(updated this to include all 21 days, if you’ve read before skip down to day 11)
Day 1, wed – It was a long day, 8 hours at the hospital – vitals checked, check in with the Oncologist. Then because I wasn’t prescribed steriods to take the day before, my chemo intake took several hours longer. I felt pretty good though, no pain or nausea. Ate lunch during chemo and then dinner that night. I took a Tylenol 3 for a slight headache that came on and then took one anti-nausea pill just in case. Felt tired, but thought that it was more due to the long day and not because of chemo.
Day 2, thu – I took my time getting ready for work. I could feel a slowness of energy. I worked from 9am-5pm. By the time I got home, I was wiped out. No nausea, just a bit of an achiness. My in-laws had picked the girls up from dance class & beat me home. Cheryl was in the middle of chopping vegetables for stir fry. I helped, added to the mix, cooked the rest of the meal, sat down, and ate way too much. My system just couldn’t digest it. It sat there. Reminded me of when I was pregnant and Penelope was sitting on my stomach and Sophia was pushing up on my esophagal tract. I decided at this time I needed to start the 4-5 small meals. Once I finished eating, I went to bed and just laid in a lathargic state. I slept well though. I drank lots of water throughout the day. Lemon water truly cuts out the metallic flavor in my mouth immediately and soon becomes my best friend.
Day 3, fri – I woke up feeling good, still a bit tired but able to move around. Another side effect started, but minimal. Soreness at the bottom of my feet, like i had walked several miles. Not unbearable, but I knew what it was from. Went to work, was extremely slow & tired. Left at 4pm and went straight to bed. Graham picked the girls up from pre-school and I joined them in the living room. I laid on the couch watching my family from afar, as if I was an outsider. The girls seemed as if they had grown inches in the past several days, like I had been away for months and missed a significant part of their lives. I start to realize what I could be left out of throughout all of this & vow to stay in the present as best I can. I had a little of the Pesto Fussili Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Chicken – still have my appetite. Then, went straight to bed.
Day 4, sat – Graham is loading in a show all day, but I had already scheduled the girls to be away at a friend’s house till the early evening. Rich & Kim pick up the girls (dressed in their fairy princess costumes) on their way to a halloween party. When they leave I break down. I’m missing things already. But there’s no way I can go. There’s a freak snowstorm coming & I decide to take the opportunity to simply lie in bed & do nothing, all day long. Graham comes home and makes burritos, but I add my seasonings when necessary. Again, I watch from afar, and eat a small burrito later on (it tasted great!) Graham takes care of the girls’ bath and bedtime while I lay comatose in bed.
Day 5, sun – I wake up and feel like a brand new person. I make blueberry pancakes for the family, start to feel slightly sluggish so I slow down. We enjoy a nice breakfast together, and then prepare to go grocery shopping, which is never an easy feat even sans chemo. But we do it, even though Graham pushes the cart up 2 of the 3 hills. Then he leaves for work, and the girls and I enjoy a light lunch. We all nap at the same time, and then we enjoy movie Sunday. I defrost gumbo for dinner and we enjoy a quiet evening.
Day 6, mon – I’m feeling better. It’s Halloween after all. I prepare the girls’ costumes for preschool and we head out. On the way back to the subway after I drop them off, I started feeling another side effect – itchiness on the palm of my right hand and then the whole thing starts to tingle. I massage with some aveeno lotion and it all subsides. I take it slow at work and leave a little early to meet up with the girls and in-laws at a preschool party before we head out to go trick or treating. It was a grand time, after one kid calmed down from a tantrum! We go home to find jambalaya made by daddy! I hold off on eating for a while. I bathe the girls and get to bed early.
Day 7, tues – It’s a beautiful day so I test my limits and bike to work. I don’t push myself but take it slow. I takes me twice as long to do it. I discover at the office that my lemon juice bottle opened up all over the dress I was doing to change into, so I stay in my biking outfit all day – attractive. I’m worn out but not exhausted and start to feel good. I get through the day and leave early for the long ride home. I arrive completely worn out, but feeling great. The first time I think that I can get through this. I prepared myself by asking friends and family to handle dinner and it’s a true blessing. I can work, which I have to in order to keep up with the bills and my brain, and take care of the girls.
Day 12, sunday – GOOD DAY! store, laundry, playground, football
Day 13, monday – load in at the theatre. Feel fine.
Day 14, tuesday – day 1 of 3 in teching 21 shows. Three 14 hour days in a row. The girls spend the next 4 days at their grandparents so Graham & I can rock this out. I run around the theatre as if all is normal. I forget that I have cancer and am going through chemo. It’s not until after midnight until my body starts to remind me.
Day 15, wednesday – pushed myself too hard yesterday & am feeling it today. I mostly sit & have things brought to me.
Day 16, thursday – am exhausted from working three 14 hour days in a row, but it’ll be worth it.
Day 17, friday – opening of the festival, and hair is really starting to fall out. I seal it to my scalp with the last of my gel, and have a great final night out with a head of hair in a long time. Unfortunately, sangrias teased me all night long.
Day 18, saturday – slow morning, recouping from a long week. But excited to see the girls, how I miss them so. When we get home I let them start to pull my hair out, and I have to stop them before they take it all! Little masochists.
Day 19, sunday – shave my head, energy & appetite are great. So even though I officially look like a cancer patient, i dont feel like one.
Day 20, monday – first day at work with the shaved head. Man, it’s cold. Energy is great, appetite is great. All to just soon start over again.
Day 21, tuesday – hosted a new show at our office, and had them courted around town – all with my bald head. In the middle of the day, I went to my appointment at the plastic surgeon’s to check up on my breasts. Inserted a bit more saline, as he confirmed that there would be some reduction when the implants are inserted. We talk about making the desicion of doing the exchange operation before or after radiation. More to think about. He also confirmed that my left tissue extender is sliding a bit to the left, but that it can be corrected in the exchange surgery.
and then we start all over again.