Side Effects?

Chemo #2 of 8 coming up tomorrow.  How did everything go the last two weeks?  Pretty damn good, all things considered.  No nausea, so I’ve had no need to take the “as needed” medications.  No real “bone aches” from the Neulasta injection that stopped me from doing what I always do.  Some random unusual aches last week which started on Wednesday morning and happened again on Thursday and Friday morning but nothing that was not completely bearable.  My heart rate when working out is a solid 10 beats per minute higher than normal for the effort levels I’m putting out when swimming, biking or walking.  We’ve even thrown in a new piece of equipment, a stair climber.  It’s really hard!  So, I’ve scaled back my efforts and even stopped when necessary to keep my heart rate in what I would consider zone 1 efforts.  This is something I want to talk to my oncologist about tomorrow.  I don’t really have any other side effects to talk about except that I’m still having a hard time sleeping.

But, there is one other side effect creeping its way in — the hair on my head has started to fall out.   And that sucks.  It’s purely cosmetic, and I’m not a high maintenance person when it comes to hair and makeup.  I’m really not sure how I’m going to handle this — I have two options for wigs, a ton of scarves (that I haven’t started figuring out how to tie yet), and a ton of hats — baseball hats, running hats, trucker hats, straw hats, and even a cowboy hat!   I’m not sure how my 61-year-old face is going to go with a bald head, but we will find out soon enough I guess.

I keep obsessing over the calendar — how will the next 7 treatments go?  Will I stay on schedule?  When will my last chemo / Neulasta injection be?  How soon can radiation start?  Will it be three or four weeks in between?  When will radiation end?  And in between all that — will I be able to keep the few social commitments I have made?  Will I be able to go to Lake Placid for the race on July 23?  Not to race of course, but to cheer for my friend and training partner Ben, and all the other athletes racing.  Will I be able to go to Kona to spectate again this coming October?  And I know the answer to all those questions — there is none until the time comes.

I’m dreading tomorrow but also anxious to keep this show on the road.  It brings me one step closer to the end.


2 Replies to “Side Effects?”

  1. One suggestion for sleeping: the Sleep Stories on the Calm app. Sort of cheesy, but if you find one that relaxes you… I listen to one now every night. It’s 30 minutes long, and I’ve never heard the ending. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I press play on it again, and it puts me right back to sleep. I can even take a nap in the middle of the day if I put it on — it’s like my body just knows it’s time to go to sleep when it hears that. The Shipping Forecast is my favorite one. The Calm app is also amazing for anxiety or if you start to feel overwhelmed. I hope things go okay tomorrow and this coming week!

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