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Monday, July 30, 2012

Delayed in Posting

I didn’t write for awhile, just because I was waiting for the next thing to happen. Then so much happened at once, I didn’t know where to start, and once Chemo kicked in, challenges overwhelmed me.

For today, I will catch you up. Then I will write about my many, many gratitudes.

4 Chemo Treatments x 21 day cycles = 84 days.

Today I’m on day 12 of my first Chemo treatment cycle. I’m over half way through. Yeah! And I think it was on day 11 that I realized the biggest challenge gripping me was fear. Like on Days 6 and 7, I began to think the remaining 74 days would be just like that and I would not be able to work. I was ready to call my school and let them know I’d be in sometime in October and not a day before. Today, I feel much differently. Hopefully, I’ve experienced the worst and survived. Unless each chemo treatment gets progressively worse. But so far, my cancer/chemo buddies, tell me the first treatment is the roughest. So I’m going with that.

The two greatest challenges for me this first time – other than fatigue – were nausea and acid reflux (which completely aggravated the nausea). I felt like I was rotting from the inside out. And the smell of my body reminded me of the old people in my childhood. Perhaps that’s atrophy – our bodies stop making fast growing cells and begin to die? I dunno, but that was part of my thinking. 

The first three days weren’t so bad. Emend, is the anti-nausea med I took for the first 3 days. My back-up after that was Ativan and Phenergan, but they made me sleepy. So on Day 4, after church, I went home and slept the day away. That’s kinda what happened on Monday and Tuesday – which was disappointing because I was counting on those as back-to-work days. Finally, on Day 6, I called the Dr’s office and asked what to do about the Nausea and acid reflux – the original plan was not working.  New meds and new plan. By Day 8, I was feeling much better. Still very tired, but so much better than before. I will be able to continue working. I’m hoping to take 2 to 3 days off at the beginning of each chemo cycle, but that will only be twice, once students return to school.

I’m very fortunate and blessed. I know so many who have had to endure so much more. Even on my bad days, I knew 84 of them would be my maximum. So I give thanks for my healing and brief suffering. And my heart goes out to all those whose suffering overwhelms them. May they be comforted and surrounded with the blessings of friends, family, and hope.

So… Chemo Treatment One, included my sweet husband, see picture above.  I had planned to fix my hair, while I still had hair to fix, but our electricity went out that morning. So we both wore pink hats, courtesy of Cathey Klasek. I think we look kinda cute! J


  1. Cute photo!! I'm glad to read your blog, Shelly. One down and three to go! I had to have twice that many--two of those 4-dose regimens. My mouth always tasted like chemicals the first few days. I felt like a roach sprayed with RAID! even kind of shaky. The middle three days--10-12--seemed to be the worst for me--mostly overwhelmed with fatigue. After that, I started recovering until they zapped me again. You may be on different chemo drugs than I was, though. I think you're going to be able to handle it all just fine. You're a toughie! Much love and empathy! Janis

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  3. Shelly, you never wrote about the surgery for the port. How did that go? I think the port is about the worst part of dealing with the cancer. Creepy, having that thing in you. A happy day when Dr. T removed it.

  4. Yeah... I've a backlog of experiences. It's okay, not that bad - Dr. Talbert inserted on Monday, Chemo began on Thursday. Finally the surgeries are healing.... that created a lot more fatigue than I realized it would. I'll have my port for a year - because of the herceptin. I'm sure I'll grow weary of it.

  5. Shelly, Keep writing! I think this blog is important to you in the process, but it is also important for those of us listening and praying and wanting so much to be by your side.