Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Side Effects

So much of my anxiety in having cancer and starting chemo was just not knowing how I was going to respond to treatments. I didn't know what my life was actually going to look like. Would I be flat on my back and throwing up for the next 7-8 months straight? Would I just be a little bit tired? I didn't know. My doctor did tell me that my particular regimen of drugs is very hard on the body. With some chemotherapies, people can still lead normal lives. My doctor told me that while everyone reacts differently, keeping my job and living life normally was not how this was going to pan out for me. Now I feel like I'm starting to piece together what life will be like, and you know, it's bearable.

I mentioned before that I am doing 6 36-day rounds of chemotherapy. On days 1 and 2 of every round I go to the cancer center for 7-8 hours while they fill me up with anti-nausea meds, Adriamycin, and Cisplatin. On days 21 and 28 I will be hospitalized for 2-3 days while they give me high dose Methotrexate. I haven't had the Methotrexate yet, but I have successfully made it through the other 2 drugs for this round.

My life days 1-7. Michael did a great job of hooking my port
up to the fluids they sent me home with.
This is how days 1-7 looked for me:
-Constant nausea (but little actual throwing up)
-Extreme fatigue (like sleeping almost all day)
-Little desire for food and/or water

However, Day 7 I had just a little more energy. Talking to people didn't leave me out of breath and exhausted. Since Day 7 I have gained more strength and energy everyday. Today is Day 12 and I can honestly say that I feel better than ever. Guess what. My leg doesn't hurt! Not even a little bit! Michael says he can still see some swelling but seriously, there is no pain, no tenderness to the touch, it feels great. It feels NORMAL. Ladies and gentlemen, the poison these doctors are pumping into my body might actually be healing me. =]

Having energy these last few days has been unbelievably awesome. Michael finished finals last week and since I'm not teaching right now, we have been able to just enjoy each other's company. We stay up way too late watching movies, eating midnight snacks, sleeping in, taking care of things around the house at a leisurely pace, and hanging out with friends. If every week of horribleness is followed by a week of pure enjoyment and fun with my husband, I can do this cancer thing.
Eating homemade spinach dip at 2am
while watching Taken
French toast for breakfast at noon


  1. Wishing you the best as you go forward.And many days of fun with your beloved.

  2. So glad you've made it past the first unknown hurdle, and are enjoying being on the other side of sick. Eat as much as you can when you're feeling good. I love that you have this time with Michael with no school or work. It's like a vacation! Andrew said to tell you he loves you & is praying you. That goes for the rest of us too. Love you!!!


  3. Yay Crystal! So glad that you are having some higher energy days. And I love your positive attitude. Hugs to you.

  4. I'm at work and there is no one here. I just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you and Michael. Stay strong. You are so very amazing! You beat all those American top models with your perfectly rounded head. ;) Love you!!! Let me know if you need someone to entertain you.

  5. Glad you made it through the first half of the treatment round! I hope it doesn't get any worse. You should add a follow button to your blog by the way so I can follow it :)

  6. Hi Crystal! You are AMAZING! What an inspiring, uplifting blog about something so terribly scary and difficult! Since speaking with Tammy at lunch, I have been reading and smiling and crying and cheering for about the last hour. One of the things I have always admired about you is your ability to see the best in everyone and everything. I'm glad you are able to do the same when it comes to "The C Word." One of these days when you are feeling better and able to eat, we'll have to meet at Olive Garden for a feast. I'm sending lots and lots of love and hugs and prayers to you and to Michael! You truly inspire me and make me want to be and do better. Love you! :-) Janet