It occurred to me that it might be helpful to those who (unfortunately yet inevitably) go through chemo after to me to document my reactions and side effects. Everyone reacts to chemo differently so what happens to me might not necessarily happen to you but at least I’m putting it out there. I think doctors want to be honest but will downplay things to keep you calm and positive, as well they should. But I worry less when I have knowledge and understanding.
I got my first chemo infusion on Wednesday, Oct. 15. I was very tired by the end of the day but that’s probably due to stress, anxiety, crying and anti-anxiety drugs they gave me. The next day, Thursday, I still felt fine. On Friday, I started to feel a bit yucky and it turns out I was coming down with a cold (given to me by my son, I was probably already infected before I started chemo) and got a sore throat. By the end of the night I was pretty tired. I lost my appetite, although food didn’t make me sick. I was able to eat small amounts but nothing tasted very good to me. I heard that chemo can give you a metallic taste in your mouth. For me, it was sour.
On Saturday, I was so tired I could barely move. Each day I was able to get myself outside for a walk but couldn’t do much else. I was a bit irritable and lacked focus. I started to feel really fuzzy in the head and I’m told that this is called, “chemo brain.” I took naps but woke up just as tired and fuzzy. I still lacked an appetite and had the sour taste in my mouth. I also had a full fledged cold at this point. Sunday was more of the same.
On Monday, things began to turn around. In the morning I was still exhausted but I was also hungry. I tried to rest for most of the day and after an afternoon nap I felt refreshed. I went to a sing along with my son and husband and to the grocery store for shopping, which I thought was a pretty big deal. I still wasn’t hungry for much but could feel that I was getting hungry, meaning nothing sounded good to me but had hunger pangs.
On Tuesday I felt close to normal. I woke up feeling refreshed and was able to go about my normal routine. I began eating more normal food again although my appetite still has not quite returned to what it was.
My cold is still lingering a bit but nothing that’s awful or uncomfortable. I managed to completely avoid any nausea, which, in my opinion, is the best I could hope for. Some other reactions that I noticed is that my face and neck broke out pretty badly and still is. It seems my skin does not like chemo very much. I guess I’m going to look like a teenager for the next few months. Again, I’ll take that over nausea and vomiting.
So, that is everything I went through this week. Uncomfortable, yucky but manageable.