… or lack thereof.
I told myself I was going to be very honest on this blog. Chemo, steroids, anti nausea medication and stress make you not poop. So, if you are starting chemo, start a miralax/fiber regiment. They will tell you to drink a lot of water (everyone will tell you 100 times) or eat a lot of fiber (like I know) and it won’t help. I chug water and I make spinach smoothies and I try but, no. Miralax does help, slowly but surely. Ok, no more poop talk (for now).
I wasn’t sure what I was going to have to talk about on here since I was feeling soooo good on Monday and Tuesday, and then…. I didn’t feel good.
December 26, 2016. Monday, day after Christmas. It was the first day I woke up without a headache. I didn’t think I was going to have those days. I woke up, made myself an egg and cheese sandwich with ketchup (yum). Before leaving for work I told Kim I was really feeling good and he said, “I know, I can tell, you seem good”. Went to work, got a lot done. I called Kim on my way home. He played golf (FREEZING/crazy) and he was just getting out of the shower. I wanted to stop at Shoprite on the way home, we needed food. I just wanted to see what he wanted at the store but he said he would come, he’s good like that. Got in the car and said, “If you called me 5 minutes later, I would have been on the couch and said no”…..”You didn’t have to come honey, I just wanted to see what you wanted”……”but I like to be near you”. I know when he says that he is joking but it still makes me feel good. We went to Shoprite hungry, you know what that means; cheddar popcorn, oatmeal creme pies, bacon…… mmmm. Went home, ate something a friend brought over (after going grocery shopping, LOL) and relaxed. Today felt “normal”.
December 27, 2016. Tuesday. Woke up feeling good again. I even talked to someone about how this week off after chemo is just going to be a “normal” week for me, cool! Ugh. Anyway, got to work, was training an RD into a new building. The building is 10 stories, I was taking the stairs up and down and up and up and up and down and down and up and down and up. I was trying to get some exercise in because I haven’t been and the NP recommended to do it if I could. I even started to jog (that was like two steps). It was warm that day and I wore boots and at one point was just feeling overheated and nauseous. Called my Aunt Noreen on the way home. Got home and made a spinach, peach, cherry, blueberry smoothie. At around 5:45 pm the girls starting showing up for yoga (Hillary, Rachel, Meg and Kara). We went to this place that is a 3 minute walk from my house. Our friend from HS actually teaches the class. It was a really good class. Yoga is hard. Planks, downward dogs, ugh. I do this thing sometimes where if there is a challenge, I say “If you do this, you will….. marry someone who looks like Marc Consuelos” (you do honey). So, we had to hold a plank for 5 deep breaths, so I said to myself, “If you do this, you will beat cancer”, welp, I DID IT GUYS. Boom. I was a little dizzy by the end of the class and ready for dinner.
I thawed some two pounds of ground meat and asked Kim to just cook it and put the taco seasoning in it. Simple. Well, we come home….. the meat is cooked and there is every topping you could ever want beautifully displayed on the kitchen table; sour cream, taco sauce, corn salsa,refried beans, black beans, spinach, cheese, BACON (HE COOKED BACON). He really is as good as he sounds. All the girls and I sat down and NOSHED HARD. Hard and soft tacos available (Tip:take the soft taco, put the sour cream on it, then sprinkle cheese then wrap it around the hard taco and continue to stuff, you’ll never eat it any other way). The ladies left and I was doing the dishes and started to feel tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiired, like, ouch tired. Made my nightly gatorade and miralax drink and went up to bed. I was complaining how tired I was like a little girl, about 5 years old, ask Kim, it was ugly. Went to sleep, hard….. then 4 am came.
December 28, 2016. Wednesday. 4 am, woke up, throat hurt when I swallowed, head hurt… this doesn’t seem normal. Got up and went to the bathroom. I think I took my temperature at this point:99.4. My baseline is low at 97.7 (good to know your baseline) so I thought it was a little high. I was also feeling hot, turned the heat down and went back to sleep. Woke up around 8 am, temperature:99.6. I was on the couch at this point, not feeling well, chugging water. I was taking my temperature every half hour at this point:99.6, 99.8, 100.2. No. The doctor said to call when my temperature hit 100.4 however it was creeping up quickly and since my baseline is lower than usual I was starting to get nervous. The NP said not to take tylenol without taking your temperature first and you don’t want the tylenol to mask whatever is really going on. I called and they said the nurse would call me back. I kept taking my temperature every 15 minutes and it was wavering but never went over 100.2. I was feeling a little nauseous but felt like there was post nasal drip happening. Eventually got sick but it was just phlegm (ew, that’s how you spell that, so it’s not flem?). My nose was also bleeding a little but not heavily and it was just from the inside of my nostril, I didn’t use the humidifier last night. Yup, this is life. I went back to bed around 10 am right when the nurse called. I explained what was going on and she said it is ok and it is most likely not related to my blood count (I think they look for low platelets and WBC). She said it is ok if I take tylenol and just monitor my temperature. If it continues to go up we will need to check my blood. This made me feel much better. I of course had all the thoughts of, “oh no, hospital, IV fluids, antibiotics, I won’t be able to poop even more, missing work”, the usual thoughts. Took 1 tylenol and passed out until 12:30 pm. Slept on and off throughout the day.
Kim went to get his new drivers license, after making me chicken noodle soup. He called me on the way home, “chicken caesar salad for dinner? Let’s crack open that George Foreman!”. We got a George Foreman about a month ago and still haven’t opened it. He didn’t expect me to open it or get it ready so I got to out of bed, took it out of the box and got it all set up. Kim is doing everything. Cleaning, laundry, taking care of me. The days that I am down I really start to feel guilty. People say, “don’t worry, you can’t help it”, but I do worry. Also, this means after this is all done I am really going to have to be a GREAT girlfriend/wife for the REST OF OUR LIVES, UGH, I am already exhausted. Lol. Sometimes I say we need to get a wife. I really don’t like to clean, do laundry, pick up his socks and really hate picking up my own. Yup, I am the man in the relationship. I don’t close the drawers, I throw my dirty laundry next to the basket instead of in it and “let’s play a game; how many pairs of shoes can Caitlin leave in the family room?”- end quote, Kim. Yup, this is me. I do like to cook, go grocery shopping and pay for dinner? Balance y’all. Kim made a delicious chicken caesar salad then made chocolate cake in a mug, IT WAS AMAZING. Around 7 pm it was time for me to get back in bed. I had a bit of a headache, took some tylenol and ativan. I was up until about 11:30 pm, why!? Finally fell asleep.
December 29, 2016. Thursday. Woke up. Shower time. My scalp is so dry. Ladies, you know that feeling when you have your hair in ponytail for a really long time and let it down and your scalp feels stiff? IT FEELS LIKE THAT EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME. I think it is dry and preparing to fall out? I don’t know. I keep scratching it and Kim tells me to shower. I am not scratching because I am dirty, I shower (not as often as he would like, but that’s like twice a day, or everyday. I am clean). It makes me look forward to having no hair so I can just moisturize the heck out of my bald head. Mmmmm. Went to work. Brought two pieces of ice in a plastic bag to ice my nose. Why you ask? Oh, just because I have a growth on the left tip of my nose. It’s like an ingrown pimple. You ever get those? It’s like on the inside of my nose but making my nose swollen and red, I am like Rudolph. It is so sore. So I iced it on the way to work then put some powder on it. Woof. I did not put any mascara on because I have a small stye on my left eye (hi, bye, lie, tie). I guess I could have, I just don’t give a sh*t. Went to work, felt very, very tired. Pushed through. Around 1 pm had a coke. Coffee isn’t going down. I know coke is bad for you and it’s sugar and it probably causes cancer, but it cures life. My headache went away and I pushed through for a few more hours of work. I think I am getting my period soon from the shot. I am not due for a while but I am more emotional like that time of the month and, hello, this pimple growth.
I started crying on the way home. When I think about going back to chemo, it hurts my soul. It makes me nauseous. It makes me want to cry. I don’t want to go back. Why would you want to go back somewhere to sit and have something pumped in your body that makes you feel tired, nauseous, hungry, not sleepy, then sleepy, not feel like yourself, like someone has taken over your body? YOU DON’T WANT TO. You want to stay home under your covers and pretend that it isn’t happening. I called mom thinking I would stop crying but it just came harder. I got into that ugly cry. I hate doing that with her because then she starts to cry and she makes me want to cry more. She said she wishes she could take it for me. I giggled because she already did it! Moms are the best. I just cried heavily saying I don’t want to go back, I don’t want to be tired anymore, I just don’t want to. She said “I know honey, but you will get through this and it will be okay”, sobbing as well. It’s just sad. She went out to dinner with one of her girlfriends (thank you), “Meg knows Dr. Norton, she said he is the best in the world”. I know he is and I am very thankful for that. I don’t doubt that I am going to be ok. I don’t doubt that I will make it through this. I just, I am just tired of it already. People are praising me for being positive and strong and I think most days I am. Today, I was weak. Today, I was emotional. Today, I didn’t want to have cancer anymore. Today, and right now, as I write this, I just want to cry. It’s ok. It’s going to be ok. As Aunt Allison said, “Ya know this really sucks, it all sucks, but the hardest part is that everyday you still have cancer. No matter if you’re having a great day or not, you are still going through this and you just can’t forget it”. She is exactly right. No matter if I get everything checked off on my list at work, if Kim and I have a great dinner, if I feel like a million bucks, right now I have cancer and am going through chemo and my body isn’t my own, it is married to Sloan Kettering. I can’t wait for the divorce.
Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow I will wake up and make myself smile. Tomorrow I will try to forget for a little bit that I have cancer because other than this fucking cancer, my life is pretty fucking amazing.