Day 9, cycle 1. Apparently things will start to improve this week, so while hopeful, I’m not holding my breath, having learned my lesson on misplaced optimism. Two days ago, I had a check-up with my oncologist and learned that my chemo cocktail delivers a double whammy of bone pain — lucky me! However, I did get permission to add Advil to my Extra Strength Tylenol, and it seems to be delivering some relief. The troops of gremlins with hammers inside my bones have taken a few lunch breaks, so I’m grateful.
After my first surgery, I learned the hard way about “getting ahead of the pain,” something I didn’t really understand before then. Getting ahead of the pain in that context meant staying on a schedule of pain meds so that the pain didn’t have a chance to intensify, because once it did, the pain got ahead of me. Apparently, I need to do the same thing with the bone pain. And with the nausea, since I was waiting until it got really bad before I took any of the meds, and to say that didn’t work is an understatement. So each day, I put together a chart of my meds and follow it religiously. It helps, plus I love me a chart, so double bonus! The result: the wet blanket of pain and nausea is a little less wet and seems to have some holes in it to let the air and sunshine in. I’ll take it.
I’ve also decided to try a few other things to get ahead of the pain — massage, for example. I was thrilled that my white counts and neutrophils (sign of reduced immunity) were sufficiently over the border of dangerous for me to get permission for a massage this week. And my wonderful massage therapist and the owner of the spa are taking extra cleanliness precautions so I’ll be safe. And, I’m trying qigong (Chinese movement) that apparently helps with this type of pain, and keeping up my walking and stretching. Basically, I’ll try almost anything that will help, although I have so far declined my daughter’s offer of marijuana chocolate from San Francisco. We’ll see.
On the food front, still eating toddler food, but in an interesting development now that the nausea is a bit better, I’m trying to approach each meal by checking in with my body about what it wants, and my body is fairly smart, letting me know when I need protein (which seems to be a lot), even if it’s still not up for fruits and vegetables.
Progress… slow, slow progress.