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Jul 17, 2012 12:26 PM kane744 wrote:
Hello. I start chemo Aug. 1. This is my second time; first was four years ago. On the one hand, now that I know exactly what to expect, I'm not going so crazy over it. On the other hand, now that I KNOW what to expect every now and then I have "a moment" so to speak.
For me, the first round was the worst. It was the week of Thanksgiving, we were having a lot of company and I was determined not to be whipped by it. HA!! We ended up ordering one of those grocery store meals and then several guests made their special dishes. I could barely eat a thing. Tried a tablespoon of this, one of that and for the first time in my life knew what heartburn was! I wouldn't let me husband call the dr. on Thanksgiving Day and he finally gave me a couple GasX and that took care of it!
Even though I read all about chemo, talked to my onc at length, etc., I was totally unprepared for the exhaustion wallop. Everyone reacts differently, but man oh man, it knocked me on my rump. I fought it. Oh how I fought it. I did not win but finally gave in. This is the lesson I learned for me. Week 1, flat on my back. Not hungry for anything, forcing myself to eat. Week 2, feeling much better but still required lots of rest. Fought it. White cells down to 0 and had to wear a mask anytime I went out. At end of that week started losing hair big time. Shaved it off. Too depressing to see clumps of hair on pillow, in shower. Bought several wigs and lots of hats. Hated hated hated the wigs. Donated some, kept some. Bought lots of hats instead. Have always loved hats. Week 3, feeling almost like myself but alas time for another hit of the poisons. Still did a lot of battling, not listening to my body. Trying to be a "good cancer patient" and fight like a girl. By my 4th and final treatment I gave in. It was much easier on me.
So, ladies, as my second time with chemo draws near, I can tell you that I will totally change my way of dealing with it. I will quit wasting my energy trying to be "normal" and rather listen to my body. If I am exhausted, I will rest. I will allow it and appreciate my dh and friends who want to help and not try to do it all myself. I will allow the chemo to do the job of killing the cancer and be grateful that we have those drugs. I will call the dr. at the start of any unexpected side affects and not think that continuing to suffer them shows strength of character.
My second time I will not try to disguise my cancer with wigs and hats (except to prevent sunburn). I will wear my baldness without shame, realizing that I will meet a lot of women who are entering this journey and need any encouragement I can offer. I will also meet many sisters who have been through it before me and welcome their sisterhood.
This time, I'm keeping my fake nails. I have my own tools, know how to sterilize them, and trust my nail tech totally. She is a bc survivor, too. I know its vain and superficial, but I feel so much better with them. Ain't got no boobs, won't have hair, but, damn it, I WILL have my nails! Small victories.
Wishing you all an easy challenge. I wish my hair to grow back red.
Dx 9/26/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Dx 5/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 06/26/2012 Mastectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right)