Chemo: The Rest of Session One, with pictures
Briefly, my chemo treatments will be in four doses, called infusions, administered three weeks apart. The first was on June 28 (followed by July 19, August 9 and 30.) My last blog post was about the first 10 days of session one. I have now completed the full 21 days.
As predicted, my energy level hit its lowest point on days 10-12. I had experienced some soreness in my mouth, which I treated with salt water. That lasted about nine days, ending on day 14. There was some irregularity which I treated with either Imodium or Dulcolax, whichever was appropriate.
The bouts of Atrial Fibrillation I talked about in the last post quit on day 12 and my energy level began to rise. At physical therapy on day 13 my therapist told me my range of motion was good enough that she would encourage me to go back to Curves for strengthening exercises. That felt like being given a prescription to “RESUME LIFE.” I went the next morning and it felt so good. I only did one round on all the machines and had no problems with any of them. I repeated that again on day 17.
On day 14 I had an appointment at Just Like A Woman to pick up my “New Boobs” and be fitted for a bra, which has pockets to hold them. For whatever it is worth, I had decided to go down in size, although I can be any size I want to be. The hard part was finding a bra that didn’t cut too tightly into my armpits. Since my insurance company will pay for two sets of forms every two years, and three bras a year, I got two sets of forms, one being the sports type that I can use in the pool, etc. I went home with one bra and one on order. I can’t explain how much better and “normal” I feel while wearing them.
Also, on day 14, my hair started coming out as I was washing it. This continued to happen each day, and more cane out when I combed it. I knew then that I would not make it to the family wedding on day 18 with my own hair, so I made an appointment with my hairdresser, Pam, to have it buzzed off (not shaved as that runs the risk of ingrown hairs.)
Paul’s sister and brother-in-law were in town for the wedding on Saturday. Mary offered to go with me when I got my hair cut, which was very sweet and much appreciated. We turned it into a fun event. Pam suggested a Mohawk before it was all gone. She spiked it up and put green streaks in it for a picture. A friend later said I looked like “Every middle-school kid’s dream teacher.” My new wig was deemed good to go and my new scarves looked good, so I left a happy person, ready for my evening debut at that evening’s Condo Happy Hour and the wedding the next night. What could have been an emotional “downer” wasn’t!!!!!
My energy level continued to be good right up to my second cycle infusion. I did have to pay attention to how many things I tried to do in one day, and budget my energy with some rest periods along the way.
All in all, I have been exceedingly pleased with how the whole session/cycle one has gone. I fully realize that all this will be somewhat accumulative and that each of the next three cycles may have more symptoms develop.
My second session was July 19, and everything went smoothly. I even went to Curves the next morning, but have to admit to more fatigue. The Physician’s Assistant I saw reviewed how everything had gone the first three weeks, which was normal, and we discussed more possible side effects that could come on after this session; none too daunting. Mainly the pattern will repeat, and I have kept good notes.
My motto is still “No Regrets,” which is also my favorite aria sung here by Edith Piaf in English. A neighbor found this other version which you won’t want to miss.
https://youtu.be/qxYpQ-jMe44 (embedded below)
My next post will be after session 2, around August 9.
Grace and Paul Pitzer
We hope you will keep checking back regularly to see what is new. I'm always out and about with some camera and love to stretch my skills and add to my volume of work.
Motto: "Pack light and take lots of pictures."