The Days After Chemo Number Four

This time has been a strange ebb and flow of symptoms and feelings. It could be that my body is trying to release a dead egg at the same time it is being poisoned. Or it could be an after effect from the Neprogen and all of the other antibiotics that were pumped into me during my hospital stay.

Chemo was fairly straight forward – no symptoms and no reactions. I am starting to really love the right side of my body. I didn’t even crash when I got home from chemo. I felt a little funny and enjoyed a Mommy head-rub, but I wasn’t completely put out. I did go to bed early, but really it was to lie down and read until the normal bed time. I woke up at a normal time and felt really good. Of course Mom made me sit on the couch all day. But I did protest enough to be able to go sit out on the balcony in the sun and enjoy the beautiful day while eating my sugar-free ice cream. On Saturday, the only symptom (I am very sorry to report) was fire-like diarrhea. I mean it felt like someone was squirting tabasco sauce out of my ass.  But I popped one of Dad’s magic green pills and I was good to go. So, I was only uncomfortable for an hour or so. Other than that, nothing…no crazy gas, no red cheeks, no major fatigue. I even made Mom take me for a walk that evening. (I’m like the dog holding the leash in her mouth…please let me out…please let me out.) We didn’t go far, but it felt good to get out of the house and to people watch on the Rambla.

Sunday, same thing. I felt really good! I lounged around the house and read until the mid-afternoon when Nicolas came to pick me up to see a car. I am trying to buy a used auto for the remainder of my stay in Uruguay. This one was in Atlantida, which is about an hour outside of Montevideo. It is a beautiful beach town. Too bad the car was not a beautiful car. Oh, well…on to the next. We did get a chance to stop by the house of a friend of Nico’s father. I was pretty proud of my Spanish conversation skills. And they were super nice! It was like that weird first step before meeting the parents. (Thankfully, on my end of the relationship, we just ripped that bandaid off with my circumstances and Mom living with me.) There was a point when he mentioned my mom and they asked why she was here. Nico just flat out told them about my cancer and chemo treatment. No sugarcoating, no skirting the issue, just wahbam! At first I was wildly uncomfortable. But they reacted so nonchalantly that it made it all a little easier. There was no pity or drama. Simply acceptance. I think cancer is such a taboo word, still, that people who have it don’t even want to say it. It bring this dark cloud into the room, especially when people don’t react the way you need them to. So it was really refreshing to have such a normal and straightforward reaction from complete strangers. I will forever be appreciative of them for that and to Nico for just putting it out there. She has cancer. We are dealing with it. Ya ta.

We had a hellacious drive home in a massive downpour. Traffic was bumper to bumper so Nico found an “alternative” route…mucho rapido. (I now know why he is late all time… eye roll.) I did get to see where he lives in Toledo. And we went through some beautiful country. By the time we got back to the apartment, we were starving and had to pee like crazy. We ate some dinner, cuddled on the couch, and then it was time for me to crash. It had been a long day and I was starting to feel it.

Monday was the pisser. I had to get my blood checked that morning. And I woke up feeling like total and complete crap. I felt dizzy and flu-like. Even my stomach turned once going down the elevator to the Uber. I got it in check, but still. Every body part ached and I couldn’t catch a full breath. I described it as being in a sauna for too long. Where you feel light-headed and like you have humidity in your lungs. I told my nurses at the hospital I wasn’t feeling well and they said it was side-effects because my blood looked fine. The numbers were not as high as they were on Friday, but they were high enough that Maria Rosa was pleased. So apparently, feeling like crap was just my body trying to rejuvenate the cells.  I came home and crashed on the couch. I didn’t really feel like eating anything, but tried a little watermelon. I didn’t want anything hot. It all had to be cold. So Mom made Greek salad. I ate that and more melon. I put a hot water bottle on my aching muscles, took an Aleve, and watched a movie.  Then crawled into bed.

Today I feel just fine again. No problems at all. Well, a little dry mouth, but that is fixable with a little baking soda/water swish. Chemo-effects are strange. They are kind of like playing Russian Roulette with your body. In all honesty, I have not found a routine yet. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a set routine while I am on vacation. I just don’t know the days that I will feel good and feel bad. And that freaks me out a bit as we get closer to school starting. I just want my body to figure itself out so that my brain can prepare. Having the good days intermixed with the bad is exhausting. On the good days, I want to get out and do things but then I’m so afraid of causing the bad days. And when I feel good, I can’t just sit around because I got nuts. Reading helps, but I want to read outside in the sunshine and the majority of the days have been rainy and sad this summer. I am trying to go with the flow of my chemo but every once in a while my health, my body, my sanity ebbs and I have to figure out how to get my boat moving again.

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