For the first day post chemo I am feeling pretty good. I didn't sleep all that well last night, despite an Ativan, so I wasn't exactly bursting with energy. However, it feels really nice not to have to battle even a low level of nausea. Seems that on this count, the doctors and nurses were right. My stomach is churning acid a bit more than usual, but I haven't really had to engage in the whole "baby bird" routine where I absolutely must nibble on something every few hours to keep my stomach occupied and out of trouble. This is a really nice change.
So far, I am not experiencing any bone or muscle pain, except for maybe the slightest of twinges in my shins (where I felt the Neulasta before), but maybe I'm imagining that... When you go on chemo, or even when you change drugs like I just did, a funny thing happens: You take the poison, you're glad if you don't have any immediate bad reactions, and then you go home and listen. You listen to your body, and observe it, and suspiciously search yourself for any indication of serious trouble, or at least of the side effects that you were told about. In this search, the mind can play funny tricks on you, as you struggle to maintain that delicate balance between objectivity and the fears that lurk within. Sometimes you go overboard on the objective side, minimizing actual pain, or nausea, or whatever you may have, as you are trying to be as strong as everyone says you are. Sometimes you go overboard on the side of fear, hearing your heart beat faster than it really does, or feeling hotter than you really are, or feeling pain where there really is none. Sometimes you just wonder what reality is, anyway...
In any case, Dr. V's nurse warned me that when my decadron wears off tomorrow, I may well get some of that bone and muscle pain they talked about. So I suppose I'm about to find out how my body really reacts to the Taxol. I'm trying to think positive, though, and hope that I will be among the 70-80% of women who, according to my poison man, have no issues with the pain. If I manage to escape the peripheral neuropathy, too, which is much more insidious as it is often permanent once it occurs, I will be a very happy camper.
However I do, though, it is encouraging to know that my eight treatments have now shrunk down to merely three more rounds of chemo. It is actually time to make another appointment with Dr. B, the radiation woman, to discuss the question of whether or not I really need to be fried, too, after I have already been sliced and poisoned.
But before then, I have a nice weekend ahead. Tomorrow, DH and I plan to do something special (details of which are to be determined based upon how I feel -- a common limitation on fun outings these days) as it is the tenth anniversary of our second wedding (we had two ceremonies in the same year since our families lived too far apart to allow everyone to come to one ceremony). On Sunday, I hope I will be up to a barbeque my friend A is throwing for no-l and her mom. It's rare to have her in town, so I really hope I'll be in good enough shape to travel and be sociable this weekend.
So the first step is to get some much-needed rest. I resisted napping in the daytime (it was too hot and humid, anyway) in hopes of sleeping better tonight. With my blog entry dutifully discharged, I will now retire so I can be all bright eyed and bushy tailed (well, maybe "bushy wigged" would be more appropriate for me these days) in the morning.