Monday, August 23, 2010

Couldn't Hide from the Side Effects

In my mind, I was going to escape.  I am a believer in prayer, mind-over-matter, the power of positive thinking and anything else that affects ones inner ability to overcome adversity.  Going into chemo I was so covered up in prayer and good feeling that I was certain I would escape the possible side effects promised. 

Sadly, that was not to be.  The day following chemo was not so bad.  I had taken that day off of work, unsure what to expect.  Other than a mild feeling of exhaustion, I was okay.  I used that day to visit the local Cancer Support Home (accompanied by my sweet son, Sean) and sign up for a class, learn about support groups, check out a couple of books (Sean was drawn to the one called Boobs), and select a couple of wigs (yes, one is red(ish)).  I also made a few phone calls concerning cancer support services...things I have a difficult time doing from school.  As you teachers know too well, once school starts, normal life, as we know it, stops.

Several days ago I made arrangements with a fellow teacher and sweet friend of mine who also happens to be a very talented photographer.  Yes, I played the cancer card and managed to get my guys to agree to a photo shoot.  So Saturday we planned to meet Blaire (B.Perry Photography) at 10:30.  The way my weekend went, we got in just under the wire, as I could feel my gills turning greener as the morning passed.  She was amazing and I fear her subjects could have been better.  Let's hope a little Photoshop can hide that green tinge I'm sure I had.  Not to mention two confused and goofy dogs.  For some reason, I wanted my family as it is NOW...dogs and all.  They are not Lassie, however, so are not camera friendly beasts.  Blaire was awesome, no matter the challenge.  If you live in NWA and want a beyond professional and highly creative photography experience, give Blaire a call.

As you may have guessed, it was downhill from there (or maybe uphill - downhill seems too easy).  I spent the rest of the weekend nauseated and exhausted.  I've read about others who were exhausted on chemo and I refused to relate.  I thought this could not happen to me, as I would just get up and move, shake that exhaustion, walk it off.  Ha!  Those rose colored glasses are not always helpful.  I felt as though I doubled my age in a matter of hours.

I literally moved from uncomfortable sofa, to uncomfortable bed and back again.  There was no comfortable position.  Sitting = yuck.  Lying = yuck.  Reclining = yuck.  Yes, I was taking 2 different nausea meds, Zofran and Compazine, which, I assumed, helped me rest, though fitfully.  Thank God, I didn't reach the point of throwing up.  That is not something I do well.  Just complete nausea, no desire for food of any kind.  I think I drank a gallon of iced water each day, though, which is a good thing.  My exercise came from multiple trips to the bathroom.

I did call the chemo nurse yesterday and was encouraged to continue taking the Zofran and told they will give me different nausea meds during the next round of chemo.  I will be praying they help.

This is day 3 of fighting nausea and another day of missed work (Monday), but I actually am able to sit up without misery, and even ate a small bowl of cereal and fruit.  I'm avoiding the meds and hoping tomorrow I will be back in the art teacher saddle again. 

Thanks to so many of you for your concern, fb messages, emails, and phone calls.  Just because I don't reply, does not mean your concern is not felt.  And, as pointed out by both my husband and a dear friend, (who did this herself, not so long ago), the fact that I am feeling these side effects only shows it is working.  If the cancer feels as badly as I do, wonderful.  It's just hard watching everyone around me feeling great and knowing all that I should be accomplishing right now. 

But maybe I am accomplishing more than I think.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
II Corinthians 12:9

Bring on the power.


  1. As my therapist always says, "Don't should on yourself." You are doing what is best for you (and your family). You are healing. Blessings!

  2. Let others be your hands and feet right now, bless them by letting them serve you. You just do your part in fighting this and coming out victorious! - Kay

  3. I have to admit, I was doing the whole positive thinking thing. In my mind, you would have NO side effects. None. And I am sad you are. :( I am also sad you missed school today. But you are right. Feeling bad in a strange way means it is working. And that is what we want. Bye bye cancer cells!

  4. Can't WAIT to see the red-ish wig!!! :) You will look beautiful with any color hair or no hair - your beauty truly comes from within. Love you!