The light is at the end of the tunnel for this round of chemotherapy. That means it's basically over, so I'm going to count it as "done". I've already done two of my six hard chemotherapies. Can you believe it? I can't. It's not that it's gone quickly by any means. It's more to do with the fact that I spent the first few weeks in such a state of disbelief that it's kinda like I'm only now in a state of acceptance, which allows me to feel like I've started chemotherapy rather than being dragged along by cancer.
Started! I've more than started! One third of my hard chemos are behind me! One third! That's the ideal size for a slice of homemade fruit pie! It's practically half! I'll be done before I know it at this rate. <imagine me doing a silly bopping song-and-dance here>
I'm sure that you're all dying to know how my gut control arsenal worked. You'll be please to know that it worked quite well, most of the time. On Tuesday the guts forced me to take things to the next level and implement a strict BRATY diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, yogurt). And I do mean strict. Any deviation from this caused the guts to instantly lash out, from either direction at whim. Apple juice, gatorade, and the BRATYs kept my body hydrated and in only moderate discomfort.
One consequence of this diet is that I woke up hungry in the middle of the night last night. Let me rephrase that--my hunger woke me up last night. Today, therefore, I am slowly trying to branch out from the BRATYs in the hope of giving my guts a bit more material with which to stay busy. However, I feel like my nauseous, naughty stomach has been in "time-out", and it is only going to regain its privileges if it shows good behavior. "You want some muffin? Well, I'm only going to give you one bite of muffin, and if you act up again you will not receive any more muffin. Is that clear? (10 minutes later) Good job! You can have one more bite of muffin." For the record, my stomach has earned not quite a whole muffin today. It has been the most delicious muffin I've ever had.
Reading between the lines, you might have inferred that my nausea was not completely controlled, and you are correct. I did a better job of taking my anti-nausea pill this time (ondansetron), but it gave me ugly headaches. Turns out I prefer to be nauseous than to have a headache, and so I discontinued the pill. (I have previously called these types of choices side-effect roulette.) I discussed anti-nausea dissatisfaction with Dr. Oncologist today, making it clear that she knows I'm not throwing up but I'm also not quite able to eat. Said another way, I'm not asking for a prescription and am happy to keep trying my non-medicinal approaches to nausea. She does, however, have a different anti-nausea drug that she will prescribe for next time, and I am hopeful that that will help me turn an even sharper corner.
One powerful anti-nausea that deserves more attention are my foot fairies. I have at least three people who are quite skilled at foot rubs, and they employ knowledge of pressure points on the feet to relieve my discomfort. A foot fairy has rubbed my feet every night this week as I am falling asleep. One foot fairy pushes on a particular spot in the middle of my foot, causing my nausea to explode into tiny pink stars and float away from my belly. I am very fortunate to have foot fairies.
My energy level is weak but strong, if you know what I mean. I'm quite weak, but I'm also quite strong. I need lots of naps but I have energy for laughing. This might not make sense, but it's how things work right now. Soon the need for napping will dissipate, freeing up more energy for laughing.
I also want to report that our first housecleaning is scheduled for next week! We are so excited about this. Our friends S&T signed us up for free housecleanings through Cleaning for a Reason, a service that provides four free housecleanings to cancer patients. We are so grateful to have this service. We plan to use the fundraising money to continue the service past the four free cleanings. Because even after I've recovered, I might never again be well enough to vacuum.
Have a great weekend everyone!