Thursday, March 11, 2010

"What does it feel like?"

I get this question a lot. What does chemotherapy feel like? Well this is what it feels like to me. Everyone has a different experience and has different side effects.

Day 1 - Mostly fine just a bit sleepy from the Benadryl and a little amped from the steroids. Starting to feel like my brain is not my own.

Day 2 - Upset stomach but not unbearable. Things start to taste funny. Gurgling stomach. Skin starts to feel kind of elevated and puffy. Fatigue starts to set in.

Day 3 - More of the above. The biggest symptom by far is fatigue - not sleepy but my body feels very tired. Like I just worked out for 3 hours.

Day 4 and 5 - These are usually the worst. Coming down off of steroids. Digestion issues. So fatigued that just walking across the room takes serious effort. Heart pounding even when I am sitting still for hours. My brain doesn't work quite right - for instance it is hard for me to think about how to spell words. Shooting bone pain from the Neulasta shot.

Day 6 and 7 - I start to feel better rather quickly. I wake up feeling more refreshed and by the middle of the day I am tired again but much better than day 4 and 5.

Day 8 - Practically normal. I can do chores, grocery shop, cook etc. I wouldn't do a heavy work out but a walk wouldn't be out of the question.

Day 9 - 21 - I progressively feel better and better every day.

It is not nearly as bad as I anticipated. During my bad days they seem to last forever but once I am beyond those days it feels great to feel so much better. I appreciate every moment. I hope you never have to go through this but if you do maybe you wont be so scared.


sandfly said...

I was just hopping through blogs and stumbled upon yours.
I read your day to day description of how chemo has affected you. I hope I never experience it either but thank you for sharing what it's like. You have a fighting sprit and a brave one! I wish you bright shiny days full of good health.

Anonymous said...

Your candor is inspirationally brave!! Your attitude suppresses fear in me and I'm not even sick. Your bravery is attractive. Through your blog you have truly inspired at least one, me. Wish I could hug you. I love you and I don't know you. If there's a god, you're staying here with us to help us. Please continue to inspire with your life.