11:06pm. May 6th 2014. Watching Star Wars.
How I’m feeling: Tired. While I woke up from a nap a couple of hours ago, I’m still pretty tired but what’s keeping me energized enough to write this post is some adrenaline and some happy 🙂 I’ll have to head straight to bed after I publish this one, though.
I’m starting to feel my chemotherapy side effects accumulate and get stronger and stronger these days. Between chemotherapy sessions #1 and #2, I had a week of feeling like crap, a week of feeling better and then a week of feeling close to perfect (There are 21 days between my sessions). Between chemotherapy #2 and #3, I had a similar schedule but the weakness intensified and I needed more breaks/naps. I also started feeling “chemo-brain” for the first time.
It’s been a week and a day since the treatment #3 and I’m still feeling quite weak. It’s a little frustrating – but I was told that the side effects accumulate with each treatment. And so, while I’m not completely surprised – I’m just having a tough time accepting it.
With this past treatment, my fingers and hands have become numb and tingly and I’m noticing more changes with my skin and nails. Every day I seem to learn something new about my limits and tolerances. Today, I learned a few more of ’em.
I had an AMAZING day today. I got to spend time with a couple of friends and made a new one 🙂 We went for lunch at Fresh (I can eat everything there with my new diet!), swung by to say a quick hello to friends at Playground, checked out an incredible art exhibit and re-lived our childhood by snacking on jamaican patties with cocobread.
After eating lunch and people watching on the Fresh patio, I noticed some pink spots on my face. While my daily moisturizer has some sunscreen in it, it may have not been enough. While I have been noticing a bunch of changes with my face and body skin – but this was a first. My skin had always been really low maintenance. I had buttery soft skin and would always get awesome and even tans. I would bask in the sun and never get burned.
I’m really starting to miss my no-fuss, golden skin I had just 3 months ago. I miss the no-fuss, low maintenence me.
Now with these changes, I know to be better prepared with sunscreen and maybe a hat when I know I’m going to be outdoors even if it’s for a hour. Also, to carry around sliced lemons and a water bottle with me. The metallic-y and chemical-like taste I have in my mouth can be really distracting and I find that lemon water helps cut it.
I also learned that while I was only out for a few hours and we barely did any walking, it was enough to use up all of the energy I had for the day. As soon as I got home, I passed out hard for a few hours. I was so exhausted. I’m learning to only schedule one thing a day now that I know that I only have so much energy to spare per day before I start to become uncomfortable.
As a really high energy and active person, getting winded from doing practically nothing has been really difficult to cope with. I used to be able to walk from King and Bay to Yonge and Eglinton (About 6 km) every single day after a long day at work and still have the energy to go for a jog or hang out with friends and family. What I try to keep reminding myself is that there is never a moment of the day when I’m “doing nothing”. My body is working it’s ass off trying to fight off this cancer. It’s constantly trying to figure out what to do with all of the meds flowing through my system. And other parts of my body are picking up the slack for those that are compromised from chemotherapy. That does sound pretty exhausting, doesn’t it?
I had brought up the frustration I’ve been having with my lack of energy and feeling like I don’t have time to do anything to my best friend the other day and she had brought up a good point: Now that I know that I only have a limited amount of energy to use up per day, it’s an opportunity for me to become really selective with what I spend my time doing and who to spend my time with. If there is only 1 thing per day I can do comfortably, it better damn well be something worth it 🙂
While I may not be able to do as much and my energy levels and side effects are really unpredictable, I’ve always found the most joy from the simplest of things.
Here are some photos from my incredible day: