Before getting cancer, I was curious when I saw others dealing with their own cancer. I wondered what they felt like? We all know that cancer comes with a very negative stigma, but I wasn’t sure what that was attached to? Was the actual cancer painful? Was it all the surgeries? The treatments?
What exactly did cancer do to the body that gave it such a negative rap?
After one infusion, I have some of my answers. My bi-lateral mastectomy was completed with a very manageable recovery. But one chemo treatment and I’m a blobby mess on the couch.
Many people have asked me what it feels like, so here’s my experience with Adriomycin and Cytoxin chemotherapy after one treatment: It’s like having morning sickness x 10; a horrible hangover; the flu, complete with body aches and headache; motion sickness; the kind of shakes you get when your blood sugar level is low; and an inability to focus cognitively; all rolled into one. No joke. It sucks.
Also, my energy has been zapped. No more two mile morning walks. I’m happy to be able to get through my grocery shopping without being winded. After going down the produce aisle, I’m huffing and puffing like I’d just run a sprint. My appetite wavers between being unable to tolerate food to feeling insatiable. And food tastes different. I have cravings for things- mostly berries and salty things like olives. And my new go to food when I can’t tolerate anything- chocolate shakes. Nice and thick.
See, there is a silver lining!
Not one to dwell on the negative, I try to remain positive. Even in this first week I’ve learned to celebrate the tolerable moments when I get a slight reminder of what my body felt like pre-chemo. I get small glimpses of life where these feelings aren’t consuming me. And as the days pass since my chemo treatment, I do seem to improve. Thank goodness.
What still keeps my worry brain going is that I’m at the beginning of these treatments, that I’ve been told will get progressively worse. Really? Yeh- that scares me.
BUT- today, I am blessed. I can sit at my computer and compose my (somewhat) logical thoughts into writing. I will be able to get the boys to their various activities, prepare a meal and (hopefully) consume it, and get to enjoy this life I’m fighting so hard to stay a part of. My husband, kids, family and friends have been amazing supports to lean on. So life is good.
15 more treatments to go. Hair will be gone after the next one. By New Year’s Day, all of this will be DONE!