Days 5, 6, and 7
Day 5 is pretty much the most miserable day of the cycle, with day 4 being a close second. I did get out to walk a couple of times, but mostly, I felt hungover all the time. Facebook also reminded me that on November 19, 2014 I had my first cancer surgery. It reminded me this with a picture of a very bald and pale me – looking rather unhealthy! I chose not to share the photo this time, as it is a member I no longer want to be reminded of.
On Monday (day 6), I realized that the feeling I was having was a form of queasiness more than anything else. I was have the occasional bone twinge, but mostly, it was that feeling of yuckiness. I asked for more zofran (ondansetron) which works a whole lot better for me that the other stuff they gave me. Unfortunately, I missed the phone call back, so it wasn’t until late in the evening on Monday that I got my hands on some. I chose not to take it at bedtime as I knew that I didn’t need it to sleep. They were really concerned about giving it to me because it can cause constipation. Fortunately, I know how to manage that in my body, and it is much easier to manage than the constant queasiness.
This morning (day 7) I woke up a little queasy and took a zofran. I am amazed at how much better I felt all day. It is wearing off as I write this, but that is OK, as I’m winding down for the evening anyways. If I’m queasy when I get up tomorrow morning, I’ll take another one along with the requisite anti constipation stuff (restoralax) which is pretty much the same stuff you take when doing a prep for a colonoscopy.
Other than queasiness one of there annoying side effects is super dry finger tips and heals. It is like getting constant hang nails, but also that my finger tips get so dry that the skin cracks open. Fortunately, for small cuts like that, crazyglue is amazing. I’ve also bought some silicone finger covers which are good for putting cream on my fingertips before bed and holding it in but also good for flossing my teeth and doing some other chores while avoiding unnecessary pain. Even typing! I did have to add additional fingerprints to my laptop so that I can login with a something other than my index finger. For the most part, my finger nails are doing well. When I did Paclitaxol, my finger nails were heavily damages, so I’m glad to not have that damage now.
My heels feel similar to how they do in the summertime when I wear sandals too often. They are dry and hard and cracking. Putting vaseline on them sometimes hurts – as the cracks are getting deep. I bought a new pumice stone for the bath to hopefully help remove some of the harder stuff. I’ve also found my “heal socks” which are socks that just cover the heal and have a gel pad over the heel. I can then slather the heels with a thick cream and wear those overnight and it really helps to soften them up.
The final side effect that I’m starting to deal with – started a tiny big yesterday but is much more obvious today is tongue sores. I think it is funny that they are called mouth sores, when really, at least for me, they happen on my tongue. It makes it more difficult to move food around in my mouth and to clean food out of my mouth. I rinse my mouth and am surprised by just how many little bits of food was still in there. I have some “magic mouthwash” which helps with the pain. It is mostly a nystatin (for thrush) and lidocaine for numbing. I rinse with it and the my whole mouth and lips go numb. When my mouth is like this, my taste buds are off – nothing tastes quite right. I’m also more sensitive to acidic foods. I will likely be enjoying mostly smoothies and soft food tomorrow.
Energy wise, I’m doing create today. Got out for a nice hour long walk with a friend, as well as laps of the community with Cali a couple of times. Walking is so important, especially when the sun is shining – even when it is cold outside.
I still have hair on my head but its days are numbered. For the last couple of days, I’ve been waking up to a sore scalp. I find that I need to massage it in the morning to help resolve the soreness. This evenings shower, I found the telltale little hairs all over me when I tried to dry off (had to get Scott to replace my towels and dry off again). Until the hair is gone, it is important that I use a different towel to dry my hair than my body – otherwise, I’ll end up itchy with tiny hairs all over me!
My schedule tells me that I’m entering my white blood cell count low. Over the next few days, my cell counts will tank before they start to recover before the next cycle. Hopefully that won’t slow me down too much. If it is sunny out, I like to be out doing things, and I volunteered to do some additional drywall repair for the community – in addition to trying to spend at least a little time each day working on something in our how to help make it more complete and organized. Yesterday I built the lower half of the front hall closet so we now have a few baskets to put mitts and hats in, as well as more space for hanging jackets. Today I installed a couple of our new blinds. I have two more that I can install, likely tomorrow, and the final one will need to wait until I finish painting the trim in the back bathroom.