Days After First Chemotherapy - Reality and Realisms
What happens after your first chemotherapy?
Of course, every patient is different and every medication is different, but below is my story of how the first few days went. The day of my first chemotherapy, I actually felt perfectly normal until around evening when I did get an upset stomach. But, I took the anti-nausea medications and felt fine afterwards. I fell asleep about 11:00 p.m. (which is early for me these days) and I didn't wake up until about 9:15 a.m. - another amazing thing. The funny thing was, I poured a cup of coffee and had an extremely hard time keeping my eyes open so by 9:30 a.m. I laid back down to watch television. I think I was awake about 30 seconds and the next thing I knew, it was 1:00 p.m. WOW!!!!
The entire day I was just extremely tired - I felt like it was midnight all day long and should be laying down to go to bed for another 12 hours. I am still awake now - it has been a struggle - so hopefully I will go to sleep soon and feel rested tomorrow.
My appetite hasn't been that great today, but, I think that is a result of drinking soooo much water. The days following a chemo treatment I have to drink 60 ounces of water to help flush the medications out. Luckily, I love water.
My New Reality
I find that going through this journey I am thinking a bit more realistic about things. Things are starting to sink in and become my new reality. Tonight while walking in the condo up the 8 steps to the door, my mother-in-law called, and I found that I cannot walk up 8 steps and talk at the same time. By the time I got into the door, I was breathing as if I had run around the block - such is my life now without 1-1/2 lung lobes. A small blip in the road these days - just something to get used to and remember.
Making Time for What Matters
With these little changes that I have to think about each day, every minute, I am letting go of a lot of things that I used to worry about or do. My support system has been wonderful - I am blessed to have such wonder family and friends. I still have my daily moment (sometimes moments) where I feel sorry for myself and say why me, but those are dwindling. I am kept busy by tracking my symptoms, tracking my feelings, emotions, and my physical well-being in my medical books from the doctor(s).
This tracking method has helped me come to realizations that I think I found difficult before. One example is, I am now finding that the people that call me and says, "why haven't you called?" or "I can't believe you didn't call me and let me know how you are" are the ones that I cannot have time for. I know that sounds terrible. I hope it doesn't make me a horrible person.
When I first found out about my illness, I made all the calls I needed to make - and even more. I have come to the realization that it is their turn now - my duty is to fight my fight, keep myself strong, and remember, this is my fight for my life.
Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.
Do you think singing through your lung cancer diagnosis is therapeutic?