Nov 15th – 17th
Before you start your chemo treatments they tell you that after each one you will feel worse because the chemo’s are accumulative. You only flush so much of it out of your system. After this last Chemo round I’ve noticed that my energy level has really dropped. I wake up in the mornings and have the best of intentions of getting my “to do list” done. I have my breakfast, take my meds and vitamins and then start on my list. Usually around 1pm I now have to lay down on the couch and once the couch gets me it’s very difficult to get up for the rest of the day. This have been very hard on me because I’ve never been a couch potato. This seems to have become my new normal as my treatments continue.
My doctor said that after my 4th treatment my energy level will really decrease because they are all adding up and still in my body.
It’s very hard to plan on anything because I don’t really know from moment to moment how I will feel. If you feel ok and have energy, you still shouldn’t do so much because you will pay for it later when your energy level drops. I don’t leave my house much because I don’t want to catch an illness that will mess up my chemo schedule and I honestly it’s not fun to go out when you don’t feel well. On top of not feeling well, I probably manage to only get about 2 hours total sleep at night. I literally lay there and watch the clock the entire night. At times when I wake up and see that it’s been maybe an hour since the last time I looked I’m happy because I felt like must have slept for an hour. I feel as if my life is on hold right now and it’s very frustrating but….I have to remind myself that this is just temporary and next October I will be healthy again and back living my full life even better than before!
I woke up and had friends over for breakfast which was very nice! Since I don’t really leave me house much it’s nice to have friends pop over. After my friends left I started to work on my to do list. I need to remove a lot of items out of my studio and movie room so I can have more space to do some recording that I want to do when I feel up to it. First I had to clean the upstairs because that’s where I’ll need to move some items to. I worked until about 1pm then down on the couch I went. I was so tired and my legs and feet were hurting. My pain always seems to be in my legs and feet but it’s random time except at night time. They hurt every night when I go to bed and my toes are numb. My stomach issues are pretty consistent 24 hours a day. I stayed on the couch till about 6pm debating on if I could have the strength to go out and see a show. You’re probably wondering “really, go out and see a show?” Yes, but this wasn’t just a show, it was my buddy Steve Wariner. For those who may be new to my career or life, I wrote a song called “What If I Said” that was on my first record for Warner Bros. Records. I wrote the song as a duet with hopes to getting Steve sing the song with me but I had never met him. I got my wish and he came to the studio and sang it with me and we’ve been friends ever since and we got lucky enough to have that song go to #1 on all the radio charts for 2 weeks. Made me a very happy person and really is what started off my career. So, when Steve plays in Nashville or around Nashville, I really want to go see him. He’s a great man, great artists and killer musician. He was a big influence on me and my guitar playing years ago.
Seeing that the show was at 8pm literally 15 minutes from my house, I thought maybe if I take shower it would give me the energy to go so I got off the couch and forced myself in the shower0op. I just didn’t have any energy. It’s worse in the evenings.
Once I took a shower I did feel a little better so I decided I would go and I’m so glad I did! Steve put on a great show and if I would have stayed on the couch it would have made me really sad to know I was missing yet another thing because of chemo side effects. A friend drove me and another friend who works with Steve arranged for our seats. So good to catch up with Steve and his wife Caryn. It had been a while since I’d seen his show.
After the show a woman came up to me and she was almost in tears. She had just celebrated her 5th year being cancer free and wanted to tell me how much she appreciated me being honest about every thing in my blog and telling it like it is.
I told her that I wanted the blog to be honest so people really know what you go thru when you get diagnosed and just how treatments were. I’ve chosen to tell about this journey in detail because if I have to scare woman into getting their mammo’s and pap smears done than so be it. I’ve had numerous woman tell me that they had a breast cancer scar in their past and now they are afraid to go to the doctor. One question for that…you are afraid to go to the doctor, but you must not be afraid to die….??? WHY would you not go to the doctor because you were afraid when that could possibly cause you your death? Breast cancer has come a long way if you catch it early so please do your self exams at home and get your mammo’s and pap smears every year! I found my own lump at home but I have always had my tests done every year.
Remember when doing yourself exams at home…if you feel anything at all doesn’t feel right, go to the doctor. I’m being told by my doctors that I caught mine early but I’m still having to go through chemo and I wouldn’t wish chemo on my worst enemy.
Also know that all breast cancers are different, there are no two of the same. Everyone’s body is different and how it handles cancer or chemo and everyone who has to take chemo has their own story. Some people have no to minimal side effects from it but you have to also know that there are many different kinds of chemo so you may not be on the same chemo as someone else. Many people with breast cancer aren’t required chemo treatments. There are many different kind of breast cancer, chemo drugs, and treatment plans. I happen to be on 4 different kinds of chemo because my cancer is her2positive but someone else might only need to be on two kinds. Some people my not need chemo at all. Chemo is awful plain and simple but unfortunately it’s really the only “cure” for people like me.
PLEASE do not let fear keep you away from getting your exams every year. Fear of dying should make you run to the exams.
As tired as I was last night I still didn’t sleep very well but what’s new right?
I got up and had oatmeal. I’ve had eggs every morning for the past month so I thought I’d see if I could taste anything else so I had oatmeal and yes I could taste it! This chemo round seems to have changed my taste again. Eggs have remained tasting normal to me so far but other foods I could eat before now taste metallic. My food options are getting very limited. Chicken and ham now taste bad to me. This is bad because I can’t have red meat. I’m now limited to turkey and fish and unclear what those will now taste like.
After breakfast I did some paperwork for a few hours. Then around 1pm I started to slow down again but the sun was shining and it looked like it was warm outside so I decided to take my dogs to the park for a walk which we all needed. Once we got out of the car it was colder than I thought so our walk was shorter than normal but at least we got out and walked a little. When we got back home I was hungry and it wasn’t quite dinner time but it was after lunch so…I guess it was “linner” time. I snacked on carrots, celery with peanut better but the carrots didn’t taste good. After that had some plan noodles cooked in butter and garlic with pees. I could taste it but it was pretty bland. 30 minutes later I had cheese, crackers and pickles. Still hungry so I made a pretzel in the oven. I now understand why cancer patients going through chemo lose so much weight. I’m hungry, very hungry all day long but little by little nothing tastes good so you get aggravated and frustrated trying different things to eat just to realize it tastes awful and you can’t eat it. You start to give up but you can’t!!!!! You have to eat even if it’s a jelly sandwich. Now I am watching the American Music Awards and making that pretzel!!
It’s weird feeling but my stomach actually hurts like it’s hungry and it does it the most after I eat? Chemo messes with your guts really bad.