Thursday, August 25, 2011

3 days post chemo haze

Well, I survived my first round of chemo.  The actual chemo session was pretty much a non-event.  I did take a Xanax before I went because I had the jitters and have figured out pretty much everything about my cancer experience is easier to deal with once I've had a Xanax.  Not promoting anything here, just pointing out what works for me.

The first night was the worst, and I'm not sure if it was the actual chemo or the fact that I ate leftover tortillini with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh grated romano cheese when I got home.  I was feeling fine and all the stuff I have read about dealing with eating and chemo say to eat when you are feeling ok.  So maybe I took it a little too literally.  In any event, I managed to survive the night without puking, but I did end up sleeping in the girls' room. Actually not much sleeping, but lying very still in order not to promote any further bouts of feeling like I'd rather puke than feel like I was feeling.  Very much like stomach flu, in that I couldn't decide if puking would make me feel better or not, so in the end, I decided to work very hard NOT to puke, since that is always my preferred outcome.

I did actually bring my spare yoga mat into the girl's room last week, since it is one of the only rooms left in our house with carpet, thus the preferred napping place for all our "hairy children".  Doing child's pose on a carpet full of pet fur is not so much fun for me.  I did find out that Child's pose WAS very helpful during that first night, as well as deep breathing and corpse pose- fitting considering the state I was in at the time.

I did find myself wondering about specific yoga postures that would ease the discomfort of chemo, and to that end, my hubby checked out a TOME, for lack of a better word, of yoga postures that are compiled just for that purpose...YOGA-The Path to Holistic Health by BKS Iyengar. I can barely pick it up it is so huge- I weighed it 4.75 pounds!!! (5 lbs being by new measure of things I cannot lift, based on post-mastectomy orders - hey they never said how long AFTER my mastectomy, so I'm trying to milk it as long as I can).

I finally fell asleep around 4:30 am, pretty confident that the Compazine they gave me for anti-nausea was pretty worthless for me but happy that the worst of it was over.  I'm also pretty sure that the ginger syrup I made had too much sugar and not enough ginger, and I'm afraid that I won't be using it at all for the rest of my chemo treatment as the smell of it post chemo makes me want to puke.  Interesting paradox, no?

Next day I tread pretty lightly in the food department, choosing saltines and fresh melon with a little salt.  I am finding, that, like pregnancy, I prefer salty, sour foods when feeling queasy. That is the closest feeling that I can compare to, the queasiness I had throughout my entire pregnancy, and I handled it by eating frequently (recommended) and with lots of salty foods (not so much recommended).

Today, I went and had my hair done, totally unsure whether I'll even have hair in two weeks or not.  The pink arrow game is a month from now and my stylist dyed the entire top of my 'faux hawk' hot purple/pink and cleaned up the roots from my last hairdo. It's REALLY pink.  This is me just out of the shower to rinse off all the little short hairs that get all up inside everything and itch me crazy.
Additionally, just for fun, I guess, I got some weird itchy rash on my face and arms since Tuesday evening and I have no idea where it came from. I called the Oncologist's office just to make sure it wasn't some allergic reaction from chemo, and no, it's just another one of the rashes I've started to grow accustomed to this year....grrrr.  Trying to rack my brain as to what I could have used that would make my arms and face break out but no other part of my body.  Luckily I have steroid cream in spades in my meds cabinet, since I've had allergic reactions to 3 out of the 4 surgical scrubs they have used in my various procedures over the last few months.

Man I sound like a total druggie, and the truth is, with my RA and now cancer, I AM on a crapton of medications!  I hate it, but I can't actually seem to decrease any for any length of time.   I actually just gave into it and ordered a little caddy tote at the Thirty One party on Tuesday JUST for the explicit purpose of carrying around all my meds.  I found myself the day after chemo stuffing the thermometer, and bottles of drugs in whatever pockets I had on me at the time. I figure a cute little pink medallion caddy was just the thing to get me organized AND match my apparently new signature color. I even tried to get it monogrammed (something I thought I would NEVER EVER think I would want to do) "Mommy's Meds" but the tote was too small...alas, I have probably saved myself from an evil addiction to monogramming that I didn't know I possessed!  whew...

So...this brings me to Thursday, and I don't have a lot to show for what I've been up to, a LOT of lazying around watching Last Airbender with my son, and not much else.  I'm not feeling horrible, just drained and mildly queasy, plus I can't seem to find a comfortable position to sit in for any length of time, and my tissue expander is acting up again.  I have a sneaking suspicion this is probably being caused by the fact that I'm just lying around and not doing too much moving or shaking this week.  It's so hard to try and find the balance between enough movement and rest.  Right now, I'm definitely overdoing it on the not moving enough and I can feel it all over.

matching digits, compliments
of my stylist "Pompei Purple" by OPI
 I'm also in a tizzy fit about what to wear on my night out this Saturday.  Up till now, I've been managing with
tank tops, BC message tees and a smorgasborg of terry knit lounging pants.  But I want to dress up a bit, it's my pseudo birthday bash, and I have a lot of variables to consider...first...must match the hair.   Or at least NOT clash, which leaves me with about 4 choices:  black, white, grey or beige... Second, be kind to the maimed  cleavage- and HIDE my borg port, - it's just gross looking.  Third, is fun and flirty too much to ask for?  Unfortunately, I've left it to the last minute, and now, I'm faced with trying to come up with something out of my closet (paltry and sad) or running out to the mall tomorrow for some last minute power shopping.  Not sure what will happen, I'm supposed to have a therapy session and then lunch with my mom and old neighbors from my childhood.

My mom hates shopping at the mall more than me, so not sure if I can try to convince her to take me out if I promise to only hit a couple of stores and call it quits.  I did some online browsing and think there are some promising options at AT Loft or NY&CO...but of course, I will need to go out and TRY stuff ON! ugh.

.I should probably look for a bra that actually fits my new body too, all the ones I've been living with were purchased for my post lumpectomy/ post sentinel node boobs and not this robo boob like thing I have in my body currently.  I'm trying to avoid a trip to 'the boutique' not because I don't think it offers a useful service, but if I go, I will be confronted with wigs, and prosthetics and all sorts of things I've vowed to avoid during this cancer experience.

 But...oh...if I could just find a comfortable bra, it might all be worth it!

Promise to try and get one or two decent shots of my 'do all done up this weekend, instead of me and my little iphone in my bathroom!

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