I have been done with my AC chemo for almost 3 weeks (1 1/2 cycle) and I am starting to feel much like myself again. Over the last 5 months, treatment has caused a ton of changes to my daily life. Overall it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated but I am so very happy to be done with it.
One big improvement that I’m seeing is that I am not feeling the need to nap every day. Last week I went 3 days without a nap! While napping sounds lovely, daily naps are really a time suck. I didn’t keep a strict schedule regarding napping, so I would wait until I was really dragging before I would lay down. Then, it will take me a while to fall asleep and I usually have to read a book to make my brain slow down enough for sleep. The whole nap experience is usually a 2-hour endeavor from laying down to waking up. I am happy to have some of that time back. I’m still napping some, I don’t want to push myself too hard, but I am no longer feeling the need to do so every day.
Along with not being so tired, my energy is starting to return! Early on in my treatment I was exercising and walking regularly. The stronger I can stay throughout treatment, the less the side effects will impact me. More recently, though, I have just been so tired and I haven’t had the energy (or time, due to naps) to keep my momentum going. Also, in the last few weeks of my treatments I became anemic and that slowed me down even more. I didn’t realize that I was anemic, I just thought that treatment was wearing on me. Going on small walks or even going up stairs would leave me winded, so that didn’t make exercise a priority. Since finishing treatment I’ve started exercising and walking again. I’ll be starting radiation a few weeks after my surgery (December), so that is a strong motivation to keep me active so that the potential side effects will not hit me so hard.
Overall, chemo made me feel yucky. I don’t know a better way to describe it – just gross overall. Having all of those chemicals floating around in my system can not be a good thing. Better than cancer? Yes, but by no means a good thing.
I have no idea how much of these feeling were psychological, but I felt physically grimy throughout my treatment. I felt like I had these awful chemicals coming out of my pores. It made me smell different. I took a lot of showers.
While the chemo will continue to be in my system for several more weeks, I’m starting to feel improvements. I’m trying to drink a ton of water to flush everything out of me. My skin feels flaky because my body is starting to regenerate my cells. My hair hasn’t started coming back, yet, but it will happen now that those nasty chemicals are no longer getting pumped into my system.
Other than feeling better, there’s not much new to report. I have a pre-surgery procedure on the 4th to put in a few “scouts” to aid the surgeon. Surgery is happening on November 11th. I will likely be out of commission for just a few days with the exception of a few activities, like heavy lifting or exercise, that I will not be able to do for a few weeks. I’m meeting with a radiologist tomorrow to figure out what that all entails. I will have daily appointments at Valley for radiation, but thankfully they will be short appointments and a much shorter commute than going to Swedish.
Something else that I’m thankful for – the election season is almost over. While it has been unbelievable to see early voter turnout, I am so done with the political posts and ads. I’ve already voted so it’s all wasted on me anyways. Let’s get this election out of the way and start working to unite our communities and our county.