Cancer log 94: TMI…

Cancer log 94: TMI edition.

In case it's helpful to anyone, I wanted to chronicle the exact symptoms I've had from chemo. There isn't going to be anything else interesting in this post, so feel free to skip it if you're the sort who gets sympathetically ill, is generally disturbed by gross bodily functions, etc. I wouldn't blame you!

Wed: 7/1 -- Actual chemo. Felt basically fine for most of the day, was able to drive no problem. The oncologist had me start three days of anti-nausea steroids that evening, taken twice a day. She warned me that it would lead to constipation, so also recommended a stool softener. (She was right, though that took a few days to kick in.)

Thurs 7/2 -- Fatigued. Was able to do things, but had to rest in between tasks. I.e., do a load of dishes, sit down for half an hour. Also had an injection to boost bone marrow. Was told this could cause bone pain, but luckily, I seem to have missed that one so far.

Fri 7/3 -- Ditto Thurs on fatigue. Low appetite. I was told that steroids would likely make me hungry and that I'd gain weight, but so far, that doesn't seem to be the case. We'll see. Discovered that spicy food is giving me heartburn -- it tastes good still, but immediately accompanied by burning sensation in chest, very disconcerting, and messing with sense of self as South Asian. Quietly outraged. Resorted to eating really mild pasta dishes.

Sat 7/4 -- Mostly felt okay (took last of steroids that morning), was able to take the kids to the parade, host party, and even go to the fireworks, although that last was really pushing it, esp. the six or so blocks of walking. Switched to other anti-nausea drugs at end of day, which were effective in managing nausea, but didn't provide energy boost of steroids.

Sun 7/5 -- Totally knocked out. Re-read Bujold's latest novel. Felt like I had the flu -- shaky and miserable. Also oddly depressed -- life was flat and meaningless, art was pointless, people were stupid. I am apparently not good at chronic illness. Had a hard time regulating temperature -- was often too hot or too cold. Started taking hot evening baths to get comfortable and be able to sleep; helped a lot.

Mon 7/6 -- Slept pretty much all day. When awake, continued rather depressed. Ate very little, and in fact, had lost two pounds by this point in the week. Would be worried about that except totally can afford to lost ten pounds over the course of two months of chemo, so it's fine either way. Probably just water weight anyway, but will continue to track just in case.

Tues 7/7 -- Less depressed and only somewhat fatigued, but couldn't look at screens without nausea. Read print books all day -- went on Jennifer Cruise kick and read three novels in a row. Napped frequently.

Wed 7/8 -- Felt sort of normal, though fatigued. Shaky if I try to do too much, but could do computer stuff for hours again, and even clean as long as I took breaks. But, for example, walking in the garden for fifteen minutes taking photos made me so shaky I had to sit down. Heartburn on spicy food continues -- infuriating. Temperature regulation issues continue -- often too hot or too cold. Mouth sores showed up that morning -- googling indicates that they tend to peak a week after chemo, so this was right on schedule. Soreness at various spots in my mouth throughout day -- relied on eating soothing, creamy food. Brushed frequently, which may have helped (it's supposed to). Was already improving by end of day.

Thurs 7/9 -- A little fatigued, but not bad. Still going to avoid strenuous activity (no gardening), but hoping to finish the laundry today. Other than that, may actually try to get some real computer work done today. Onwards.

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