I'm at the point where I'm just wondering what the hell happened to me. Throughout my pregnancy I didn't really think about much other than the precious little boy I was trying to grow. After he was born I had a couple months of exhaustion where I couldn't even think at all. Now that I've found my way to the other side of that post baby haze...I'm left to wonder...what the hell was that...this...all of it?
During my pregnancy, my experience with chemo wasn't too bad. I was sleeping well and the side effects were very minimal. This time it feels so different. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the lack of sleep I've had. It's just hard to feel good at all when you're sleep deprived. I'm wondering also if the lack of sleep might be related to the side effects I'm experiencing this time. You know that feeling you get when you're watching a really touching movie and you start to feel that tightening in your throat? I guess it would be called getting all choked up... Well that's the feeling I have in my throat all the time. Except mine didn't come from watching a touching movie...it came from a horror story. Ha! That was a good one. Anyhow, I also have a lovely rash on my head. The oncologist said it was also a side effect of the chemo. Mouth sores... I didn't get them with the last chemo drugs (which is when it was more likely) but I have them now. Neuropathy is the least enjoyable side effect of all. Weakness, numbness and tingling in the extremities is a pain in the butt. I've found a way to ignore it most of the time. The absolute worst part of this all has been the weight gain. I talked to my oncologist about it today and he said not to worry about it and that I can deal with that after I'm through with treatment. I said, " You mean after I've gained another 30 pounds?" I have continued to gain weight since Ezekiel was born. My oncologist said that's just the price we pay when pumped full of steroids that make you feel extremely hungry all the time. He also said that my lack of sleep is probably contributing to the weight gain. I'm pretty disappointed that I couldn't just experience nausea as a side effect to take care of the weight gain for me. Just kidding...I wouldn't really wish that on myself. I know that most of the problem is my inactivity. I just can't seem to find the energy to get up and get active after so many months of not being able to. I wonder how many times I'll complain about this before I actually just do something about it?
Another crappy thing about this whole chemo thing is that I am at the point where I'm irritated so easily. Every week after treatment I immediately get asked about 50 times how I'm feeling. I feel like crap...can that just be a given without being asked and making me have to think about how crappy I feel...because I was doing a really good job of ignoring it. I usually just lie and say that I feel fine because I don't have the desire or the energy to explain how I really feel. See? I have a really bad attitude right now.
A couple weeks ago, shortly after I had to shave my head again, I was asked how I am doing. The first thing that came to mind was the loss of my hair and how upsetting it was for me. After that conversation I started to wonder if I'm a vain person. Why, with everything I've gone through did I choose to mention my hair? I've decided to give myself the benefit of the doubt on this one and explain it by saying that I'm more affected by the emotional trials as opposed to the physical pain. Ive learned how to live with pain from all the broken bones and other sports injuries I've had. But the pain of loss...hair, breast, healthy body, self-esteem, friendships... those are the things that weigh heavily on me. The relationships most of all. No one really ever talks about how hard this situation is on relationships. Almost every relationship I have has been affected by cancer...from my children to my friends, from my sisters to my husband.
Yesterday I completed number 6 of 12 taxol, number 12 of 18 chemo treatments all together. I was telling my sister earlier today that I was half way done and then I decided to correct myself. I am two thirds of the way through chemo. That sounds so much better. I can't wait to be done!