I had my fourth and final AC chemo Tuesday afternoon. For the most part, things went well for the first two days. In the first three treatments, I came home and slept for days….this time that did not happen. I was able to sit among my family and visit as well as have dinner with them the last three nights, but today has been a struggle.
With the AC chemo, your immune system takes a huge hit. Your body can’t produce the needed white blood cells to fight normal infections. For this reason, a shot is given 24 hours after the chemo infusion to promote bone marrow to produce white blood cells. The auto-injector is put on and exactly 27 hours after being initiated it injects the needed medication. I believe this injection is what makes me feel so horrible. Yes, the chemo is bad, but this medication is no joke. I know it is absolutely neccessary. Without it my white blood counts would be nonexistent and I would be in the hospital under strict isolation to avoid any germs whatsoever, but I sure wish it didn’t make me feel like I had been hit by a truck.
Becuase it is promoting bone marrow to function there is joint and bone pain. I take a steroid and clariten a few days prior through a few days after the injection to supress those side effects. For the most part it works. I am weak, but not in bone or joint pain. My main complaint is that it also affects my lymphatic system. The lympth nodes in my neck get very sore and swollen. It hurts to even hold my head up at times. Swallowing is difficult and for that reason I don’t have much of an appetite.
Tonight after eating dinner I had a meltdown. I hate feeling so yucky. I don’t like crying in front of my kiddos so I waited until they were all out of the room and looked at Chris and simply said, “I’m not okay.” He said, “I know, but your full of toxic right now, it will get better in a day or so.” I know he’s right, but it doesn’t make this moment easier.
We did talk and celebrate at dinner the fact that this is hopefully the last time I will ever have to go through this feeling. That this is the low of the valley and we are headed up the hill now. I got a bit emotional and so did Isaac, but it is okay for all of us to cry if that’s what we need to do.
I just put Eli to bed and I am heading to bed myself. Sleep has been hard (thanks to all the steroids in me) but my new favorite Pluto channel, The Price is Right, will keep me company until sleep finds me.