Feeling mostly ok in round 5
The past few days post chemo have been ok for the most part. Significant fatigue continues to be an issue. And I really haven’t been exercising much as I’ve been biased toward staying indoors as the bay area air quality is abysmal from the Chico fire. While we’re here other physical symptoms include: neuropathy (fingertips are tingly), taste is way off/most foods taste bad, periodic shortness of breath, I haven’t vomited but have been feeling nauseous at times (especially when I smell certain industrial things like printer ink or tape). Bloating on the days I’m on prednisone continues to be an issue (chart below) – I gained 8 lbs overnight again – despite trying to up my potassium and reduce sodium. And in the days post chemo I can feel the tumor site again; I think it’s the drugs acting on the site which I find encouraging. Oddly what I notice too is that if I find myself getting stressed, e.g., the kids or similar, I can feel some activity manifesting there, kind of a cramping, and I back off and try to relax. While perplexing it is an extremely clear feedback system – it’s like a warning system that I need to check myself. Bodies are sometimes smarter than we are and I listen to it.
Round 5 was smooth
My friends Ali and Joseph joined me, along with Michelle and Lua. I also had my original chemo nurse, Thea, on point. As horrible as these sessions are for me I actually do cherish them as means to connect deeply with people. I’ve come to consider my chemo treatments as sort of sacred events.
These sessions really make the experience meaningful. It reminds me of the Western wall in Jerusalem. Whenever I go I’m struck by the same thought: it’s a bunch of ancient stone – what are all these people getting worked up about? But it’s not the stones or the site itself that matters so much as the community manifesting at a site and expressing their shared beliefs. You can feel the energy when you go. Shared meaning and community matters. I feel this meaning during chemo in the form of love and support. Each day in this treatment I’ve been totally overwhelmed with community. I’ve never felt such support – it’s life affirming.