Motivation June 7, 2014Posted by Judy in Musings.
Tags: breast cancer, treatment
I haven’t written in a while. Partly because there’s not much to say, but mostly because I just. didn’t. want. to. This has been a common refrain the past few weeks.
I don’t feel like getting up in the morning. (Fortunately, the babes have all been sleeping in for the past few weeks.)
I don’t feel like cooking. (I’m so grateful for all of the friends who have kept my family supplied with food over the past few weeks!)
I don’t feel like blogging.
I don’t feel like exercising.
I don’t feel like doing much of anything. My motivation went on vacation and didn’t bother to warn me that it was leaving. I know, totally rude, right?
In thinking about why my motivation up and left, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just tired, emotionally and physically tired. Having a positive attitude has worn me out. I know that might seem odd, but really, it’s so much easier to mope around and do nothing than to make yourself get up and go and be a ray of sunshine and inspiration to others. Going through chemo is wearing me out. It was going pretty well, but things have started to go south, and it makes me so weary to think that I’m only halfway, and then there will be many weeks of radiation and then five years of hormonal treatment. I look at where I’ve been and think “Wow! It’s gone so well, I feel so blessed, I can see God’s hand leading.” Then I look to where I have to go and my faith falters, exhaustion reigns and motivation disappears. I’m know this pit I find myself in is not permanent as evidenced by the teeny bit of motivation I felt to actually blog today.
Many of you have been asking how chemo is going, so this seems like a good time to share an update. The first two chemo sessions went remarkably well. I fell less-than-good for a few days, but it wasn’t terrible, just felt a little run-down. Chemo #3 was a whole other ball of wax. For me to say that I’ve felt good would be a big fat lie. Likewise, to say that it was horrible and unbearable would also be a big fat lie. I was somewhere in the middle, leaning more towards the horrible. I kept telling myself that it could be worse, I could have sores in my mouth, be nauseated or any other number of things. But the fact that it could have been worse didn’t diminish the fact that I just didn’t feel well at all. My stomach hurt. It was on fire. I felt like I had food poisoning minus the vomiting and diarrhea. I mean, yeah for not having it coming out both ends, but still, my stomach hurt. On days 3 and 4 after the infusion, I was parked on the couch, not wanting to move anywhere, sleeping, and wishing the pain would go away. It eventually went away, somewhere along day 9 after the infusion. It got much better around day 5, but not good enough for me to be able to ignore the pain. And not good enough for me to want to actually drink any fluids, so I had to go in and have a liter of saline pumped in because I was dehydrated. As far as I can tell, there’s really nothing that can be done about the discomfort, at least nothing that I tried this time helped. And as an added bonus, a milder version of the stomach pain just started coming and going this week.
So now I’m dreading chemo #4 next week. I kinda want to say to the doctor, “Can we just stop now? Haven’t we done enough?” But I also don’t want to end up with a metastsis because I didn’t hit the cancer cells with both barrels. Sooo, I’ll be having a long chat with the oncologist on Wednesday to find out how effective is chemo really? How necessary are the two extra treatments? Can I do anything else that will produce the same effect (kills the cancer cells/keep them under control) without going through more chemo? Originally he said four cycles for sure and if I was tolerating them well, he’d push to six cycles to be as aggressive as possible. I suppose you could say that I’ve been tolerating the chemo fairly well. Here’s a quick story to illustrate:
I had to see the surgeon because we thought my port had flipped. He walked in and said, “Wow! You look great! How do you feel?” We chit chat for awhile and then he interrupts himself to say, “Have I mentioned that you look great?! No, really, it’s quite marked!” So, I guess I’m tolerating it well. (Of course that was before chemo #3! ) I’m not sure that I’ll continue to fall into the “tolerating it well” camp as I have already seen other symptoms popping up (nail beds are turning black and a metallic taste in my mouth).
But, enough about chemo. I have another good update. Remember that nodule that was discovered on my ovary when I went to Mayo? I had a follow-up ultrasound (here, not at Mayo) and both ovaries were totally normal. Hallelujah, thank you, Lord! We were so relieved to get that test result back. Phew!
As I’m proof-reading this post, it sounds really whiny to me. I’m not generally a whiny person, but I’m gonna go ahead and allow myself the chance to whine, just for a little bit. I have two other blog posts rolling around in my head, and both of those are fun and happy, so stay tuned for the return of positivity!