I said I would come back with a post about ringing in the new year… but unfortunately this is not that post. I wish it were because then I would be feeling better.
The best way I can describe this week is that it’s like standing on uneven ground. I’ll have a day where I feel relatively normal, and then I’ll have a day where I feel so unsteady, tired and uneven that I just want to lay in bed all day and cry. It’s hard to even explain why or what’s wrong–it’s just feeling so helplessly terrible with what feels like no recourse or road to recovery beyond waiting it out.
I debated whether to even make another post about this. I mean, who needs a third post about not feeling well? Folks probably have the point by now: treatments suck, you feel like crap, the end. I eventually decided to post because someday someone may read this who’s going through treatments. It’s important that you not feel alone or weird or somehow weak because you feel so low. It’s not you–it’s par for the course.
I picked up a prescription for Emend today. It’s not the usual use for it–you usually use it during active chemo and my last chemo treatment was three weeks ago. Unlike the other anti-nausea meds, which block nausea signals from your stomach, Emend blocks nausea signals from your brain. I’m hoping it can get me through the next three or four days. Radiation side effects peak for the week after, and tomorrow marks the end of that week. So here’s to feeling more normal in the days to come!
Having hydration every few days will also help me feel better. If I haven’t described hydration before, it’s simply a liter bag of saline solution administered by IV over the course of two hours. Dehydration is a sly opponent–it can sneak up on you, leaving you exhausted and shaky. Chemoradiation dries out your system extremely quickly, at a rate that normal oral hydration can’t maintain, especially if you are having any trouble swallowing.
I admit that I’m already dreading the large dose consolidation chemo treatments, but I had an interesting conversation with a nurse at hydration today. I asked her if she thought the large dose treatments were harder than the weekly lower dose chemo. She thought about it, and said she honestly thought the weekly treatments were harder because you can’t get away from them–there’s no time for your body to recover because the next week you get hit again. So maybe my dread is misplaced.
So that’s where I am now–sick, tired, resting or sleeping a lot, and taking an absurd amount of medications. I know I’ll be on the other side of this soon. It’s just a matter of time.