I spent all morning trying to decide if I should post this or not. It’s always hard to post the “not happy” blog entries and I’m really not looking for sympathy, but I decided to write this because you’re all part of my journey now. Also, I truly hope this might help someone else who is currently going through chemo. Many of you have been supporting me since the beginning and deserve to know what’s going on whether it’s the good, the bad, or the ugly. This one probably falls in the ugly category…
I woke up Monday morning feeling stressed and anxious about my upcoming chemo treatment. Anxiety isn’t something I’ve ever dealt with before and to be honest, I just don’t know how to cope with those emotions. I tried to take my mind off of my upcoming chemo treatment by enjoying my morning coffee outside while Chloe ran around the yard. I also give myself pep talks before every treatment. “It’s going to be ok, you’re almost done, you’ve made it through 7 of these already and you can do this.” Still, I spent the next 2 hours crying and I couldn’t stop. The tears just kept coming. That’s when I turned to all of you for some help and I must say, you all really know how to cheer a girl up. Thank you to everyone who shared their favorite motivational quotes with me! I even saved a bunch on my phone in case I need them for my next treatment.
I managed to pull myself together when my mom got home and we started the long car ride to the hospital. We got there and after hearing that my oncologist was already running about an hour behind schedule, my mom convinced me to get outside and try to walk off some of my anxiety. After we had a good walk, I realized I was really thirsty since I only had coffee to drink and probably cried out most of my fluids that morning. I bought a water and a gatorade from the hospital cafe and immediately chugged the water. I got about 4-5 sips into my gatorade when I started to feel really sick. It was the anticipatory nausea making an appearance. I can usually hold it together, but this time I just couldn’t. Minutes before being called in for chemo, I got sick. They rushed me into my chemo room and hooked up my IV. The nurses always flush my IV with saline and it has a distinct “taste,” or smell as they say. I immediately got sick again when they did this and all I could think was, “Really? I’m getting sick BEFORE I even get chemo?” What I wasn’t thinking was that I now had no more fluid in me. All the water I just made myself drink was out of my system, just like that. Chemo is really dehydrating by itself and I was already way behind the curve with my fluid intake for the day. I didn’t eat or drink anything for the rest of the night after treatment.
Tuesday I woke up with a killer migraine. Every time I’d wake up from a nap, I would take a couple of ibuprofen and try to go back to sleep. It helped a little, but I was so uncomfortable and felt so bad. I got through the day, but when I woke up Wednesday, the pain was unmanageable. I’ve had migraines before, but this was by far the worst one I’ve ever had and the ibuprofen wasn’t helping at all. My mom got on the phone with my doctors and they quickly came to the conclusion that I was severely dehydrated. They said I needed to get IV therapy and they wanted me to do it that night. The problem was, I live so far away from the hospital that I wouldn’t get there in time for them to treat me before they closed. The other option I had was to go to the ER, but I already know they take hours to treat non-life threatening issues and I felt so miserable that I just wasn’t up to it. I promised my mom I would drink a lot so I could get out of going to the ER. I can’t even tell you how much I drank that night, but I always had a full glass next to my bed thanks to my amazing mom and, as promised, it would never last long. We were sure that this would help, but when I woke up on Thursday, I was in so much pain once again. I knew then that I couldn’t fix this on my own so I finally caved in and went to get IV fluids. They gave me two bags of fluid and I was finally able to think clearly again. I’m still dealing with a mild headache that’s been pretty constant since, but it’s so much more manageable than the migraines I had the past few days.
Every chemo treatment has been so different than the last and each time a new curve ball gets thrown my way. I’ll do a few things differently for my next treatment. I’m going to make sure I drink plenty of water the day before and morning of my treatment and I’ll probably also go in for IV therapy the next day as a preventative measure.
I know this is already a really long post, but I have to say one more thing. I checked my inbox today and saw messages from complete strangers who were asking if I was ok since I had not yet posted my countdown picture. It’s so incredible to me that people I don’t even know are following my story so closely that they can tell when something is wrong. I can feel the love and I appreciate all of you.