Round Two, Fight!
Well I made it through my second chemo treatment. It wasn't nearly as eventful as the first one so that was nice. The week that followed was not as long as the first time either, at least it didn't feel like it. I also felt a lot more positive throughout the last week.
My treatment was on November 11, a Monday again. Having chemo on a Monday just solidifies how much I hate Mondays. The Friday before I had my blood work done for them to check my blood levels to be sure they have come back up to an appropriate rate and it is safe to do my next treatment. My levels were a little low but just barely so it was decided to move forward.
When I had my regular blood work done I also did another test for the breast cancer gene screening. Given my family history and my age they are testing to see if I carry any of the genes that would make me more susceptible to breast cancer. The plan is to get these results prior to my surgery so I can decide on having a double mastectomy or not. I honestly don't know much more than this about it right now which I'm okay with. Trying to think about all the pieces of this at once is super overwhelming so right now I don't focus past chemo.
Alright back to chemo, the actual treatment wasn't as smooth as the first one. I'm not sure if the nurse I had was newer but she had trouble with my IV. First she tried to put it in the SIDE of my wrist. SUPER painful. I asked her to take it out, I couldn't handle it. She finally got it in a vein on the top of my wrist so it was much more uncomfortable for the two hours of having it in. The full time there was shorter than the first so that was nice. Ryan went with me again and we played a card game which he didn't let me win. Pretty rude I know. After I was pumped full of the poison we went and got my snacks and went home.
I felt the nausea by that evening so that was much quicker but I was still able to control it with eating. On day three I had to go back to the cross for another appointment. Another thing that comes with having cancer young is that chemo can do serious damage to your ovaries. We want to have a second child if at all possible so when all of this started we met with a fertility doctor to discuss options for preservation of my reproductive system. I won't get into all the details but most options had heavy upfront costs and not high odds of success so we opted for the free and easiest option. Which is a hormone shot (in the stomach - ouch!) that puts my body into temporary menopause. So add hot flashes on top of everything else! The idea is to stop blood flow to the ovaries so less of the chemo drugs get to them. Just another thing to add to the list that cancer could take away from us. Anyways, I had to go for this shot on Wednesday as I need it monthly. It was hard getting out of the house and functioning but I did it. We had to take Clara with us to the Cross which I didn't really want to, I don't want her to be there. I know she won't remember any of it but I do my best to keep her removed from it all.
Throughout the week I felt similar to the first time, really tired, really fuzzy and dizzy. I definitely managed my symptoms a lot better this time. They say to eat lots of protein, so every two hours I had a small snack that included something with protein. I was able to sleep a lot better, not great but at least 2-3 hours at a time. I think my anxiety was much lower which helped as well.
I also did better mentally. I only cried once which was a vast improvement from last time. Its just really exhausting feeling so awful and I just wanted it to be over so bad, which this time I knew it would end and I knew which day I would feel better. That really helped, knowing there was a light at the end of the very dark tunnel.
I was also able to accept not being able to help with Clara. I sat and played with her when I could, gave her a bottle when I could, and sat with her when Ryan bathed her. The day of my treatment we took her out for her first experience in the snow (she wasn't the biggest fan). I can accept now I have to watch for a week and let Ryan be in charge. This also means I found baby cereal all over the wall one day with Dad in the drivers seat but he cleaned it up. I felt better overall. I still have times when I get really angry because truly I was really good at mat leave. I loved it, I loved our routine and going out with her but that's all over for now. Its really frustrating to think about the things we could be doing but I'm still with her. I still get to watch her every day. She started crawling this week (I cried happy tears). I didn't miss that and that's what really matters.
Just four more to go. I got this, it sucks but I will get through it. Just one treatment at a time.