|No Spring Chicken #32|
This is going to sound like a litany of complaints, but it isn't really. It is a warning to anyone else going through chemo of some of the things to watch out for.
My treatments were on Tuesday and Wednesday this time around. They would give me pills for various things in the morning before the infusions started, then I had prescriptons to take at home. Wednesday evening, Thursday morning and evening and Friday morning I had certain pills to take. Also, from Wednesday evening on I have other pills I can take, one for nausea and vomiting, the other for anxiety, nausea and vomiting. From past experience I've found that the combinations of pills can give me the hiccoughs, so I've also got medicine for that. Wednesday evening I came home and took the first four, but not the last one, for hiccoughs. Within 5 minutes I had the hiccoughs, so I took a pill and they didn't go away for 4 hours. So I'm taking the hiccough medicine with the rest of the pills every time! That is warning #1. OK, technically that should be two. Warning #1 should have been that if I didn't take the nausea medicine morning and evening for 7 days I would not be feeling well or sleeping well at all.
Warning #3 should be that these combinations of medicines cause constipation. Normally I'm right on the other end of the spectrum, so I don't usually have to deal with constipation. Another new experience I could have lived quite well without.
Warning #4 - things won't taste the same. Thank God chocolate still tastes good. Your milage may vary, however. Last week for chorus Janet made Viking Cookies with white chocolate and other goodies in them. Well, I am lactose intollerant these days (the joys of growing older), so I have to take a pill before eating any of these cookies. But since she made more Tuesday evening than she needed to send to the chorus (3 dozen), I took a pill and ate six of them. Oh, were they good! That was Tuesday before the other medications and before the chemo really took effect. Thursday night I was having trouble sleeping, so I went down to the kitchen for my sleeping comfort food - hot chocolate and toast. Ooh! I thought. Why not have some more of those delicious cookies, instead of toast? Guess what? They didn't taste the same. Not bad, but just kind of blah. Some of the best cookies ever and they were just blah. Now that is a crying shame. Especially since my Cookie Monster cookie jar is full of the damn things. But they taste like flour and water to me - blah. Sigh.
Warning #5 - you will be tired. Everything wears me out. Friday I got on my ergometer to begin tracking my conditioning to get ready for rowing this year. Now, I know I can row 15 strokes under a 1:30 split time for 500 meters of rowing. Only 15-20, but I can do those because I do it now and again just to make sure. Before my first chemo in 2010 I did a 1:37 500 meters on the erg. To put it in perspective, that would get you second boat at a lot of major colleges. So my "full power" is 1:30. But I know I can't do that for long. After the first chemo in 2010-2011 I never got back below 1:50 for 500 meters. Age and conditioning. I could still row just as hard (under 1:30), but couldn't maintain that for any reasonable time. So, I tried to do half speed (3:00 split time) for 500 meters. It was easy enough I went for 1000 meters. That wore me out, but I got the entire 1000 meters in. Today I tried 75% power - 2:15 slit time for 1000 meters. Nope. I got 590 meters before I just gave out. OK, lots of conditioning to do. I knew that. I just thought I'd be a little better than that.
Warning #6 - sleeping. It won't be normal for a while. Some nights I sleep right through. Some nights I can't sleep until the wee hours of the morning (2:30 two mornings in the last week), some nights acid reflux sets in and I have to sleep sitting up (even taking my nexium for AR). Sigh. No normal sleep rhythms.
I'm looking forward to this week. I've got a new toy coming in the mail tomorrow. It is a mini-table saw that I can use to cut stands for my armies and ships used in wargames. We used to use cardboard, but being thin it tended to overlap when you pushed units up next to each other. Using basswood in 1/8" or 3/16" thickness this doesn't happen, and it makes the figures easier to pick up by the stand, instead of the figures (which are sometimes delicate). Imagine how sturdy the spear on a 15mm tall figure of a 6' tall man is. So I'll be cutting a bunch of stands for my use, as well as some for my brother's use with his ships and figures. The other part of this week is that I'm going to see Jeff. Down on the train Thursday and back on the train Monday next week. We'll test some of our rules, play some games with Tish (sister) and Ken (her husband) on Saturday and have a Superbowl/Birthday party on Sunday. His birthday is actually the 29th, but we'll celebrate on Sunday because we can have a bigger party that way.
Today was beautiful. Sunny, calm. The perfect day for taking a plane out to fly. Especially an RC plane. I've got 8 ready to go, but like I said, everything wears you out after chemo. So I stayed home and watched a really bad old western. It was so bad I won't even tell you what it was like. But if you see a movie called Apache Blood, run! Don't watch it. Now the pro-bowl is on, but Janet is watching a Father Brown mystery. So when I finish this I'm going upstairs (which will wear me out) and watching the probowl. Football season isn't over until after next weekend, so I need my fix!