I think I have mentioned before that I get real discombobulated (is that a real word? I think it is, yep just googled it, it is...meaning "to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate") when things go against my planned schedule or the way I thought things would happen. Well the past seven days have discombobulated the heck out of me. I have researched and talked to people who have gone through chemo and I thought I was going into this thing with a really good sense of what was going to happen. In my mind, and from what I had heard, you have a chemo treatment and somewhere within the next three to five days you feel like crap. Maybe differing degrees of crap, but overall crap and then it is over until your next treatment. Ummmmmm not the case for me. Once again defying the norm...Go Natalie.
So I got through Hellacious Weekend #1 after my treatment on Friday and then by Tuesday I was feeling good, thinking the storm had passed and I was good until the next treatment. I was told that I needed to get a shot the day after chemo to boost my bone marrow and increase my WBC's (White Blood Cells). That sounded easy enough. So on the Monday following chemo I went back in to get the Neulesta shot got the shot and really didn't think much more about it. They told me it may give me some back pain and/or joint pain but it normally is only bad in older people. So I didn't really worry. Tuesday and Wednesday went well, I was little more tired than normal but still feeling much better in comparison to the weekend so I was A-ok. Then starting Thursday night I was all of a sudden absolutely wiped out again and feeling really weird. Woke up Friday morning feeling really bad dehydrated and just "off", really unexplainable. I already had an appointment Friday morning to go in and get my blood tested to check my levels (I will do this every Friday because it is seven days after my treatment) so I was hoping they could shed some light on this. As I checked in at the desk the receptionist says, "How are you feeling?"
"Not so good, I responded.
"You had your first treatment last week right? What day is today?" she said.
"Seven" I said.
"Oh yeah seven is tough one." she said.
WHAT????? <Insert more discombobulation here> No one ever has mentioned Day Seven being tough, What the heck??? More surprises...great!
Are there more of these special number days I should be warned about???
When I go in to see the Nurse Practitioner she goes over my blood levels. A normal WBC count is somewhere between 4.8-10.4 I am at a 1.4, no wonder I have absolutely NO energy. She explains how the shot they gave me on Monday should increase this count and I should start feeling better, it normally takes five to ten days to kick in. I am only on day four so it should have me back to normal levels by Sunday.
So pretty much just wait it out...great.
I started to get to feeling a little better Friday afternoon and even made it out to happy hour. It's amazing how I can rally for a happy hour when "needed". It was great to go have drinks and feel somewhat normal for a couple hours. I met Robin, Robin, John, Shannon and Jessica at the W. The Departed was having their first show at the new ACL venue and all of them were going. I wish I could have made the show but the two hours of happy hour wore me out enough. I think my late night concert days are going to have to be reserved for the third weekend after chemo. Planning on testing that one out this weekend I will let you know how it goes.
That night I was lucky enough to get a visit from the joint and back pain that "usually is only bad in the older people". The back pain was so bad I thought it was probably similar to labor contractions. I couldn't even lay down in the bed, much less sleep it was a terrible night and an even worse weekend. All weekend I had sharp stabbing pains in my knees, my hips, and my back. I bet that is what arthritis feels like, so painful. I took ibuprofen, vicodin, nothing even touched the pain. I was bed ridden ALL weekend, way worse then the weekend before. But by Sunday evening it had passed, I lived through another storm, Thank you Lord.
So here we are at Wednesday and I have actually felt "normal" today and yesterday. I hope (fingers crossed) I am now past all the ailments until the next treatment Feb 25th. Let's all hope for 10 days of no more discombobulation :)
My next big hurdle is the hair loss. It is supposed to happen around day fourteen so that will be Friday. I have an appointment with Michael, my hairdresser, on Friday to cut the majority of it off so I can donate it. He is also going to play with it and give me some cute "short" do so I have something to look forward to when it starts growing back and I am thinking it may just be time to shave it after that. This part is going to be rough. I will keep you posted.