Chemo# Again

Not that I have had more chemo. Just – I sort of thought the tiredness would sneak up on me, that I would not be exhausted from Day Four, more like Chemo Session #2, or (if really lucky!) #3!


Last night was Diwali – Festival of Light. Lights and Firecrackers to drive away evil spirits. Round my house was like a war zone – albeit a friendly-fire type of war zone, but soooo noisy and sooooo many fireworks.

Slept through the effing lot, I did.

I woke up a couple of times, to go to the toilet, otherwise solid zzzzzzz’s from 8.15 pm to 7.00 am.

Jeeez. How am I ever gonna manage to do my job?


About bookmole
I am pro-choice. You make yours, I'll make mine, okay?

4 Responses to Chemo# Again

  1. Redscylla says:

    Sleep is a good thing, but that does sound problematic if you’re gonna sleep that hard every night. Did the doctor have any suggestions for how to keep your energy level up?

  2. Drude says:

    Oh dear, Bookmole, that is just how it is.

    For me it was worst the first week or maybe day 3 to 10 of each round, and then it got a bit better, but second round of chemo, then, was worse than the first etc… Like you never quite make it to recover properly… which I guess is the whole point to kill the cancer cells.
    I think you should work whatever hours you CAN, because you need to have a life while in chemo, and they told me recovery was faster if you DID work, but you have to be able to sleep or rest when you need to without stressing about work… I don’t think stress ever helps your health.
    Eat and drink and rest well!

    I don’t know what kind of work you do and whether it can be broken up in bits with breaks between or any of it can be done at home.

    My boss (the professor) has a roll-up mattress in her office, and whenever she needs to lie down during the day, she shuts the door and rolls out her ‘bed’ and takes a nap. I SO wish I could have had that at work at the time… I was sharing a small office, so not really an option… I ended up spending a lot of time at home, just going in to work a few hours a day.

    They told me the recovery time after chemo was going to be as long as the chemo time itself. Some ways that was fairly accurate, in others it took more like a year, but what I did was to take sick leave for 2 x the chemo-time but without entirely leaving my work… just I had no obligation to work for that period, and then as I started working again… the hours I had already put in during chemo… would be hours I could skive off in the beginning of my back-to-work time if needed.

    As far as I know it varies a lot from person to person how tired you get some people go on as normal and others can’t work at all, so I would seriously talk to work about what the options are for you – also get them prepared if you should end up super tired a lot of the time.

    I’m told it doesn’t exist, but I definitely felt I had ‘chemo-brain’ = a hard time concentrating and tiredness and forgetfulness… even started dropping things out of my hands that I thought I had a good grip on…. so depending on what you do, you might want to warn them that you could be making more mistakes too.

    (((big hugs))) I do remember what it was like… there was so much change to adjust to all at once, and no time to process it all.. Second round of chemo at least you know roughly what’s going to happen when…

    I think generally, I felt sick and mega-tired the first week, freaked out about random body-malfunction-weirdness and the risk of infectious diseases the second week, and felt like I was finally recovering the third week, and then it all started over again.

    Are you in touch with a patient’s organisation? Here, in Denmark, the national organisation will pair you up with a volunteer who has been through it all, so you have a contact person to discuss everything with. They also have a phone service with dr’s, nurses, social workers, shrinks, nutritionists… you can phone and ask about anything – and your family can too if they want.

  3. bookmole says:

    Thanks for the reassurance! Luckily, I do admin / clerical work for my Husband, which means taking time off for sleeping will not be an issue (or he will be in big trouble!). I can also do a lot from home – the only thing I cannot do will be answer the phone. And I have already fallen asleep at my desk, briefly – woken by the phone, natch.

    I was just surprised at how quickly and how thoroughly I got tired. Although, looking back on it, I started feeling TATT (tired all the time) about 12 months ago – according to my consultant, that was probably when this slow-growing bugger started. So I should really have been prepared for it.

    So far, no loss of appetite, though some foods have already started tasting weird – lager-type beer is now on my only a little bit of list, as the bubbles just feel yuk. I am NOT going to attempt to drink whiskey till this is all over – the thought of not liking my favourite tipple is too scary for words.

    Daughter is going into Harrow today – she is going to buy loads and loads of hats and bring them home for me to try, then take the ones I don’t want back – if you can’t go to the shops, mum, the shops will come to you, she said as she vanished. Love that girl, I do!

    Chemo-brain does exist, though I suspect it is a function of Tiredness – I have been this tired before, after partying hard, then having to work all day (younger times, lol) and I remember this disengaged feeling then.

    Ah, well, life is an adventure, it’s just this is one I would prefer not to be on!

    There is a support organisation – I have a Breast Care nurse, who has all the info that I might need, and who is always contactable, even if I have to wait for a reply (mobile phones + nurse at work in hospital = wait for return call). But I am seriously not a mixer type and cannot imagine wanting to hang with a load of people with whom the only thing I have in common is my cancer. But that could easily change.

    Thanks, Drude – your replies have helped me, and settled me somehow.

  4. leendadll says:

    chemo is horrible and worrying about your job is horrible but, damn, deep sleep sounds wonderful. i miss it.

    i forget… do you have a live in personal attendant (spouse, significant other, etc?). i worry about getting sick enough to need care and having only my cats to turn to.

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