What is chemotherapy like?
An overview of the full treatment.
I have four cycles, each 3 weeks long
First cycle was a steep learning curve. I realised I had no idea what to expect and how it all unfolds – (hence blog)
Second cycle was much easier knowing what to expect and ramping up the hydration to help with the headaches.
Third cycle was a bit of a curve ball, it took longer to recover and a new symptom of loss of appetite and weird taste buds appeared. I am emotionally and physically drained. My husband is finding it very challenging supporting. I have an infection and am neutropenic. I go to A and E and have two days of hospital.
Fourth cycle was to be on March 10th but will be delayed by 1 week to build up strength after hospital.
Overview of the 3 weeks of the cycle
First week is go slow – feels like body inhabited by sludge (week one it took 3 days to clear – week two took 2 days – week 3 took 5 days)
Mid-cycle day 10–12 – immune system at its lowest! Flu symptoms, shivers. Important to keep the kidneys happy, warm and protected. Steering clear of places where there may be infectious people (public transport, small changing rooms). The third cycle was particularly challenging. Temperature teetering at 38 degrees, but just managed to keep it below the line that says I go into hospital. (Which is above 38 degrees!)
Third week – a relief, feeling good but really watching the energy levels and building up for the next cycle. Reclaiming mobility and stretching and lots of good hearty walks!
Why my approach?
In my 30’s I had discoid lupus and for the last 20 years have been vigilant to keep it in remission naturally; by minimising emotional and physical stress. It is ingrained in me to have as natural and toxic chemical free life style as possible. My navigation through chemotherapy – (clearing – as I like to call it) has been one of experimentation and journaling the results.