My second round of chemo began Monday May 8th, just two weeks after delivery. I was so disinterested in going to that first infusion, and not because of the chemo, but because I didn’t want to leave my little nugget. The only thing that made it bearable was knowing lil’ bit was in good hands with my friend from work Robin, who graciously volunteered to keep her on chemo days.
The plan for this round is a two-hour infusion every week for 12 weeks. I tolerated the previous chemo, aka the red devil, exceptionally well, so this chemo should be a breeze according to my physician. I mean it is still chemo, my cells are still being obliterated, so there are bound to be some consequences. Per my info sheet from the pharmacist potential side effects are: mouth sores, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, joint pain, fatigue, “chemo brain”, hair loss, neuropathy, decrease in white blood cells (well, duh), and many more.
The first two weeks went by without any noticeable side effects. As the treatments progressed I began to notice the fatigue, which may be amplified by the demanding infant care schedule. There were days when holding Yuri wore me out, and standing at the stove to make dinner felt like a workout. My neighbor and I walk a couple of miles a few days out of the week, slowly I began to feel aches where I had old injuries. The shoulder I injured during powder puff football, the ankle I sprained playing volleyball, and the knee I injured playing sand volleyball just last year, all erupted into dull throbbing pain after each walk.
Just as I was rocking my super short hair do, it started falling out. It was much too hot and I wasn’t going to sport the type II male pattern baldness for a single second. Once again, I was in my bathroom getting a buzz cut.
I have’ avoided the mouth sores, diarrhea, nausea, and loss of appetite. I did develop neuropathy in one toe on my left foot, who knew that one toe can throw off your balance. The chemo brain is frustrating, but again it may be related to sleep deprivation. On my off days it’s as if my thoughts got on the elevator and decided to stop on every floor before getting to their destination.
Now the side effect I was not prepared for, or maybe I just didn’t read far enough down into the less common side effects, was “menopause like side effects”. Y’all I am full on hot flashes and night sweats in this Florida summer heat. There have been plenty of times that I genuinely believed I was going to spontaneously combust.
I only have two more treatments and all in all, I can’t complain. I’m doing my best to stay active, I always keep a cool drink within arm’s reach, and Thursday is my designated nap day. I am eagerly looking forward to getting my energy back, being able to properly thermo-regulate, growing some hair, oh and feeling my toe again.