Medical Update ~ 10/09/17
Fatigue was the definitely the most challenging symptom I had to manage this weekend. When they warn you fatigue is a side effect of chemo, you think they just mean you'll be tired, but I've come to learn that cancer fatigue is in a category all by itself. This kind of exhaustion will knock you off your feet no matter what you are doing. When it hits, you're just done. And it doesn't matter how much sleep you get, you wake up absolutely, completely, utterly exhausted. My family will attest to the fact that laying on the couch is absolutely unheard of for me, but I'll tell you sitting upright is not an option when the fatigue hits.
I did pretty well on Friday and Saturday - I was even able to get out of the house for a doctor's appointment on Friday and church Saturday night, but I was definitely horizontal by the time the sun went down. I had a nagging headache for the majority of the weekend, and some of the digestive issues they warn you about did show up, but all were manageable with over the counter medicine. Probably the strangest symptom for me was the inability to concentrate. That was bizarre. It was hard for me to focus on anything for too long. It was as if my brain was in a bowl full of sludge. My husband and I watched La La Land this weekend (I know, I'm late to the party - I don't sit idle well, so I don't watch many movies), and while I enjoyed the cinematography and the music, I just couldn't string any of it together to make sense. I literally could not tell you what that movie was about. At least I'll get to enjoy it a second time.😊
Sunday was definitely my most challenging day - physically and emotionally. I spent the majority of the day on the couch, overwhelmed by exhaustion and feeling like I got hit by a Mack truck. I slept for a record 11 hours on Saturday night, and woke up to feel like I had been out partying all night. In fact, after a quick shower and devotion, I ended up back on the couch, napping for a couple of hours. My head hurt more, as did my stomach, though I was still able to manage it with medicine. For that, I'm quite thankful. I did discover something, though - they warn you over and over to drink a lot of fluids. In fact, you're supposed to drink at least 3 quarts of water a day. That's no joke - that's a lot of liquid. On Sunday, I slept so long that I think I may have become dehydrated. I woke feeling so lousy that I didn't reach for my water bottle for awhile, I just took medicine and went back to sleep. Once I finally did start drinking water in the afternoon, my symptoms started to ease up and I began to feel better. I need to remember to drink more water sooner next Sunday, though I do think that's probably going to be my most challenging day of the week. In the meantime, no visits on Sundays, please - it's not a pretty sight.😉
Since Thursday, I've been able to walk at least 2 miles on my treadmill every day - they won't release me to run after my last surgery just yet, but I have been thankful that I can at least walk now. I was concerned that I would be unable to walk through the weekend because of the side effects, but was set on trying to find a way to move every day. I want to stay as healthy as possible through this, and that means I have to move whenever possible. There is no doubt it was challenging to find the energy each day, but I am so thankful I did. It's absolutely amazing how much better I felt just by getting up and walking. In the midst of the physical challenges on Sunday, I was hit by the emotional waves of chemo as well. I was feeling pretty low through the early part of the day, but I pushed myself to get up on that treadmill and walk because I knew the benefits physically and emotionally. It's absolutely what got me over the hump.
Today I woke up feeling like myself - praise God!! My pain is gone, my focus has returned, and I've felt rested most of the day. Of course, now that the sun has gone down, I am feeling a tad weary, but so much closer to normal myself. My next chemo treatment is on Thursday, which means I get to enjoy myself ~ and my grandbabies ~ for the next couple of days. God is good!
All in all, not too bad for the first weekend. I realize the side effects are cumulative, and I may feel the effects more and more in the weeks to come, but for now, I am quite thankful to all my prayer warriors out there - I am 100% confident the reason I felt so well through this weekend was because of all of you. Thank you, keep praying! 💞
Press on ~ you are loved 💗