Actually postponed my 3rd treatment by one week. I broke out in a raised itchy rash on my chest and back. Then started getting red itchy flakey spots on my face. I also had really bad hemorrhoids, and sores inside my mouth and on my tongue. Claudia conferred w/Dr. Wilkinson and the decision to postpone my treatment until next week was made.
Within a couple of days there was a significant change in my energy level and almost everything but the rash cleared up. The rash persisted so I went back to see Dr. Wilkinson. She thought it was a combination of an allergic reaction and the chemo bringing out sun damage. She gave me a depo medrol pack to take and told me if there was not a significant change in 48 hours then she would refer me to a dermatologist. She didn’t want to postpone my chemo again but would if it didn’t clear up. Luckily the steroid seemed to help as the itch disappeared w/in 12 hours, and the rash seemed to recede – from the back first than slowly from the chest. I still have red dots but they don’t look raised or really red. The face also started to clear up. So treatment # 3 was a go yesterday.
I was absolutely amazed at my ability to snap back to myself so quickly. This past week I have worked long hours but have not had any issue with fatigue or lack of brain or energy power. I tried to cram everything into this week in preparation for next week. I don’t know if it was good or bad to feel so healthy. The good was that I’m reassured when I finish the final treatment it won’t take me long to feel good again. The bad is I now understand how debilitating the treatments are to my energy, body, and brain.
It was also striking to see how fast the treatment kicked in and began to fog me in again. The queasiness has returned to my stomach, the low grade headache and fogginess to my brain, and the fatigue to my body. I’m not going to fight it this time, but embrace the downtime. I’m looking forward to just chilling at home, seeing if I can develop a meditation and yoga practice, and enjoying the luxury of napping when I need to. I may have to participate in a couple of conference calls, but for the most part I have cleared my schedule. We’ll see how that goes J
I also came to a realization this week that I still haven’t learned to balance work and health. As soon as I felt good I kicked right back into my normal high stress, long work hour schedule. I didn’t take one walk, despite my great energy level. SO..that must change. I’ve told Ron that I would like us to figure out the minimum number of hours I need to work to meet our financial needs. Ideally I’d like to cut back to 24 hours if doable. I want to start planning and cooking more meals that are clean and healthy, and I’d like to take advantage of the yoga, and art classes offered by the “Life w/Cancer” program. They are free and offered throughout each month.