I am surprised by how all of sudden my strength returns. Where only a week ago I could only swim 7 laps in the pool, I’m now swimming 30 and the only reason I stopped was because I had too many other errands to do.
It seems that with each AC cycle the down days after neulasta are longer, but when my strength does return, I’m stronger than I’ve been before. In cycle three, I walked farther (10km on day 2), cycled farther (36km on day 10), and swam farther (we actually I swam this distance in cycle 2 as well 1200m) – than I had before chemo started.
As I’ve discussed in my last post, I’m also struggling with increasing signs of depression – worsening with each cycle. This in part is related to not have access to my coping mechanisms (exercise) for the longer stretches each cycle. In part because the reality of having breast cancer is sinking in (denial is becoming less and less active in my brain), and a lack of knowing what will come next. Relating to exercise, each added day when I cannot get in a long workout, my stress and anxiety build. I’ll be working with the folks at onc-pysch on developing additional coping strategies, but will also be changing some medications to something new, where the side effects are actual effects that align well with counter-acting the effects of chemo (drowsiness, anti-neasea, and increase appetite). The new meds should also help deal with some of the ‘chemo-pause’ side effects (night hot flashes). We shall see how it all works – but for the next two or three days, I should be feeling strong – and will try to enjoy it while it lasts.