PictureChemo meds starting flowing just past noon. <3

It’s been one full week since I started “Cycle One” of my chemotherapy treatment.  All things considered – I’m faring VERY well. 🙂 I’m super excited to say that, other than having to take it very, very, easy, I’m finally to the point of this cycle where I don’t have that much to remark about. 😉

I will not hesitate to tell you, however, it did not start out this way. 😉 In fact…the first three days after chemo were – well – just – blech!!!  Forrrrrrrr Shorrrrrrrrre. (I spelled that wrong – but it sounds so right.)  I remember being in the doctor’s office last Thursday, from 9:30a.m. to 3:30p.m.  I was getting my chemo on, having a glorious foot massage, talking with all of the nurses, the dietician, etc.  You know – just another day at the doctor.  When therapy was over, I remember going with Jacob and Jason to Which Wich for dinner (where I pushed through the nausea to eat the best PB&J ever!!), then Michael’s (because everybody needs arts & crafts supplies immediately after they get chemo), and then I believe we went to CVS to pick up some meds.  Buuuuuttt……anything after that is just fuzzy.  I do remember my physical responses were very slow in Which Wich, and got progressively slower as the evening moved on.  I remember my words began to slur, and more than anything, my response times started to get WAYYYY delayed.  My body was responding like I was REALLY REALLY REALLY drunk (let’s say on Tequila), but mentally, I was completely aware of everything that was going on. It was really irritating (more scary, really) that my brain was reacting in real-time, but my responses were sooooo much further behind.

My medical team had been very thorough on the whole “what to expect when you’re expecting chemo” front.  However, there was one thing that didn’t come up during my pre-chemo honeymoon period (or maybe it did, but it was buried in the eleventy-million other super-scary details).  Friday, the day after chemo, I got the most severe, painful, and violent case of hiccups I’ve ever had in my life – and they lasted ALL DAY LONG!!!  Isn’t that weird?  I later heard from a couple of other ladies who recently went through chemo, and they both said they had horrible hiccups the day after chemo, too.  That made my horrible hiccups so much more tolerable.  (***Isn’t it weird how much easier it is to tolerate TOUGH things JUST because you’ve HEARD that someone else has already endured it?***  Right? I’m positive there are psychological names for these phenoms that I would love to know more about…)

PictureCycle I Med: Adriamycin. Pretty, but toxic!!

Another thing I wasn’t expecting, but made it through fine just the same:  I must’ve received some heavy duty Peter Parker juice with my chemo – because my Spidey senses kicked in right away, and in full force.  Sight, sound, touch – – everything – – was just TOO much.  Even the sound of someone whispering COMPLETELY overloaded my brain and felt as if someone was banging garbage can lids right inside my ear canals. :/  The touch of my head to the pillow was painful.  And smells…….o….m…..G……smells.  Blech!!!!!  The smell of Jacob and Jason, the smell of the couch, the smell of the fridge when someone opened it (which, of course, I could smell from clear across the apartment, no less) – everything made me sick to my stomach. Even the smell of the lacquer finish on the 20-year-old dining room table made me want to hurl. Oh, it was awful!!!!!! LOL!!!!!  I remember the cacophony of the television was much too much, so I just sat in silence for the first several days – staring at a blank tv – in a daze – paying attention to nothing AND everything, all at the same time.  If there had been a fly in my house, I could’ve heard it vomit every time it landed.  (Thank goodness there wasn’t.  Small blessings. ✿)  Thankfully, my senses finally winded enough for some boob-tube by late Sunday night.  The Oscars.  NPH in underwear.  Giggle.  ♥

As many of you had read on Facebook, I had really been struggling with overwhelming feelings of nausea. I stayed in communication with the nurses about it, because they assured me their goal is to keep me nausea-free, and there are so many things available to help. Luckily, I’ve been able to get it under control with a pretty “B.A.” (ask a teen, but not your own) medication, and I’m happy to say that my stomach feels easy now, and I’m able to nourish myself properly, and get the rest that I need to heal well.  🙂  Thank you to all who’ve offered advice and recipes for this – and if you still want to offer a nausea fix of your own – please feel free to provide it in a comment below, or send me an email (kerricook at comcast dot net).  I have many, many chemo treatments left, and I’m sure there will be a need for a little bit of everything at some point.  I’d love to amass an arsenal of anti-nausea weapons, and I’ll be sure to share and let you all know what works (for me anyway). 😀

The only side affects that still persist are body aches and severe exhaustion. At first, the aches in my muscles and skin were so bad that the gentlest touch would leave me feeling bruised – and it ESPECIALLY hurt my body to try to lie down. However, I was too exhausted to sit up. So, it was this awful catch 22. Luckily, the wooziness and exhaustion caused sleep to happen fast and often, so as long as I could stick out the “bruising” feeling, I was constantly able to pass time being passed out. 🙂  I have gotten progressively better, though, and the aches have all but faded, and I’m strong enough to get through the day with no problems – as long as I’m sitting down, or moving very, very, slowly.

I’m finding that I can walk around more and more each day, and I make it a point to do so for progression’s sake. Whenever I do, I just have to be very cautious and prepared to STOP IMMEDIATELY, because my legs and my core will hit muscle failure like a switch has been flipped.  And then, I MUST SIT DOWN.   –>No lie.<–   I did that in CVS yesterday. 🙂 Right in the middle of the front entry way where people were walking into the store, and waiting to get in line. Yep. I’m that kinda drama now, baby. Of course, I was smiling and drunkenly giggling, and reassuring everyone that I just needed a quick rest, but dang they must have been UN-COMF-TERBLE. At least I still have my hair – – imagine how different that could’ve gove?? Surely someone would have called an ambulance – or the police!!  (Who could blame em, right???!!!!)  Please don’t be offended by that…….seriously……I know people generally mean well; and who cares if you have hair or not.  I guess I should write what I REALLY mean, which is:  I sure would have felt a LOT different about it without hair….’kay?  ♥

Anyway, that brings up one of my many, many, many, blessings: I still have my hair. 🙂 I think that God and the universe are letting me keep my natural winter insulation just a bit longer, just to get me through these last few weeks of snow days. (The kids have had SEVEN snow days in two weeks!!!! AGH!!!) 🙂 My doc said I will probably start losing my hair within the first two weeks of chemo, while one of the nurses said it could very well hang around until my third cycle (the 5th or 6th week). Regardless, I’m keeping an eye on it, constantly playing with it, and giving it little tugs at the roots quite often – just in case. 🙂 At the first sign I’m starting to go Shutter Island, I’ll immediately have a “molting party”, where Jacob, Jason, and I will all celebrate by shaving our heads. 😀  Now, please don’t get me wrong – I really do not find the chemo hair loss process unattractive by ANY means – I’m sure it would be the most therapeutic and poetic process to me, personally.  However, please remember how lazy I am, and on top of already being exhausted because of all the mercury in my veins, I just don’t want to be in the position to have to clean hair up from everywhere in the house once it starts to go!  Fair enough?  🙂  Anyway, I’m sure we’ll take advantage of the situation and play around with different styles on the way down to our roots (so to speak) ….. “rat tails”, “A Night at the Roxbury”, “Dorothy Hamill”, “pixie”, “fauxhawk”, “mowhawk”, you know – whatever we can stretch out of the moment. YOLO, right? 😉 Ahhhhh – and there it is – getting kerried away…

Thank you all for continuing to think of me – I’m thinking of all of you as well. I feel all of your love, and prayers, and good vibes – and I send it all back out to each of you, twofold. I am blessed to be able to put so much time and attention into healing my body and my spirit. I am so very thankful that I have wonderful people who want to listen to me, and in turn give me fabulous insight, wisdom, and advice. I miss being able to get out-and-about to see my family and friends, but staying inside and away from all of the <<insert illness here>> is very safe and comforting for me right now. Time will fly by and I will be better before we all know it. THEN….I will do lunch dates and babysitting and paint nights and photo sessions and –>pay-it-forwards<– galore.  I can hardly wait!!

OH, WAIT!!!  I almost forgot the MOST important part!!!!!!!!!!

♥   ——->    I can feel the medicines working!!!!    <——-   ♥

Get close – keep warm – and hug each other SUPER tight for me!!!!

Love, K xoxo

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