Hello again Friends! I’m writing to you a week out from my third chemotherapy session!
That’s right! I’m now officially HALFWAY DONE!!!! Three down. Three to go!
I was really nervous about my infusion session last Thursday. This was my first time getting my chemo cocktail on a much smaller dose of steroids than I had been given in my two prior treatments.
Steroids help reduce the risk of a reaction to the chemo drugs, but also cause insomnia and swelling, so there was a reward to go along with the risk. Luckily, there were no complications. Whew!
Chemo Round 3: Sensory Depression Overload
Does anyone else get that weird feeling of unease when they walk into their dentist’s office? Every dentist office I’ve ever visited has this particular smell that fills me with dread.
I swear the infusion area of my oncology center has this same smell. It makes my gums tingle and my stomach churn.
On my third trip to the oncology center, giant bag of distractions and comfy things in tow, I couldn’t help but notice how oddly routine everything felt.
Since I have to come in really early for my infusion (It’s a big dose), I get first pick of the recliners (Wooooo.). I opt for the one that sits between two windows, but still in a corner so it’s a little more private than the others.
You guys, I hate the infusion room. It’s incredibly challenging to keep a positive state of mind while surrounded by rows and rows of people who are just so incredibly sick. It makes my heart hurt.
And while I get the fact that I’m also sick, I just don’t identify with any of these people. I don’t talk to anyone while I’m there and I feel guilty for it.
Apparently, I’m young for a cancer patient, as I’ve yet to see anyone else my age or younger there. For six hours, I tap away on my laptop as the drugs drip drip drip into my vein to a background of bad pop music and nurses fielding phone calls from patients who are struggling to manage the side effects of their treatments.
It’s getting harder, but I’m getting stronger.
The side effects from Round 3 were harder than Round 2, but I knew to be prepared for that. More nausea. More fatigue. More pain. It took me a little longer to recover as well. Seriously, I have never been so tired in my life.
But after a week, I felt much more like my old self. I was even able to enjoy getting dressed up for Halloween!
It’s challenging to find positives right now, but they’re definitely there when I look for them.
I have a great support system consisting of my husband, friends, and in-laws. I have the self-discipline and ability to eat well and exercise daily, even when I don’t feel like it. I have interests and hobbies to keep me busy and help keep my mind from repeating Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer on an endless loop.
If nothing else, this whole ordeal has made me realize I’m stronger than I’ve ever given myself credit for, and I’ll never underestimate myself again.
Now it’s time for me to get back to work while I’m feeling pretty good, or at least “in good shape for the shape I’m in”. Being able to create and share with you guys gives me so much energy and joy and I promise to keep it up!
Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts. They mean more to me than I’ll ever be able to express.