I wrote on Thursday just before treatment and left shortly after for the hospital. The sun came out by the time I was leaving and the roads cleared up quite a bit. Rachel met me at the hospital with Starbucks in tow, knowing that once the IV was set I could start my morning cup. (remember my previous problems with getting an IV in, which means no caffeine before). After meeting with the doctor, discussing how the last round went I shared about the difficulties I was having. The fever that came and went, the hot flashes that are a regular part of my day to day and how I did not make it back to work until Wednesday. Nosebleeds are a normal occurrence, along with my cracking hands and dry skin. I am sleeping a lot more and a minimum two hour nap is part of my every day (often four hours).
My doctor recommended that I come in for hydration on Friday. Hydration, means that I would come in to the cancer center infusion room for a bag of 1000 CC of salt water. She explained that it can help me rebound from the side effects more quickly especially if I am dehydrated. Knowing it was worth the try I decided Friday I would go in for that. Unfortunately this means another IV to be placed but I felt it was well worth it.
Round three went about the same as the last few treatments. My mom ended up landing around 12:00 pm and took a cab straight to the hospital. She made it when I was about half way through. Chelsea and Rachel sat with me all day, we talked, they brought me snacks and held my hand. Unfortunately the nurse had to stick me twice before getting my IV in. I hate that part. So so much. Other routine parts of chemotherapy I am getting used too, soaking my hand in warm water before the IV is placed, having a heating pad over the IV to help minimize the burn from the chemo. A lot of blankets and a lot of water. A few mandatory things I bring to chemotherapy with me, Kombucha, my essential oils (Breathe, Balance and a few others), my blanket, St.Croix sparkling water, burts bees hand salve (lifesaver… Thank you Katie) and chapstick. Not to mention books, magazines and mints.
My dad flew in on Thursday evening and it was the first time he has seen me without my hair. My nickname growing up was “Bean” or as my dad would say, “Bean Head”. So for the first time my dad could say I really had a “Bean Head”.
Most of my weekend I spent in the company of my parents, watching basketball, sleeping and eating. My dad was able to be with me for hydration, so was able to see the infusion room for the first time. It was really special to have them both with me this round. My parents joined me to the gym Friday and Saturday so I could make sure I am moving, doing a little bit each day to keep this stuff moving in me and out of me.
The hot flashes I am having are getting progressively worse. Unfortunately this means the chemotherapy has caused me to go into what the industry sometimes calls, “chemopause”. The night sweats, hot flashes are all a result of the hormone shifts due to the chemo. Fortunately I am expected to rebound after this and not go into full stage menopause, but I will not know for certain until I am off chemotherapy. At this point I am trying to manage the exhausting temperature changes.
Just yesterday, I was attending a baby shower and I noticed a familiar face from across the room. Unable to place her I ignored it and found my seat and sat down. Moments later I felt someone tap my shoulder and introduce herself. Taking me a few seconds to make the connection, I realized exactly who she was. Erica, the fertility nurse specialist. My eyes began to fill with water and I could not speak. She kindly said that it was ok but she just wanted to know how I was doing. This woman was the nurse that came in before I had my egg fertilization procedure who also happens to be a friend of my bosses. She was such an encouragement before I went under. She also was the one who told me the disappointing news after I was finished.
I found myself apologizing to her for my tears and she quickly dismissed my apology. We spoke for a few minutes and I told her I was doing ok….. or that sometimes I was ok… But that other times just like when she walked over, I crumble to tears. The unknown of my fertility options in the future would cause anyone to burst into tears so I have tried to put it to rest. I am fighting to trust in the unknown and trust that a grand plan is in store. Seeing her face brought me back to that day, the feeling of defeat….. the helplessness that was that day. It was an overwhelming feeling of everything that has taken place up to this point.
The truth of the matter is, that everyday I feel helpless, I feel unbelievably defeated. I not only emotionally hurt but physically hurt.
But there is something really special in the hope that is found in Christ, who gives me strength. Who knows my aches and pains. He who knows what is before of me and who knew that this would be apart of my story now….
“Just know you are loved and prayed for today” – Fight Back with Joy
That is often the only truth I can cling too, knowing that so many of you love and support me and that I am being prayed for and that he above all things is in control.
So there you have it folks, my every day… the ebb and flow. The emotions that rise and fall as the ocean waves break on the shore. I am going to try and take a shower to see if I can shake off the achy icky feeling I have. I had hopes of making it to work today but I have had a bit of a setback the past twenty four hours. Hoping some rest will do my body some favors.
Have a great Monday everyone.