It is weird thinking how fast my journey has gone. It has been almost EIGHT months since I was diagnosed and it feels like just yesterday. I have had more appointments, surgeries and procedures then I know what to do with and the time just flies by! I feel like my experience through chemo, the side effects that I felt weren't nearly as bad as some people that I know going through this. I had moments through the Adriamyacin and Cytoxin (first four treatments) that I felt nauseous, extremely tired and like a bag of crap, but with help from an anti-nausea patch I was able to manage the nausea pretty well. The exhaustion, well I just slept. Then came the Taxol and Herceptin (my last four treatments), where the pain I felt in my legs was like no other, but managed that with Tylenol and a heating pad.
Don't get me wrong, although I felt decent through my treatment, it's not like I was running marathons. Actually I never ran marathons anyways, but you catch my drift, right? For the first two days I felt pretty good, from the steroids, then things would go down hill on the evening of the second night, but it was manageable once I figured out the routine. I just stayed cuddle up on the couch, with my blanket, a heating pad, something to drink, the remote, my pup June and the hubs when he was home.
I had all these plans before I started chemo to eat super healthy. That was shot down once I realized my taste buds were crap. I love Mt. Dew and I was so sad when it tasted like I was drinking pure salt. PURE SALT. Gross. But it was a good gauge as to when I was getting them back because once the Mt. Dew started to taste good again then I knew they were on their way back. During my treatments there weren't many foods that tasted good to me, mostly just pasta, donuts and Coke. And I only preferred spaghetti, even though it gave me heartburn really bad, it tasted delicious and was SO worth it.
Everyone has different experiences through their chemo, but my one recommendation is to listen to your body. When I was tired. I slept. If I was hungry, I ate and ate what I could. If all I could eat was nachos or ice cream, (weird combo you would almost think I was pregnant by those cravings) then that's what I ate. I drank water when I wanted and I definitely should have drank more. If I was feeling good I would have a beer or two, or three...depending. If I had energy I would conserve it because I learned that if I tried to push myself too much I would pay for it. My energy would come and go, and definitely wouldn't last more than 30 minutes. I used most of my energy on doing the laundry. It never got fully put away during the weeks of my chemo, and we would wear the clothes before they even had a change to be hung, but at least we had clean clothes and that is what matters. Our house was messy during that time, but I knew that clean clothes were more important, so that's what I spent my energy on. If the garbage needed to go out, I could manage to get it as far as just outside the back door and I was spent. But the hubs would take it the rest of the way for me once I got home. We had dirty dishes, the floors needed to be swept, bills needed to be paid but I saved that for the week that I was feeling good and had the energy to take it on. I also tried to get AS much around the house to prep for my next treatment because frankly those weeks the house looked like a tornado went through. Tornado Emily.
My husband was amazing during this time. I'm stubborn and wanted to be able to do everything I could before, and when I couldn't he would most definitely pick up the slack!
June wouldn't leave my side once I had gone through chemo. It's like she could smell it on me, or smell that something was wrong. She was always a mommas girl, but during chemo and ever since I was diagnosed she has been practically stuck to me like glue.
I went to the bathroom, she followed, sat back down, she was right there, went upstairs to change into comfy clothes, she followed, I took a shower, she would lay on the floor in the bathroom waiting for me. If she had to go outside to go to the bathroom she would go as quick as she could so she could come back in to keep an eye on me. If I was sad or crying she would, and I'm not kidding, she would give me a hug. Literally she was my shadow and I loved it.
I forgot to get a picture of "chemo #2", but I was losing my hair and not feeling the greatest about how it was falling out.
I stayed positive through each and every treatment, no matter what happened and when I was feeling my worst, I told myself that my body has to go through hell to be alright and kick cancers ass!