Patricia Brown Clinic
|Posted on May 29, 2016 at 7:35 PM|
The morning after chemo is a little bit like waking up the morning after you have had too much to drink the night before, having been off the booze for awhile this is just a distant memory to me, but you never forget that feeling. You wake up, slowly open your eyes, your brain knows you were doing things that you could be suffering for but for those first few seconds you feel fine, then you start to assess how you feel. If its alcohol related you probably feel fine for those first few seconds, then it comes over you, the room spins, your head pounds and you just feel in general not good. The morning after chemo, has its similarities. You wake up and feel fine, you have for a second forgot what happened the day before and then it comes back to you and you do the same assessing of how you feel. Then there's that panic feeling, not like after a night of one to many drinks, where you dread checking your phone to see who you made the drunken call or text too. But this time its the dread of checking your pillow to see if your hair has fell out. So this was me, I quickly assessed how I felt, quite good really. I sat up and felt over my eyebrows, still there, lashes still there. Hair still there, cautiously I looked on my pillow, nothing! Then I felt my neck, which I had got into the habit of doing every morning since the glands came up, amazingly these had already got smaller! I couldn't believe that so quickly I could see the results of the chemo already. I can honestly say I felt really good, all that didn't was my hair, just in the fact it had still got the conditioner in it from the day before so I got up to have a shower and wash it out. This was a slight nervous experience, in the early days you are so conscious that your hair will come out, so I gently washed it in lukewarm water, patted it dry to get the excess moisture out, comfy clothes on and that was me done for the day, I just left it to dry on its own. But I was off to a good start, none had come out when I'd washed it, or when I combed it through so I was keeping everything crossed, I knew it would probably be a couple of weeks until I would start to lose any, if I was going too, but I felt I had got off to a good start.
The day after my first chemo I didn't feel sick at all, not even an upset tummy, what I did have were food cravings. Let me fill you in though first, I am also a little bit odd when it comes to food and illness. Most people when they have had a sickness bug will stick to bland food, dry toast, maybe some butter on it when feeling a bit better, not me. I am lucky to rarely get tummy bugs, but if I do, bland food doesn't work for me it seems to make me feel worse and extend the length of illness time. What does work? Curry, anything spicy infact. My go to remedy for years if ever I had a dodgy stomach, Chinese curry. If I felt really bad it would just be the sauce and rice, but it works every time. I was determined not to feel sick from chemo (hate feeling sick) so I drank nothing but peppermint or lemon and ginger tea for the week before chemo and after, I also got my dad to get me in a supply of curries to eat afterwards. I don't know if this helped me at all, or if it was just how I responded but I didn't get sickness so maybe it did help. Now I had expected to eat curry, but I didn't expect to wake up with a craving for Jalfrezi, but I have to admit by 8am I was sitting watching one of my reality Housewives programmes on catch up with a bowl of Jalfrezi curry and rice. Complete happiness. Was I stressed of the days events before? No, stressing about what was to come, no. Cancer couldn't be further from my mind. I had done it, the big fear of cancer in general, I was one down in beating the b*****d, my needle phobia? Didn't like them but I'd done that too, and most importantly I hopefully didn't have to see a hospital for another two weeks, I was back to me. Happy days.
In the days following chemo I stayed at home as I didn't want to go out and risk catching any infections, I caught up on tv programmes, I recorded anything I felt like in the weeks leading up chemo, so I had plenty to watch. This was the worst part for me to be honest, I am naturally a get up and do person, I can have a sofa day if I feel like it, but I much prefer to be busy, so the feeling that I'd have to be sitting around for months was a boring thought. I noticed a few symptoms in the days after, a sore mouth, this started for me on day 2 after chemo. Just a slight soreness on my tongue but the next two days my mouth in general was quite sore, especially when I swallowed and I had a bitter taste all the time, that seemed to get worse after I had eaten, but after 3 days this had stopped. I didn't feel tired in the day, but I was ready for bed by about 8pm, it would just come over you all at once like a huge feeling of tiredness where you couldn't physically stay awake, but I was wide awake each morning and ready to get up by 7am so it was nothing I couldn't handle. I'd say for the first 3 days or so after chemo I just didn't feel myself, I can't really explain how as I didn't feel ill, just not quite myself. But a few days later I would wake up and just knew I felt right again. But all in all, first chemo done and it was ok, nothing to complain about. Cancer and chemo before your touched by it, becomes like an imaginary monster of fairytales, that you picture to be awful and the worst experience ever. Cancer is awful, it is a monster, but chemo? Not the best experience, by any means but its manageable and doable. Its also where you have to keep things into perspective and why I always say, take it for the situation you are in. If you have been told you have a good chance of beating your cancer, there is no point dwelling on the negatives, just plough through it the best you can, because whatever you go through along the way, is far easier than the alternative of not beating it and believe me, it is all worth it the day you are told you are in remission.
Categories: Cancer and Me