Monday, March 11, 2013
One down, seven to go
A couple hours ago I got home from my first chemotherapy infusion. Matt and I were at the hospital from 7:30am to 1:30pm. I had an appointment with my oncologist and then went to the infusion center on another floor. Everyone we encountered was so kind and helpful.
I feel mostly okay right now. I took steroids and anti-nausea meds already today to help with the side effects. That said, I decided to skip out on an after-school trip to the playground--mostly because I didn't want to have to be far from the restroom in case I needed to pee. (I've been very diligently hydrating.) I did seriously consider going because I kind of wanted to be outside watching my kids play on this gorgeous almost-spring day. But I figured a better option might be a short evening walk if I'm feeling up to it. I know I'm going to be faced with those choices a lot in the coming months as to when and how I expend my energy. My heart wants to just keep going as long as I feel fine, anticipating that there are going to be a lot of times when I don't feel fine very soon. My head counters that I need to be careful and wouldn't I be better off on the couch, "working" on clearing my DVR?
Looking ahead is hard. It's a long road and there are so many emotions in play today as we take what feels like the first huge step on this journey. So I have to just focus on today, sometimes just right now: sitting in a quiet house waiting for my kids, Matt and Mom to burst through the door with all their energy and noise. Then we warm up something made by a dear friend for dinner.
But looking ahead a little bit is helpful for me. Chances are I'll feel okay today but then I've got a pretty strict regimen of anti-nausea meds and steroids for the next three days. My doctor expects my nausea side effects to be most intense on those days, hence the schedule. Then I'll manage symptoms (mainly nausea and fatigue) on an as-needed basis. I hesitate to anticipate too much because I honestly don't know how it will go, but I'll be taking notes when I can, trying to determine if there's a pattern to when I feel better or worse. Or at least I think I will. I know I plan to spend lots of time in my bed probably watching Netflix while I ride this out. My next chemo infusion is scheduled for two weeks from today.
So that's the micro view. The macro view is this: there's now something in my body killing cancer. It's good to feel like I'm doing something instead of just waiting for whatever's next.
Speaking of doing something, if you're reading this, you've done a lot for my family and me. You have loved us so well--with your kind words, prayers, caring thoughts and food. And what I'm finding, each step so far, is that love and gratitude push back against fear and sadness. Those feelings remain, but they're not at the forefront like they were two weeks ago. Thank you.
Posted by allison at 5:14 PM