I am 12 days out from my first chemo treatment and I can honestly say, it hasn’t been that bad.
I hope I didn’t just jinx myself for what’s ahead, but really, my biggest complaint is this damn heart burn! I think my heart burn is pregnancy related and may just be a bit aggravated by the chemo. But who knows what is chemo related issue or a pregnancy related issue, It’s actually really hard to tell.
But the heartburn, I just have to tell how bad it is… Maybe it will help make it go away once I get this off/out of my chest! Ok, that was a joke, heartburn, burning chest, off my chest!? get it? (I’m really trying to make this blog funny, but I don’t think I am a funny person and I am not really sure how I am doing). Anyways, you pregnant ladies and ex-pregnant ladies, know the kind of heart burn I am talking about. The kind that feel likes you swallowed a blow torch and its been on high in your stomach torching everything from the chest up! The kind that wakes you in the middle of the night burning a hole in your throat and you would do anything, like even sacrifice your husband who is sleeping next to you for some, any relief. My gosh, sometimes I feel like I’m having a heart attack the burning and chest pain is so bad. And nothing, I mean nothing so far has given me a stretch of relief. The tums work for a brief moment, but taking a half a bottle a day of tums can’t be good (exaggerated). But, then again my body is full of chemo, so I guess a handful of tums (more realistic) a day can’t hurt right?! This is what I tell myself.
I have had some nausea here and there but nothing a pill and nap couldn’t cure. (If only my heartburn was that easy). On chemo day, my wonderful nurse pumped me full of steroids, fluids and anti-nausea medications before the red devil (Adriamycin–chemo) & cytoxan went in. Then they sent me home with a strict 3-5 days schedule of anti-nausea medications, more steroids and an anti-anxiety pill that’s also suppose to help the nausea. The steroids had me all jacked up so I stopped them day 1. Some nausea here and there but it hasn’t been a huge problem. When it did rear it’s ugly green head, with some convincing from Nate to take some medicine , we could quickly get rid of it. The meds made me sleepy. So at first, I was blaming the meds for my excessive napping and lack of motivation to do anything except melt into the couch, which is so not my personality. But, after day 7, there was a shift in my tiredness, less time on the couch, I now realize that it wasn’t just the meds and that my body was tired and a bit worn down from chemo and needed sleep to heal itself and grow our baby.
I have been able to eat almost anything… well no that’s a lie. I can eat anything as long as it doesn’t give me heartburn (damn heartburn again). I do manage to still get my weekly helping of pizza in, heartburn and all, but its worth it. The baby really likes pizza- not so much ice cream, definitely pizza, Bertucci’s pizza!
I have had some lower gastrointestinal issues, but I will spare you the gross details of my horrifying bathroom experiences.
Besides cutting my hair (which I am not ready to talk about it yet)… the other hard thing for me is popping all these pills. After having so many miscarriages, I am totally paranoid about doing anything, in the fear that it might cause me to miscarry again. No caffeine, mostly organic foods, I didn’t exercise for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, limited all activities. Poor Nate. It’s a good thing he found the lump before we got pregnant cause he certainly wouldn’t of found it in the first 12 weeks. Heck, I was afraid to to take a tic tac never mind any kind of medication. I was scared to even take my prenatal vitamin! I think for the first 12 weeks, all I did was work, eat and sleep with a few tv shows sprinkled in. Now, I glance over at my night stand and see a small pharmacy. I have to give myself a prep talk before taking any pills, convincing myself that it’s ok and the baby will be fine. I worry that I am doing more harm by suffering through symptoms– than if I just took my medicine…then I could be comfortable and the baby would be too! It’s a lot harder than I am willing to let on here in this blog.
You would think being a nurse for over 10 years, I would be able to take care of myself and make good decisions regarding my cancer and pregnancy. The truth of the matter is, right now I am not a nurse, I am the patient, and a terrible patient at that. I also have this new maternal instinct kicking in that’s telling me to sacrifice myself at all costs for the good of the baby.
I hope and pray at the end of everyday I made the right decisions, ate the right foods, exercised just enough and took all appropriate vitamins and pills. I am doing what I think is the best as a mom and as a patient. In the end, I realize that none of this is really in my control and I’m along for the ride.