I've finally figured out the secret to getting through chemotherapy with minimal suffering, and it is doing exactly what my body tells me to do. The most frequent commands issued by my body, to my body are "Lay down!" and "Zip it!" (Moving and talking are the two most taxing of tasks.) Therefore, I have done more body listening this time around, and I am definitely suffering less. I certainly don't feel good, and to say that I feel "better than last time" would be silly because I'm not trying to do as much as last time, but I am pleased to have a discomfort management strategy. Although it is odd and difficult to be this self-indulgent with everyone around me working so hard to feed me, play with my kids, etc.
For a woman who has generated nearly 30 blog posts in less than two months, it is curious that I am at a loss for words when it comes to describing how my body feels right now. It is the most fair and common question that I get from loved ones, and although I have proven to be inept at answering it thus far, I will try again here. I hurt, but no where in particular and not in an acute sense. Food and beverages taste metallic, not that I feel like eating or drinking. I'm constantly what I will call nauseous, although it's a different kind of nausea than when I was pregnant. Pregnant nausea was acute, and chemotherapy nausea is not acute. Just a constant crummy feeling in the gut. And then there's the fatigue, which I've emphasized numerous times and is indeed ridiculous. My bones are full of quarters (Vegas, anyone?). The timeline is the other important factor to realize, which is the longevity of this pile of symptoms: the ramp-up of the symptoms between hard chemo and the weekend, max symptoms through the weekend and today, and I'm hoping to get some relief tomorrow but possibly not. In short, my body is just plain pissed about what was injected on hard chemo day, and it is letting me know.
So what brings relief, in addition to laying down and shutting up? Hot showers, a heating pad placed on my tummy, back or foot rubs, hot tea, hugs, and sometimes escapist fiction (as suggested by Valentine weeks ago).
And now I am spent. Naptime, round 1 of 2 today.