Well, Week 4 was better than Week 3, but unfortunately, not a lot better. While I didn't have any hospital stays or strong allergic reactions to the chemo like last week, I still had a somewhat shaky week.
I was telling Annette that I felt at my worst starting point (health wise/feeling) for any week so far. Monday started off fine with just RT and we had a great evening wherein we got a chance to visit with Annette's youngest son, Kelly, have dinner with him and then we were invited to listen to him sing at a rehersal with a big band that he sings with. They are great and he has an amazing voice.
On Tuesday I had RT and regular infusion of chemo (without the research drug.) At the very end of the session I got a little nauseated and upchucked . We went back to the hotel and I went straight to bed where I upchucked all night and couldn't keep down water.
I went in early in the am as I knew I was dehydrated and sure enough my BP was way down (68/48) and they had to give me two bottles of IV saline solution. Had RT and returned to the hotel. Thursday they thought I would need to do the same so I went in early, but my BP had recovered and fortunately I didn't need any IV. Had RT on Thursday and Friday and we returned home early to Fayetteville.
They have given me several more drugs, anti-nausea pills (3x), steroids (2x) to help the appetite (which I have none, nadda, zilch), the worlds most expensive mouthwash for a very sensitive mouth ($595), and one more liquid to help with the swallowing. This has me up to about 30 pills a day now along with the washes, skin creams, and various other stuff. You have to be really diligent to remember to take everything you are supposed to when you are supposed to.
And while I don't want to sound totally in the dumps, I do think that the cumulative affect after 4 weeks of treatment is taking a toll on me both physically and mentally. I am doing my best to maintain a positive attitude and keep my eye on the golden ring, but the mind can work on you and get you down if you let it. I am doing my best not to let that happen but the uphill battle is getting a little steeper each week.
My biggest challenge right now, on an hourly/daily basis, is the lack of appetite. I don't want anything. I haven't had a cup of coffee in a week. I have to force down anything I take in. Nothing tastes good, nothing appeals to me and in fact all food just about makes me nauseous to think about. But I'm trying , and Annette is pushing me as she should.
I sometimes think how fortunate I am to be young, strong, and in otherwise good health (and, oh yeah, good looking) to fight this battle. I can hardly imagine how difficult it is for the elderly or very young children. It makes me want to cry just to think about how difficult it must be for them. Also, I am so fortunate to have the love and support of a good woman who has been right there every step of the way to wipe my brow when I puke, get me anything I need, push me to eat when I don't want to, and generally be my Nurse Nightingale. I'm lousy company now, too, but she puts up with me without bopping me on top of my head like she probably should.
I am laying low this weekend just trying to rest. Our weather is crummy so that makes it easier. I'm watching basketball tournaments and golf so I'm not bored. I am glad there are only two more weeks of treatments. Between the cold sensitivity issues, mouth sores, nausea, fatigue, and generally crummy feeling this thing is starting to not be much fun. I'll get through it with your continued support and prayers and we will look back at it and say "that wasn't so bad and thank God it all turned out well."
Till next week I'll hang in there and you do the same. Dont' forget those prayers, I know I can use all I can get.