Week Three

Cycle 2, day 17. I live my life in three-week cycles now. It’s week three post-infusion, and I feel pretty good. Week three brings renewed energy and my willingness to take a few risks in terms of being out in public in a limited way as my immunity starts to pick up a bit. I’ve learned the hard way this week that I’m not “back to normal” quite yet, just better than the first or second weeks, which generally are no fun. I’m trying to see more of my friends this week (assuming they are healthy), but I do have a tendency to overdo it and then need a nap or to do nothing for a day. Better, not normal — I just have to remember that.

I had my “pre-chemo” check-up today, part of the protocol in the third week and a few days before each infusion to be sure that my white counts are high enough to tolerate the next infusion, and that there are no other side effects that would prevent moving forward or require an adjustment in my chemo medications. My oncologist also reminded me not to exhaust myself this week so that I entered the next infusion in a compromised state. Good reminder. Thankfully, my next infusion on Monday is a go. It’s not that I’m looking forward to it or to another round of chemo, and even less to another round of side effects. It’s simply that I want treatment to move forward and ultimately, to be over.

So, today, when my oncologist scheduled my fourth and final infusion for the Monday before Thanksgiving, I was thrilled. Not, of course, that I would have chemo the week of Thanksgiving, but that my fourth and final chemo infusion is on the calendar at last. Assuming no further delays due to my white counts or to the incision that won’t heal, I will be done with chemo when Thanksgiving rolls around. In anticipation of this, we’ve scaled back our typical “more the merrier” extended family + friends gathering, to just immediate family. My children and their partners are on board to shop, cook, and do whatever is needed, since day 4 post-chemo tends to suck, and I won’t be up to much more than offering instructions from my “couch nest.” It will be ok, maybe not our merriest Thanksgiving, but perhaps one of our most thankful.

And three weeks after Thanksgiving, I might actually get to enjoy some of the holiday season before I start seven weeks of radiation, or so I hope.

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