I’m back. I’m back and I have a little PSA:
Always read the label of any medication you take.
This is about to get personal…
I’m currently taking stool softeners to help counter some of the effects of my medications. Well, the night before my last treatment I ran out of my prescription and started an over-the-counter brand. I looked at the dosage and saw that it was only half of what I was already taking, so I doubled up and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up and took another double dose thinking I was equaling the prescription, then headed out the door to my chemotherapy appointment.
Once we got there I knew something didn’t feel right. I used the restroom. Shortly after, I had to go again but they had just called me back to see the doctor. You know, the highly paid genius who is killing my cancer. I sat there during our appointment squirming like a 5-year-old because I had to use the restroom so bad. Like Dumb and Dumber bad. As soon as our time together was over I ran to the little girls’ room. Turns out I had taken two double doses of a softener with a laxative. Oh. My. Word. As if chemo wasn’t bad enough, I was running to the restroom like clockwork. I brought some smiles to my nurse that morning. I laughed so hard in between bathroom breaks. Who does something like that? This girl.
Read the labels, people.
I’m writing from the chemo room. When you read this I will have finished my fourth treatment. I have eight total treatments so this is the halfway mark. As I’m going along it is getting harder and harder to get back on my feet. I am more and more tired. I had the reverse reaction to my treatment last time. The first few days I was feeling better than I have in a long time. Then it hit me and didn’t leave for several days.
I’ve had some issues with my belly and my heart. Serious enough to have a colonoscopy scheduled. That’s right. I get to have a colonoscopy while on chemo. If you weren’t jealous before, I’m sure you are now. I’ve had a couple of colonoscopies in the past because of my family history of colon cancer. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer when she was 47, so every 5 years I get to experience the prep of a colonoscopy, as well as the actual procedure.
I’m sure everything is okay; this chemo is just attacking my belly and heart as well as my cancer. I wore a heart monitor for a few days last week so my cardiologist can see what’s going on. I keep feeling heart palpitations, which I hadn’t before chemo.
My brain has been affected as well. I can testify that “chemo brain” is real. One of my favorite authors is Malcom Gladwell. I’ve successfully read 4 out of 5 of his books with no problem. I read Outliers a long time ago—such a great book! That book led to me wanting to have my babies in the fall. My boss recommended that I read David and Goliath, another one of his great works. That has led us to deciding to move to a small town, a small school district and have Big Fish in a Small Pond vs. Small Fish in a Big Pond.
I just started the last Gladwell book I haven’t read, What the Dog Saw, and oh my. I have to read pages, paragraphs and sentences over and over because I am just not getting it. My brain is in such a fog. Reading and understanding has become such a task.
I can’t remember dates and details for the life of me. I’ll have conversations that I don’t even remember having. I’m sure it’s a mixture of stress and chemo. And not sleeping well.
It will pass. I’m sure. I just need some grace if I forget to respond to messages, tell the same story over and over or just flat out forget your name.
I still can’t believe that I’m 35 and I have an oncologist, cardiologist, gastroenterologist, I accidently take laxatives, and I’m so foggy that can’t remember what I ate for dinner last night. I will survive. Until then, please continue to keep us in your prayers!