Post Chemo day 3

Today was a mixed day. It began badly – actually it was more that last night ended badly. I was feeling pain in a way that I had never felt before. It is difficult to describe. They sometimes call it bone pain, but I would not call it that at all. It was like all my muscles (mostly in my abdomen head and neck hurt. My throat hurt – but it was a sore throat – rather it was the muscles around my throat hurt when I swallowed. Yuck.

I was bummed that I couldn’t get the marijuana (MJ) yesterday. You see, I could get a license, but the dispensary we want to use (one that actually measures and labels the dosage of all items it sells) requires California ID and I don’t have that yet. They would not accept any other proof of living in California. So, I have on my to do list, when I’m feeling up to is, a trip to the DMV to wait in line forever to get a California ID. I tried scheduling an appointment, but all appointments are in August! Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling up for it today. We do have an alternative. My husband can get a caregiver card, and since he has a California Drivers license, he will be permitted to go to the dispensary and buy stuff. Dispensary isn’t really the right word – it is actually a collective – and they include education on what exactly you are getting and various recommendations. For the side effects of chemo, the drugs you are looking for aren’t actually the THC (which causes the high) rather it is another drug. I took this picture in the doctors office. I’m actually looking forward to being permitted into the dispensary so that I can actually learn more about it … in the mean time, I’d be happy with a few truffles that might help me sleep without being drugged up prescription pharmaceuticals.

2014-07-09 12.21.43


As the day progressed, I began to feel better. I think I really just needed to talk to a friend or two. I spend a couple of hours on Facetime and Skype talking to friends and that definitely helped ease the pains. I think also the Sudafed (pseudoephedrine HCl) helped – glad I had some – as far as I know you cannot get it in the US without other stuff like Tylenol mixed it. *** You can in Canada. It mades me a little spacey but it cleared up the fogginess in my head. I also walked over to Safeway to pick up Claritin (and took some immediately). They say that Claritin is the best thing to counteract the pains associated with the neulasta. We had asked about whether Reactin would work and were told it would. I can sadly report, that it did NOT. So adequately drugged up to counteract side effects, I’m feeling OK now. I check my temperature regularly to ensure I don’t have a fever.

The one thing I felt this morning is that I really wanted a reiki treatment. This was interesting. I’ve had reiki a couple times before and didn’t really feel like I got much for it, but today, I craved it. I just wanted to feel that healing touch. I couldn’t get an appointment until tomorrow, but now I know. Next cycle, I will pre-book an appointment for the day after neulasta (or maybe even two appointments) just to help it clear my system.

Instead, I went for an afternoon swim with my clothes on. As I’m sun sensitive, swimming in an outdoor pool in bright sunlight is a bad idea. So, with my clothes and swimcap on, I’m almost completely covered. It was magical. And the feel of my wet clothes against my skin had the effect that I was hoping for in the reiki treatment I couldn’t get. With each stroke across the pool my shirt and capris gently massaged my skin in the slightly salty swimming pool water. It was magical – and exactly what I needed.  I found myself floating and kicking in snorkeling position, head down blowing bubbles. Next time, I hope to have the new Go Pro setup, and then I can take videos of the patterns on the bottom of the pool as I swim around. Anyways, you get my point – it was the magic that I needed for a day that didn’t begin too well.

I think more than anything, with the new pains in my body, that reality is starting to set in. I am powerless against some of these pains, and that is difficult to accept. It is also that the sensations are new – so I don’t know how to react to them – I don’t know what I can do to ease the pains – and popping yet another pill isn’t exactly what I want to be doing – but yes, to those who have asked, I am taking my anti-nausea meds pretty strictly.

My outlook at the end of today is better. I do hope I wake up tomorrow feeling a little more energy – need to get the apartment ready for my mom to arrive on Saturday 🙂

*** Although this is what I believed at the time, it is not true. The medication is available from the pharmacist, you just need to ask and show ID.

  • Becky


  • Hi Becky!
    I’m so glad to hear your mom is coming to see you, enjoy and don’t worry about the house 🙂
    Your in my thoughts everyday…..

  • So sorry I’m not closer I would do reiki on you! Big hugs and hang in there! Looking forward to the go pro images! 🙂

  • I’ve had regular Bowen treatment all the way through chemo and it’s helped enormously with joint and bone pain, especially on the next section of the journey. But yes, with AC chemo I had a couple of days each cycle where I woke up feeling like rats were gnawing at my legs.

    If you get more throat pain, gelato/sorbet in a flavour you can tolerate really helps.

    Keep going. The pool sounds really lovely.

  • Hi Becky,

    I know exactly what you are talking about with those swims and the underwater peacefulness. As a thought, you could look into ordering a burkini. They keep you completely covered and are designed for swimming so they are lightweight. Another option is a long-sleeved rash guard (SPF 50) and some thin Lycra pants. I have raced in this setup in open water for warmth when wetsuits weren’t allowed. I do have three full length Speedo fast skins suits that are collecting dust because they are no longer legal for racing. Not sure they would fit you because they are sizes 26 and 28 (yes, they are worn tight).

  • Becky … I hear you about not knowing how to be with the pain. The ongoing ache in the neck I hope was helped by the swimming ..I thought that was very creative and intuitive response. Breathing into pain, receiving it – as what it is – in this moment, has helped me, bu I am not undergoing chemo. I hope your Mom will be with you soon. These thoughts below of Tara Brach’s reminded me of how a “natural” experience of pain can trigger my very human amygdala fears and resistance. I hope it is useful. Love, Colleen

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