoing two-week series. For more info, see this introductory post.

One of the paradoxical side effects of chemo is sleeplessness over the first few nights, this before and even during the characteristic fatigue. After getting little sleep last night, I am exhausted and will probably have to take a nap to get through the day. Even if I could sleep, I can't sleep-in forever on Day 2 because I need to be at the hospital, usually by nine for a Neulasta® shot.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Two Weeks of Chemo: Day 1

This is part of an ongoing two-week series. For more info, see this introductory post.

Over the last few months, I have learned to dread many things that made me happy (e.g. Fridays, hospitals, food). Day 1 is the peak of my dread.

I wake up early so Jenni and I can be at the chemo suite by 8am. They do a lab panel on my blood to check if I am healthy enough for treatment. The finger prick usually leaves me with a bruise for a day or two. True, it's a minor inconvenience but as you will see, they add up quickly.

Two Weeks of Chemo: Introduction and Table of Contents

After more than four months of chemo therapy, I have become well acquainted with the highs and lows of this terrible treatment. Though these insights are crystal clear to me now, I know they won't always be. I have decided to document my experiences, so that I never forget. Specifically I will post a daily entry into this blog through one two-week cycle of chemo, starting today. Hopefully, I can use these memories as I enter the medical field to become and remain a more empathetic care provider.

Day 1 is posted here. It's a bit long, but Day 1 is my busiest day. I hope to have shorter posts as this fortnight progresses, perhaps covering one or two topics a day, ranging from symptoms to musings on cancer to hopes for the future. Comments and questions are welcome! Thanks for your support!

Day 1: Chemotherapy
Day 2: Neulasta shots and friends
Day 3: Meds, nausea, and helplessness
Day 4: Smell and taste
Day 5: Port implant
Day 6: Dentistry
Day 7: Acne and hairloss
Day 8: Fatigue
Day 9: PET Scan
Day 10: Delays
Day 11: Experts
Day 12: Second cancers
Day 13: Check-up and toe spots
Day 14: Wrap-up