Chemo Chronicles

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.

I mean, would you want to leave this cuteness?

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.

Side effects

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.

At any given moment, fans blowing and AC cranked to freezing.

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.

Chemo Begins

I had my first chemo session a few days after my birthday.  My mom in all her awesomeness came in the night prior so she could keep me company during chemo.  I was a little anxious that morning, there were so many unknowns, what if the nurse couldn’t access my port? What if I had a reaction to the chemo, I had heard my fair share of horror stories.


After meeting with my oncologist I went to the infusion center. My nurse was great, went over lots of information and accessed my port on the first try.  She explained how all the medications would be administered over the next 3 hours, and informed me that the particular chemo I was prescribed is referred to as the “red devil”.  “Any and everything that comes out of your body the next few days will have a red tinge to it, be warned.”

So there I sat in my chemo chair in a tiny corner of the room with my mom and Dave.  I kept hydrated and wrapped myself in a blanket sent to me by a dear friend, and tried to will the chemo to only attack any cancerous cells that might be in my body. (A girl can try.)  One of the medical assistants came by with a lunch cart and I picked out a few goodies, and just sat there.   I had plenty of people tell me about the chemo experience, but it almost felt anticlimactic, I think I thought I would feel something immediately like the healthy cells in my body screaming and running for their lives or something, but alas, it was like sitting in someone’s lazy boy.


When I was done, we headed home.  I still had my appetite and enjoyed dinner, and hung out with the kids a little before their bedtime.  My daddy flew in that night, to drive back with my mom, but I’m sure it was also because he wanted to see his favorite middle daughter.

That night after going to bed I woke up with some stomach upset, but it subsided after a couple of trips to the bathroom. The next morning, I was a little groggy, but that might have been due to not sleeping the night prior. Once my parents headed off, I did sleep the majority of the day.


The remainder of the week, I felt fine, no severe fatigue nothing out of the norm.  I know that was the result of so many people praying for that.  I was told that I’d become severely anemic, so I was recommended an over the counter iron supplement in addition to the iron in my prenatal pills, and I’ll have to do 7-hour iron infusions the day after my chemo sessions until my iron gets its act together.

Oh yeah, meanwhile I also had the anatomy scan for the second trimester and the baby is still doing just fine, growing normally, busy moving, and is a girl.  I know I asked for y’all to pray for a boy, but if I’ve learned anything through this process so far, it’s that I only think I know what I want, and God knows what I need.   That doesn’t prevent us from praying that this little girl will be chill and/or that being a big sister will calm Micah down some.


I pray everyone has a safe and joyous holiday season.  I feel like I got Christmas a little early with the gift of lack of side effects, and the ability to feel well enought to enjoy Christmas with my family before my next infusion.