I imagined the worst after week 1 with those challenging side effects described in my previous blog First Week Post Chemo Feedback.
In theory, day 7-14 is where things can get really tough….
This is because of the fact that your immune system can be at its lowest point due to your low blood cell count. In actual fact, the weeks following week 1 post chemo were much easier. Some of this could have been mental as I knew more what to expect. Also the major fatigue subsided.
Something I’m sure had a key part to play in my improved mental state was the port I had fitted to replace the cannula. A port is a small round device, the size of a £2 coin that can be fitted under local anaesthetic either to your arm or chest that allows access to your veins in a much easier way that the cannula. I opted for my chest. I also was sure to speak to the surgeon about placement as I had heard a very useful tip that having the port too far out to the side can cause friction with your bra strap which would lay directly above.
Other observations I noticed is that my hair is coming out at a much quicker pace. My Consultant did warn me that my hair is likely to be gone by the 2nd chemo session. Even though you know this day was going to come, when it actually starts, the reality kicks in. We had discussed cold caps at length which can help retain your hair. However, my particular type and stage of breast cancer can spread to the brain and my Consultant wanted to take no chances with the chemo reaching every cell in my body.
I also had a confirmed allergic reaction to one of the chemotherapy drugs, the challenge being pin pointing which one. Steroids are keeping the symptoms at bay short term. My next chemotherapy will be split over 2 days to allow more observation and immediate action should I have the same allergic reaction.
My fatigue has subsided, my appetite is strong and my taste buds are in tact. This is something I’m extremely grateful for.
I’m glad to have made it through cycle one, having the port fitted has helped me create a more positive and open mindset going into my next cycle.
I’m taking things one day at a time and dealing with each physical and emotional effect as they arise.
This ability to let go and allow space for new possibilities is a key theme for all of us. Maybe I’ll rock the bald look and be scouted for a part on Black Panther 2!
I appreciate you being on my journey with me. More to follow soon on my Cycle 2 experience.
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