(Here’s Patty and our good friend Sandi taken during the summer of 2008)
Well today is the day for Patty’s second chemo infusion. Only four more after today. These past three weeks have been a learning experience for both of us. Patty’s been taking notes every day since the last treatment to keep a record of how she was feeling… what foods tasted good to her etc. We have a record, but we’re hearing that the outcome of each treatment is different. We’ll soon find out.
Food was an issue during the first two weeks following the last treatment. We’ve read and heard that you’ll have this metalic taste in your mouth following treatment. Patty says that’s not true. She says everything taste like cardboard with a little wallpaper glue aftertaste! Not good at all. She craved certain foods, but nothing tasted good to her. Bread taste the same as meat, which taste the same as broccoli, which taste the same as turkey, which taste the same as Cherios, which taste the same as pasta… then if you add cheese or butter to the mix? It comes out of her mouth as fast as it went in! Not good at all! As long as I’ve known Patty, she’s never been a big fan of rice. Suddenly, rice is her best friend during chemo! Just plain white rice. No butter, no nothng. (Don’t tell her but I make it with either chicken broth or vegetable broth hoping it gives her some nutrients!) It seems to work for her. We did realize that her “taster” slowly came back after two weeks so she’s been eating pretty well this past week.
Nauesa? She experience a little nausea during the first couple of weeks. The doctors pump her full of nausea medication the day before, day of and a few days following her infusion. It seemed to get a handle on it. Then if she had any feelings of nausea coming on she had med’s she could take. Overall she did really well.
Fatigue? Tons! We found the first three days following her infusion were really good. No fatigue whatsoever. In fact she was on the treadmill those days. But the fourth day??? Wham! It hit and lasted pretty strong for 4 days. I’m sure we can expect the same this time, probably more. The doctor and nurses have said the chemo is a cumulative thing where the side effects lengthen after each infusion. We’ll just have to wait and see. A friend of ours who is currently going through her 2nd round of chemo told us that her first infusion was the worst and subsequent ones have not been bad at all. Everyone is different.
Patty had her bloodwork done yesterday. This is to test her white cell count to make sure it’s back up to normal. Chemo has a tendency to kill off white blood cells which are the cells that fight off infection etc. Hopefully those white cells have regenerated. If so, we’re on for chemo today. If not, they’ll have to postpone it for a week. We meet with the Oncologist today at 11:45 a.m. to find out. Hopefully it’s a “Go!” We don’t want to delay any of this chemo. Let’s do it and get it overwith! Chemo is tentatively scheduled for today at 1:00 p.m.
Bottom line… We’ve learned from this last infusion that the side effects are pretty strong for the first two weeks. She’s pretty much back to normal the third week. Not much fatigue, no nausea and food taste good! Overall she is doing well. Just in time to do it all over again!