I guess I could just end with the title of this post. But perhaps I should elaborate on why I feel bad (I don't think I need to explain why chemo sucks--the idea of poison coursing through my cells and blood stream killing off the good with the bad is freaky enough without all the side effects).
*I am still nauseous/queasy and also a bit dizzy
Let me explain further. The nurse navigator that we met with the week before chemo, lets call her Nurse Sally Sunshine, made it seem as if I would have ZERO nausea--that the anti-nausea medication that they have now is so good and there have been so many advances that I should just not have a problem with nausea at all.
Well, maybe I'm an outlier (OK, I KNOW I'm an outlier) but I am having nausea. Not enough that I'm dry heaving in a crumpled heap with Julia Roberts holding my head while I wretch into a metal bin (if you've seen the film Dying Young then you know what I'm talking about), but enough that I don't feel good--I don't have much of an appetite and my stomach is constantly queasy.
I have a call out to another nurse (this one I like very much--Delma) and I have an appointment with Triangle Acupuncture next week--I have high hopes for the acupuncture--several people have recommended it as a way to help with the side effects of chemo (it helped one of my uncles). I just with Blue Cross/Blue Shield would get with the program and help cover alternative therapies (they don't, so it's all out of pocket).
*I'm not eating.
OK, this isn't technically true--I am eating--or rather constantly nibbling in an effort to hold the nausea at bay. But I'm not really eating big meals, and I'm doing just small nibbles. And it's sad--because I LOVE TO EAT. Or rather, I love food. I still do--and this is one of the saddest consequences of the chemo--having my taste buds change and not having an appetite. I've lost 5 lbs in 5 days, which I know isn't great--this is why I'm hoping the nurse will call back and/or acupuncture will work. If anyone reading this has recommendations on things to eat and how to deal with the change in taste buds and nausea, I'm all ears/eyes.
So if you know me, you know I'm a high energy kind of person. But I have to say that since chemo started, I've been much more tired--first it was at 25% below capacity, but I'd say that today (and yesterday) it's more like 50%. The mornings are better than the afternoons--and I'm usually asleep by 9pm or 10pm. I have been able to do a mile of walking in the mornings--and that seems to help with the nausea, interestingly enough. But I'd say by about 2pm I am in need of a nap, and more to the point, the energy it takes to do just a single thing feels sapping. And I'm someone used to multi-tasking, so this is a new reality for me.
There are a few more symptoms I'm having -- like some muscle/joint aches, some intermittent stomach cramping, a bit of a headache -- that aren't helpful but aren't completely constant or that feel debilitating like these other symptoms do. When Nurse Sunshine descried the side effects, she really low-balled it--she talked about how women on chemo still work and they are still Mom's who take their kids to the park and to the movie theaters and that the life I had before chemo and things I did before chemo will be things I can do while I'm on chemo.
Well you know what? She lied!
Because I cannot possibly think about walking 18 holes of golf while carrying my clubs in this heat while on chemo. And I have no desire to go to any restaurants or eat or, or to even cook, because I can't trust my cooking with my taste buds changed. And while I do recognize that there are people who are forced due to economic circumstances to work 9-5 jobs while on chemo, it should not be something that is encouraged because I AM REALLY EXHAUSTED AND FEEL SLIGHTLY NAUSEOUS 24/7. And this is the last thing anyone needs--to be working and feeling this way.
[takes deep breath -- rant against Nurse Sunshine over]
OK, sorry for the ranting/whining. I guess it's to be expected--I mean, lets face it, I'm no saintly patient person--I am a loud and opinionated woman. And I guess it's good to know that even when I'm feeling like crap (and OH YES, I FEEL LIKE CRAP) I can still be me (is that a silver lining kind of moment or is that just me recognizing that chemo or no chemo, cancer or no cancer, I'm going to keep being the person I am?).