Alternate title: The iron infusion seems to be working
One thing I find fascinating about the time after chemo is how alike and yet not the side effects are. The major side effects seem to ebb and flow in a similar pattern, but each time has had unique aspects to it. Let me give you some examples.
The first time around, I was completely exhausted in the week following chemo. I’m sure it was a combination of I wasn’t as careful to rest (because I didn’t know what the fatigue would feel like) and the chemo drugs were doing quite a number on my cells. Regardless, I was tired, and as an added bonus, not hungry for several days. The second time around, I wasn’t near as tired (my kids being out of the house for several days probably contributed to that as well as me taking better care of myself), but my mouth just tasted nasty all the time.
This time around, I’m even less tired (I haven’t napped, although I have laid down to rest my eyes at times), but I don’t really have the energy to do much of anything. It’s a weird dichotomy flipping between I’m not tired enough to nap, but I’m not energetic enough to do anything but sit on the couch. Frankly, I’ve gotten bored the past two days and that just means I think more about the low-level nausea that’s pretty much constant, and I feel icky. (In case you’re wondering, icky is a technical term, thank you very much.)
StatsGuy did manage to put it in a positive note – the Venofer infusion I had at the end of chemo has probably given me a boost of energy that I didn’t have the past two times. Instead of sleeping through the icky feeling, I’m awake during it. Too bad I don’t have enough energy to actually DO something. Oh well, I did make myself a note of things I could do that didn’t take much energy, so I’ll have to try to check something off that list tomorrow instead of just being bored.
Chemo was five days ago, and I’m starting to come out from the fog of fatigue. We had an hour and a half chemo education class before I even went through chemo, but it’s hard to believe any of those side effects will actually happen to me – until they do, at which point I just want to feel not sick.
I’ve been making the comparison of chemo to pregnancy – there’s all these potential changes that you’ll experience, but you’ll probably only experience a subset of all the possibles. Everyone warns you about all of them, though. At this point, the hardest to deal with has been the fatigue. The day after chemo was great – no problems whatsoever, and my energy level was normal. I tried really hard not to push it too hard, since I knew I was working on borrowed time. Fatigue was the one side effect the doctor kept mentioning, so I knew it was coming.
Chemo minus two days was when the fatigue set in, and it’s just now lifting, four days later. My body wasn’t tired so much as my mind and my head was tired. My eyes would feel like they were crossing, I was so tired. If I could get up the motivation to do something, I’d feel fine during the activity, but I’d want to go to sleep as soon as I was done. Reading or even watching TV seemed too taxing to me as well. Laying on the bed, listening to a podcast or radio show was about my speed, and by 9pm, I was ready for bed.
Today, I have felt a bit more energetic, which is great, but I’ve also had a bit more nausea. It was 2:30 before I felt like I wanted a nap, and I actually got a few things done this morning (like laundry). By late afternoon, though, my stomach was telling me to sit quietly on the couch. At least I had enough energy to do some reading for a change, and the Compazine finally seems to have taken the edge off the nausea. I don’t think the dog is getting a walk this evening, though. He’s all snuggled up on his bed anyways, so I’m not feeling too guilty for taking a night off.