Saturday, February 14, 2009

Responding Quite Well (apparently)

I'm looking out the picture window over the creek and the sun is shining so brightly I can barely stand to look at it [I took the photo after the clouds passed in front of the sun]. But the sound of the rushing water - due to the significant thaw we just had - is quite a soothing sound, which I really appreciate considering how I am feeling right now.

And speaking of how I am far as my side-effects go, on Wednesday, I felt nauseous from about halfway through my treatment until the wee hours of the morning on Thursday. On Thursday, I felt less nauseous and more toxic and lethargic. On Friday, I felt beyond lethargic - I was exhausted.

Oddly, on Thursday, one of my favorite nurses told me I was responding quite well to the treatment, which meant the side-effects I was experiencing were quite minimal. That left me feeling relieved, yet at the same time, my heart really went out to the other folks whose symptoms are worse than mine. Most of my fellow patients are significantly older than I am and it saddens me to imagine what many of them are going through.

Naturally, I asked my nurse what additional symptoms my fellow experience. And guess what? She wouldn't tell me! She reminded me that, in the past, I had manifested the chemo side-effects the day prior or the morning of my treatments and she had no interest in my doing that with any additional symptoms I wasn't even experiencing. And either did I! No argument from me! Thank goodness she had the foresight to keep it to herself. Not every nurse would have responded that way. She's a sharp one - thank goodness.

I am also so grateful for the rides I received to and from the clinic every other week. Sayre, PA is an hour drive each way, not to mention the hours spent sitting with me as I receive the pre-meds and then the infusion. I tried to drive myself a couple of times and that clearly did not work. The pre-meds and the chemo are just too strong. And I can"t imagine Daniela going with me and chasing Beau all over the hospital for five hours - not to mention the days our 11 year old needed to be picked up from school before Daniela and I would have arrived home or the days he stayed home sick from school. And I still can't figure out how people go to work while on chemo, unless they simply don't have such difficult side-effects. Between the nausea, lethargy and chemo-brain I experience, I can't imagine myself at work being anything less than a huge liability!!! And, assuming my post-chemo tests in April come back clear, all of this will be over soon.

1 comment:

  1. Bert,

    The great thing about chemo side-effects is that no matter how bad they made me feel, I would always hear that other people had a worse time. It reminded me to be compassionate towards the other patients, and to be grateful.

    I don't know how other people work during treatment, either. But I guess if you absolutely have to keep working, you just find a way to survive it. I am grateful that I had the luxury to not work, especially on the really low days.

    Hang in there - you're almost done!!!