Thursday, September 1, 2011

Feeling Fantastic

That's right. I feel fantastic. Is that bad to admit? I am almost ashamed to say it. If chemo was Day 1, this is how my week went:

Wednesday Day 1: Chemo infusion from 9 AM - 2:30 PM. Went home and napped the rest of the afternoon. Felt fine.

Thursday Day 2: Went to work, felt like the Energizer Bunny (thanks to decadron). Got my Neulasta injection in the afternoon.

Friday Day 3: Went to work but felt like I needed a nap in the afternoon (no more decadron).

Saturday Day 4: Was exhausted pretty much all day. Stayed in bed, dosed, napped, took it easy. This was also the day the tropical storm hit our area so we had no power. Napping was the best option!

Sunday Day 5: Not quite as tired. I would do a few things here and there, then lay down and rest. Still no power so napping was still the best option.

Monday Day 6: Went to work. Tired by the time I got home but not exhausted. Got our power back on. yay! Started to feel some bone pain. Took Advil and it went away.

Tuesday Day 7: Attending an offsite training session all day. Felt fine but was tired when I got home. Not exhausted. Felt some pretty bad bone pain during the night. Have added Aleve to my daily pill regimen.

Wednesday Day 8: Feel great! Tired in the evenings but no more bone pain. The Aleve is doing its job.

Part of the reason I think I am feeling so good is that I am getting a great night's sleep every night. My oncologist gave me a script for lorazepam (Atavin) which I take every night before bed. And it works. I sleep through the night without any strange dreams and I wake up feeling completely rested and refreshed the next morning. No grogginess. Love it!

So I went from a person who never took any pills to someone with a pill box. Here is my daily regimen so far:

- Effexor 37.5 mg (low dose) for night sweats and hot flashes

- Prilosec for heartburn due to chemo eroding my stomach and esophagus

- Aleve for bone pain (morning and night)

- Lorazepam to help me sleep (night)

This lovely cocktail seems to be working for me. I also have two separate nausea meds just in case. I only took one compazine a couple of days after my chemo just in case. I wasn't exactly feeling nauseous but we had a lot of smoke in the air due to wildfires nearby and it was causing me to feel a little strange. But other than that, I haven't had any nausea at all. Knock wood.

I still have two more week to go before my next chemo on September 14. I am really looking forward to a long weekend and just relaxing with my husband and pupper.

Oh... I did order some scarves online through the American Cancer Society. I ordered them here:

I should get them today or tomorrow. My hair hasn't started to fall out but I ordered them knowing that my hair will probably start falling out sometime next week.

All in all, I am extremely lucky to feel this good and hope the rest of my treatments go this smoothly.


  1. Glad you are doing good, chemo can be so hard on people. I just shaved my sister's hair for her yesterday. She just finished her 3-week regimen of chemo and starts her 3 month weekly chemo next week.
    She looks great bald, who knew!

  2. Hi, Theresa -

    Thanks for leaving me a comment. I feel almost guilty talking about how good I feel. I know that things can go downhill pretty quickly. I may not be quite so lucky next time. Everyone is telling me that chemo is really cumulative. You might do great until round 3 and then hit the wall. We shall see.

    I will have to check in on your sister. I hope she's feeling better and seeing a light at the end of this very dark tunnel...

    Take good care.


  3. Jen, I just got your email and now I'm catching up. I'm glad that you had a good first week and I am praying that it stays that way. You managed all of this in addition to earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires. I like the haircut too. The short 'do really suits you.

    I really appreciate you telling me and especially telling me how you found it. I am bad about self-checks and your email was the reminder that I can't be bad about that ... it's so very important. I'm lumpy too, but I can't let that stop me from being more diligent.

  4. Hi Jen,
    Thanks for checking in on my blog. It has been a huge help for me to express myself, and to learn and figure things out. Seems like when I do some research for a blog post, things sink in so much better.

    I am so glad your first week went so well. And don't you feel bad for a second about feeling good. We all have our good and bad moments. We can only hope the bad ones and few and far between. But rejoice when ever you can.

    It sounds like you have chemo every third week. I had it every 2 weeks. Maybe that extra week will help. I did find it all to be cumulative; but there were always days when I felt pretty good. Now, looking back, I think I felt worst than I realized at the time. But oh well, ignorance is bliss.

    About the hair, It wasn't until after my second treatment, and maybe not until about week 5 after the first treatment that hair started to fall out. It didn't come out in clumps or all at once, either. Instead, it was handfulls but of single hairs all over. So it didn't look bad for some time but it just disgusted me to have all this hair all over my clothes and pillow. You were wise to do the short do now.

    BTW, I am 25 days into a total of 33 days of radiation. This is much easier than chemo; but still takes some getting used to. But I'm up for it. :-)

    Wishing you an easy time during chemo and god speed. Hang in there!

    Debbie Emery