The crash came on Friday afternoon.
I had gone to work, still with that nagging headache, but suddenly began to just feel "different". I went home shortly, and the headache started getting worse. I also started to feel like my body just wasn't it's own....like I was standing outside myself watching everything turn sour. Every piece of food I looked at was so unappealing. I didn't feel nauseous (or so I thought...in hindsight, I probably should have continued the anti-nausea drugs) but just knew I didn't want to put anything in my stomach. Things that just that morning tasted good, I suddenly just could not stomach even looking at for any length of time. The things I could put in my stomach gave me enormous heart-burn. I was beginning to burp like a truck driver every time something did go down (and I apologize to all truck drivers for that analogy). I thought to myself, "Well, she said this weekend I might crash." Little did I know the best was yet to come.
I don't think I can remember feeling as awful as I did all day Saturday. The tunnel I was in was very deep and I just couldn't make my way out. The headaches were still bad and I read that headaches could be caused by the anti-nausea meds, so I was afraid to take them, and afraid not to. I called the cancer center to ask for advice, but of course, it's Saturday, so they were taking messages for the docs for emergencies and such. I didn't feel it was an emergency (yeah...I was out of my mind), so I said I would wait until Monday. More and more I just felt like I couldn't move and I was a pile of mush. I called a friend who had been through chemo who remembered those headaches and feeling like I did and she did her best to "talk me down" from feeling like I just wanted to pull the curtain on the whole day. She also sent flowers later with a note saying she promised "better days were coming". Of course, being the mush I had become, I cried and was sure she was wrong and that I was never going to feel better again. I was supposed to host an event at church the next day and knew I was just not capable of doing that, so I called a friend at church who could understand my request between my tears (yeah, there was a lot of that yesterday) and graciously took over the event for me. Again and again, God keeps sending me company and strength through others. And I am thankful for every conversation and act of kindness that everyone has shown me. But the weekend was still so bad, that at one point I actually said to my husband, "I don't think I can do this." He told me, "Hon, you have to...we'll get through this together...you'll feel better tomorrow."
Easy for him to say....but he was right.
This morning, I got up and my head wasn't pounding as much. I still feel like I am on a ship sailing over the ocean and I don't have my "sea legs", but I no longer feel like it will take every once of energy and strength just to get to the bathroom. I was able to eat a little more today, and by this afternoon was even able to take a short walk with my husband right out front. The air felt so good and I breathed it in again and again, clearing out all that yuck inside me. Maybe I can make it through this round after all.
Of course, this is only round one. Three more rounds with a drug that is called by chemo patients the "red devil"...and it is aptly named. I hope this uphill climb keeps bringing me out of the tunnel. We have a wedding to go to next Friday and it's hard not to know if I will be OK. I hate not being able to plan my life....but for now, chemo is my life.
So, the crash did happen just as my doc said. I've made a list of all my side effects so I can go over them with her when I meet her for my mid-week check up. Hopefully, she can direct me somehow so the next round can be slightly more bearable. It was indeed a very bumpy ride!