Healthy Living in the Carolinas

Chemo #6 (Nov 21-Dec 5)

Chemo #6 (Nov 21-Dec 5)
On the way to chemo

If you read the chemo #5 post you know I didn’t fair well the day of chemo. This time I was a little scared going in, but I decided to up my water intake…A LOT! I probably drank about 40-50 ounces before chemo even started. Then I continued during chemo. It helped! I wasn’t near as bad as the time before. Praise the Lord!

More water = lots of trips to the potty. Flush twice = it’s that toxic.

This time around I was knocked down for a longer period. Energy zapped. I spent A LOT more time relaxing in bed or on the sofa with my dogs. One thing I have learned from this is: if you don’t use it, you lose it! If you sit around all day and wonder why your legs are sore when you take walks, that’s why!  I’m not saying you can’t get it back, it’s just harder. Stay active !

One thing I keep forgetting to mention are the hot flashes! Holy hell. They come and go and sneak up on me. Thankful for my ceiling fan and remote control for it!  I am sure anyone going through menopause can relate.  If you are a male reading this: imagine it’s 95 degrees out and you just finished mowing the lawn. That feeling of heat comes out of NO WHERE! Not so fun at the grocery store while I feel like doing nothing more than taking ALL my clothing off right then and there. LOL!

After chemo infusions are complete.

Also, the best way describe how I feel the first week after chemo #6 is this (and only momma’s that have had babies will be able to get this analogy): Imagine you have newborn triplets and you can’t seem to get a good night sleep because they are up all night (but I am sleeping well), then mix in a little bit of a common cold with the aches and pains and add in memory loss aka chemo brain.

When my counts are up after the shot I try to get a lot done once I start to feel better. So the past 5-6 days I’ve done a lot preparing for Christmas, etc. These days are exhausting and painful too, but in a much better way.  Prior to chemo I could go, go and go some more and not get tired. I never had a crash some people get (most eating a bad diet!). I NEVER took that for granted. I owe my clean diet to this for sure!

Pirates & Unicorns (my chemo fashion is interesting to say the least)

This past week my husband and I went to Whole Foods and Costco for big hauls (it’s about 30 min from us so I don’t go often). I was so excited! Remember I don’t getting out much.  I left the house early to avoid the crazy crowds at WF.   I only make it to WF 2-3 times a year.  While at Whole Foods a new momma started talking to me about the anti-bac sprays (even while I had my mask on). I’m convinced I have welcoming body language, mask or not!  I told her I don’t get out much because of chemo and she said this was her first trip out since the baby. She also had anxieties of getting sick and just being out and about for the first time without the baby.  She said her sister in law was just diagnosed with lung cancer.  Friends, there are struggles among us that we should look for and pray for.

Killing time while waiting to be detached from the infusions.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own struggles and self pity. I refuse to do this. It does nothing for ME. A sure way to happiness and joy is to do something for someone else! It brightens their day and in turn, brightens yours. Try it if you are feeling down!

Whole Foods went great! I did wear a mask and it got hot and didn’t allow for me to drink enough water. We headed to Costco and it was crowded. We made it about 15 min until I felt overcome with exhausting and dehydration. Never even made it near the food.  My husband bought the few items we had in our cart while I went outside and took my mask off and chugged water.

Don’t take for granted that you have the energy to shop for groceries. It’s a blessing! I look forward to shopping for groceries all the time again and saying hi to my favorite workers! As I returned to the car I was overcome with emotions. Tears started to flow. All I wanted to do was to get food for my family (in bulk). My mind for sure could do it, but my body said “Girl!, get your ass to the car, you’ve done enough!”

A good cry does a body good. My husband reassured me as the tears flowed. I knew it was a silly thing to cry about, but it’s my current normal.  After the cry I felt much better and learned from this that I can’t shop more than a couple hours at a time.  I felt better and better as the days went by. I decided to shop some more, but earlier when crowds were lighter and not wear my mask. Since I got the shot this time my counts should be in the normal range. I have talked to many other Hodgkin’s friends and they don’t always wear a mask. It’s easy to get overheated. With that being said, I won’t get the shot this time most likely so I’ll be laying low inside or wearing a mask if and when I venture out to non crowded places. Lots of hand washing, wipes and anti-bac happened while out!  I had the pleasure of accidentally spraying an all natural peppermint anti-bac in my face. I don’t recommend it!

 

Sign made by my niece, Vanessa!

As I type this I am on day 84 of chemo. I have survived 84 days! I will survive the rest. I am strong. I am determined. I may have gotten CANCER but CANCER didn’t have me.  I am cancer free and I will continue to pray I remain this way.

Hair is almost gone. I keep what is left because it feels normal to the touch to me. Eyelashes and brows still remain.

I am finally over the half way mark if all goes well (and I don’t get sick and have set backs).  My journey to remain cancer free for good is far from over. After chemo I will have multiple PET scans in the first couple of years to see if it has returned or if I remain cancer free.  That will be LOADS of fun and scanxeity I am sure! The risk of it returning greatly lowers after the two year mark.  Many ask how much longer I have of chemo. I try not to think that far out, but I also love a good countdown now that I have reached the half way mark. My last chemo should be Valentine’s Day! Where I will ring the bell. ME! I will ring a cancer chemo bell. Still seems so unreal.

 

Enjoying the warm weather!

 

Here’s a great link to read more about the blood cancer I have/had: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

 

He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:29-31

 

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