Fifth Treatment

Fifth chemotherapy treatment down! Only one more to go!

Although my iron has risen to normal levels, my hemoglobin is still too low. This means that I am tired all of the time. I have no energy to get up and eat or take shower. I don’t mean in the I-Have-Depression-And-Can’t-Be-Bothered way. I’ve dealt with depression, so I am familiar with it. This is much more of the sick variety. I’ll stand for a few moments and suddenly my knees will begin feeling wobbly. Walking to the mailbox will leave me covered in sweat and short of breath. The only way for my anemia to go away is for me to no longer be on chemo. I have one more full treatment left, so I’m nearly there!

I also let my oncologist know that the chemo has forced me into menopause. I haven’t had a period since right after my first chemotherapy treatment. I also have been having hot flashes. I believe that they are mercifully being kept in check by my happy pills, i.e. Zoloft. There has been some evidence that antidepressants can minimize hot flashes. However, there has been some controversy in whether they really do help with hot flashes. I’m going to continue to take them, whether they work for hot flashes or not, as I need them for my anxiety and depression. I’m just glad that the hot flashes are not as overwhelming as they were the first time I went through chemo fifteen years ago.

I’ve been asked by a few people, “What does chemo feel like the day you get it?” It’s kind of hard to explain. Chemo doen’t hurt. Pain is a sign something is wrong with the infusion. Mostly, you just feel like you drank too much water. You feel over-full and bloated. You can see it in this picture of my hand. My fingers look like fat hot dogs.

swollen hand

I realized that my 3rd treatment was on April Fool’s Day and now my 5th has been on Friday the 13th. I can’t help but feel that the Universe is in a corner somewhere with uncontrollable giggles.

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