Top o’ the morning to you and Happy Monday, friends. I awoke early today as my bedtime was roughly 7 o’clock last night. My schedule is becoming that of an old woman. Nevertheless, as I lay there, awake before the sun had risen, I realized that I have been negligent with regards to my Chemo Video VLOG’s over the last few sessions. I was really priding myself on keeping that up as a means to share how each chemo session went, as well as reveal any new side effects, symptoms or other important updates pertaining to treatment. My failure in doing so has come at the cost of how my chemo has been making me feel since my 9th round (I’ll be going in for round 13 next week). As I have disclosed in previous posts, my energy levels have taken a dive and just about the only thing I feel like doing is sleeping. It’s gotten to the point where I am in too much pain to sit or stand, so sleeping appears to be the best option of escape, along with my pain medication.
With all of that said, let me do a quick re-cap of my most recent chemo treatment and the effects I seem to be having.
- Energy < No Energy
- Small loss of appetite
- Perpetually tired and sleeping ungodly amounts; morning, noon and night
- Full-blown neuropathy in both hands and feet. It has become difficult to type, as I am unable to feel my fingers/hands and has become extremely difficult to walk due to no feeling in my feet. When walking, stumbling and wobbliness occurs and I look like a drunken person.
- Continued low counts for both bone marrow and platelets.
- Unfrequented urination (TMI, I know…)
The above pretty much sums up the more recent symptoms and side effects. As for the neuropathy, the Dr. has prescribed me Cymbalta, which is an anti-depression medication, however it has been known to assist with alleviating the neuropathy. I have been on the medication for about a week and I am not showing any signs of relief, but with most medications, it may take some time to see improvements. On the plus side, it will also help with any form of depression. Two birds, one stone. Additionally on that note, a friend and fellow cancer fighter advised me that her Dr, recommends B6 vitamins to assist with neuropathy. You better believe I’ll be headed for the pharmacy today to purchase some B6 in hopes that it will help. It’s so nice to be able to share tips and tricks with fellow cancer patients!
Second to that, I have continued to receive my bone marrow shots every Monday, following my chemo treatment from the week prior. They still remain low, thus not helping my energy levels. I will be heading to the Dr.’s office in a few hours to get the not-so-lovely shot. A little tip for anyone else who has to receive the Neulasta shot, begin taking Claritin twice daily, 3 days prior to the actual shot, alongside two Aleve with each Claritin. This helps tremendously with the pain and makes it almost bearable for the few days following the shot itself. Highly recommend, in an effort to not feel as though all of your bones are breaking.
Lastly, I contemplated sharing this one as it is a little personal. I’m not one for talking about bathroom related topics, however for the sake of being forthright with all of my symptoms, I have decided to go ahead with it. For anyone who knows me, or has been on a road trip with me, you can attest to the fact that I frequently urinate. I’m one of those girls with a pea-sized bladder that is constantly in need of going. That said, for the last week and a half, my constant necessity for a restroom has been dramatically decreased. So much so that I am now only able to urinate once or twice in a 24-48 hour time frame. I have made my Oncologist aware of this new, strange issue and she immediately wanted me to go to the ER to have scans done, etc. but then changed her mind and wanted me to see a Urologist. First of all, I never knew that “pee” had it’s own specialty Doctor and secondly, this is by far one of the stranger symptoms I have had since being diagnosed. Low and behold, I followed my Dr.’s orders and went to see the Urologist last Thursday. He was able to scan my kidneys to ensure that they are stable, which thankfully, they are and then he sent me home with a worksheet so I can document each and every time I urinate over the course of the weekend. This also includes the measurement in ounces of how much I am urinating each time. I can safely say that it has been an extremely odd experience and I now know that I have urinated less than a handful of times over the weekend. Once again, I’m sorry for the detailed information. So, what’s next you ask? I am seeing the Urologist again today to discuss next steps, whatever that may be and I will keep you posted, even if the subject is slightly mortifying.
All in all, that just about sums it up. I’d love to tell you that I am in high spirits and everything is just dandy, but it depends on the day, the hour, the minute or the second that you ask me. I’m continuing to take it one day at a time over here, as I believe that’s all I can do. I’ll try to get back on track with the VLOG’s after each chemo round. Wish me luck today with my bone marrow shot and my appointment with the Urologist (haha).
Until next time…