Chemo is no joke …

Chemo day was a busy one …

We had an appointment at the Surgeon to talk about me getting a port at 10:15. We were 10 minutes early and didn’t get into to see the doctor until 11:25. How can you be that far behind that early in the morning. Ha ha.

It was SO boring that Gerry and I started poking around the exam room… ๐Ÿ™‚

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We talked Port. I bruise so easily from needles/IVs. I showed him a photo of what happened to my arm when I had my CT scan. If you want to read about what a Port is go HERE.

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He agreed to put a request in for the procedure as soon as possible so my surgery date for my port is on Friday. I’ll be like The Borg. Resistance is futile!!

We were so LATE for our next appointment which was with a therapist at the Cancer Center. We sat and talked with her about our lives and my diagnosis and about how we were dealing with everything and then she fired us. Ha ha. She told us we were doing great and that she didn’t think we needed to see her … but that we could call her anytime if we felt we needed someone to talk to.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Then it was time for lunch. Gerry had packed a little picnic and we sat in the shade of a Japanese Maple in front of the Cancer Center and tried to relax a little before the big procedure.

Then it was time … we were greeted by a lovely nurse who went over everything with me including exactly what they were going to do, my medications, etc etc.

And then she started …

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I am trying to think of the chemo as scrub brushes. c8dc68cccd5a11e2ad8422000a1fa8e9_7

The go in – they do their job – and then I flush them out by drinking fluids.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

The nurse loved my shoes… she said “I see you’re wearing your power shoes today”. Ha ha. She was right. That’s exactly why I wore them.

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I wrapped myself in my chemo cape that my dear friend Dungaree Dolly made for me and tried my best to relax. The appointment took about 1.5 hours. The actual chemo was about 45 minutes … as I sat there I could feel myself turning gray.

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I got a crazy headache and started to feel like I was getting a head-cold. All normal symptoms said my nurse. Great. ๐Ÿ™

After the chemo I went out into the parking lot and danced a little jig. ONE DOWN! Three more big ones to go.

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This is how my chemo is going to work. I am doing 4x of the big chemos (now only 3) and each of those are 3 weeks apart. Then I move to do 12 chemos (once a week) but they say that chemo is easier to take. Fingers crossed they are right because this first chemo was BRUTAL!

The first day wasn’t so bad. I felt kind if sickly but I managed to make my way through the day by eating Popsicle…

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And drinking green smoothies.

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My cheeks were burning RED from the medications that it actually made my freckles pop out. I swear I didn’t have this many freckles the day before … is that possible?

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I slept a lot. That kind of helped …

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But the other days (I’ve lost track of time) I felt so sick that I called the nurse hotline to ask about what I could do. She told me to take my “rescue” pill every 4 hours which is supposed to help me with the nausea. And it kind of does … but it also made me into a raving lunatic.

I seriously went manic.

It was like I had eaten an entire chocolate bar chased down with a cup of coffee. I couldn’t sit still. Lay still. Stand still. Walk still. I looked like a crazy junkie zombie …

It. Was. Awful.

I called the hotline again and she said “Oh that can sometimes happen with that medication. It can cause restlessness/agitation. Are you feeling manic? If you are stop taking it and take a Gravol instead.”

I’m really trying to get on board with this Western Medicine shit but episodes like this make me feel like they have no clue what they’re doing. ๐Ÿ™

It was insane … I can’t even explain how horrible it felt. I was crying and laughing and acting like Carrie from Homeland.

Thankfully the Gravol kicked in and I slept for 2 hours and am slowly starting to feel better.

The feeling shitty is something I can handle but the nausea is really hard. I love food and I have no desire to eat. I have set a timer on my phone and am trying to eat a little something every hour. Right now all I can do is white rice and potato chips. What? This is not how I like to eat… I eat clean! Come on body!

Last night I was able to eat a fruit salad and some coconut yogurt. Yipeee. The nausea comes and goes in waves. It’s a nausea roller coaster.

Yes I know about Mary Jane. I have a card to a compassion club and I brought home a few “goodies” to help me through all this but the smell. Ugh. The smell of anything M.J. makes me want to barf. Ginger has helped … Any other nausea tips?

I’m trying to keep up my fitness. I have an elliptical in my office and I can barely do 3 minutes. It’s crazy how weak I am right now … I’m still walking the dog every morning/evening with Gerry but even going up the stairs of our condo is difficult. Crazy!

I haven’t even told you about the day I closed the store. It was a wonderful day full of visits from friends and probably one of my busiest days I’ve had since I opened. Thank you all so much for coming down to shop and for shopping online. It helped me reduce my stock by quite a bit.

My sweet parents came into town to help me to close up shop. At 5pm they helped me paper up the store and I closed the doors. I can’t even really write about it because it makes me so sad.

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Everything is just sitting there waiting for me … I’m going to start packing everything up next week to put into storage.

UGH! FUCK MY LIFE! This cancer is bullshit! ๐Ÿ™

Back to bed with me … I am like a weak little kitten. Time to rest.

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22 Responses to Chemo is no joke …

  1. Renรฉe says:

    I wonder if the little goodies can come in vegan cookie form for you.

    This was a pretty comprehensive entry for a weak little kitten! Your updates are fantastic.

    After you’d posted an Instagram of the scrubby-creatures, I went into the bathroom and something caught my eyeโ€”a bottle of cleanser with the *exact* same graphic. Weird how I’d never paid attention to that before. Whenever I look at it, I’ll think of you scrubbing out the bad.

    Here’s hoping that you feel increasingly better in the next days and weeks.

  2. Angela says:

    I send you hugs and love and wanted to say that now more than ever you are a vegan superstar. Honesty is a super power. Sharing is a super power and hopefully your super power which is helping ordinary citizenry like me also gives back to you when you most need it.

  3. Kendra says:

    You’re a tough cookie Sarah I hope you start to feel better soon it must be awful.

    When my auntie was having chemo we got her some of those wrist bands that are designed for sea-sickness as they are recommended to ease the nausea. They may be worth a try for you?

    Stay strong – sending love & positive vibes x x

  4. Scott Spitz says:

    Sarah,

    I just had my port installed Friday, but have yet to receive a treatment at this time (damn medicaid approval!). Anyways, be prepared to feel a bit awkward about having this bionic sort of mechanism placed within your body. I was initially excited about getting the port installed for the ease of chemo delivery, but I’m a little taken back at how I’m reacting to having this weird piece of plastic embedded under my skin (and protruding outward). Just something for you to think about. I wish you the best.

    -Scott

    P.S. – I’m having all the same weird food issues as you mentioned. I can’t do sweets and crave lots of processed breads despite eating “clean” foods prior to surgery. Regardless, keeping weight on is important, so go with what you can eat! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks Scott. We are twins right now… I managed to get a green smoothie with Vega powder into me today. Feeling more human.

  5. Leslie says:

    Sending you healthy thoughts!! <3

  6. Sabeeha says:

    Eat nectarines, plums, cucumber. Drink liquid oxygen so you don’t get mouth sores. Also stir powdered l-glutaminine into water and drink it to save your digestive tract. Try get some coconut oil and hemp oil in you to reduce inflammation and soothe. The cyclophosphamide makes you super sun-sensitive. That’s probably what caused new freckles to pop up.
    I found eating plain rice cakes or crackers and drinking Pelegrino really helped with nausea. I also found that deep breathing and short short walks and fresh air helped. Foot reflexology is fantastic. The first round was the worst for nausea. I personally found that the anti nausea pills they gave me made me feel grosser. Take lots and lots of Epsom salt baths with a mix of lavender and rosemary. It will soothe you and detoxify you and help with the aching. The days you can, get on your mat and do yoga. Even if its just child’s pose.
    Dry skin brush when you have energy.

  7. Holly Rock says:

    Sarah, you are rockin it! Hang in there. Taking care of yourself is much more important than anything else. I hear (from Kris Carr) those green smoothies are the way to go. Please let us know if you need anything. I am in Arizona and if there is anything you want me to send you, just email me. Good luck. I’m sending good vibes your way.

  8. stef says:

    hi sarah,
    My mom was getting her 5th round of chemo at the same time you were. she wears power chemo shoes too.. Crackers really do help with the nausea, so does other light bland food and coconut water. My mom was also quite red and tanned from the drugs but that will soon disappear. good luck with your treatment.

  9. Laura says:

    I’ve never had chemo, so I have no idea if this will help or not, but apple + lemon + ginger (at least 2 inches of fresh ginger) juice helps my IBS.

  10. Sabeeha says:

    PS. When you feel crappy, focus on each chakra and/or organ one by one and smile and send it love and light and healing. I would do a type of toning. Make a sound that resonates with each ones, assign it a healing colour. There are the standard chakra ones or 5 element ones to work with.
    There’s an amazing man in Victoria, Dr Jim Tucker, a medical dr who also is a 5 element acupuncturist. He can clear the energetic rubbish and support your spirit as you go through this.

  11. Tom says:

    You’re probably had your fill of advice, but here goes. A good friend of mine who had cancer said she was determined to do the opposite of what the doctor recommended after her chemo treatments, she just didn’t completely trust them. After every chemo treatment, she and her mother would go pig out on Mexican food, the spicier the better. She said she never had any nausea or sickness from the chemo, and every one else she met at the hospital did. The spices are good for cleaning out your blood. Sending love and positive thoughts your way.

  12. Monica says:

    Hi,
    I recommend mint tea… there is even a chocolate mint plant you could use to change the flavor a bit from “just mint”. I have never experienced cancer/chemo first hand, but I do have three babies, and the mint tea helped with morning sickness. Good luck, stay strong. Sending positive and healthy vibes your way.
    -Monica

  13. John says:

    I’m so sorry Sarah, it sounds like hell! But I know you are a tough cookie and in the end you are going to kick cancers ass. HUGS!!!!

  14. Charlie Rose says:

    Let me first start by saying that if there is one thing in the entire literal world that I learn in life, it’s how to be and spread as much positivity as you. I know it can’t be easy, but that’s what’s so admirable. That it’s hard, but still so genuine.

    You are so courageously inspiring that I really.. Just don’t even know what to say except that I feel so compelled to tell you that.

    I downloaded your app when I dove into veganism last year. Never did I read your blog or visit govegan.net. I’m not sure why, probably because I’m the laziest and just never did. No real reason.

    But about a week ago, I finally did. Just googled something and there you were! The first thing I read though, wasn’t on whatever specific thing I was looking for but it was your first bit about being diagnosed with cancer. I read and read and read and afterward, I just felt like I knew you. Like, I wanted to grab the phone and just say, “Sarah! Girl, if you need aaaaanything let me know CAUSE IM HERE FOR YOU!”

    I’ve read so many other well wishes and I know you know how loved and cared for you are by people all over the place.. I hope you find the strength to channel all of those thoughts when things are rough and tough and stuff. You’re energy (even through the massive interweb) is so enlightening and motivating. And rare. And I want you to know that it’s so appreciated. You are appreciated.

    Stay strong, but let it out when you need to.
    And keep drinking those greens!

    Charlie

  15. Nancy Sherman says:

    Sarah,

    I don’t even know you but I’ve been reading your posts since before your surgery. God, God, God…woman…your words sometimes bring me to tears and other times make me laugh out loud. What a brave woman you are and I am so sorry you have to go through this! Nanner.

  16. Esther Patrick says:

    Like everyone else, I too am so admiring of your honesty and courage and attitude. Hang in there Sarah. Sending good thoughts and energy x

  17. Rebecca says:

    Arrgh! I know it sucks right now. You are strong and can handle this grasshopper haha. As for nausea help I know you are trying to “eat clean” but, maybe just for now you need to listen to your body and go ahead and eat the potato chips and white rice yeah not the healthiest but, it might just be what you need.
    Try ginger ale or sprite that might help. Oatmeal will help you too. I know not really the time to eat oatmeal but, it will help.

  18. Sneaky says:

    I tried pretty much everything that everyone has already listed and nothing worked for my nausea while on AC. The only things that helped keep it manageable were eating small portions of crackers, fruit, and/or veggies and doing light intensity aerobic exercise (I walked/jogged/stumbled all but Days 3-5). I had a flashback when I read that you were laying on the floor… I can’t count how many times I was found laying on the kitchen or living room floor by my daughter. I get it and I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. I hope the next rounds get easier for you, but there’s the chance they may not. Mine got progressively worse, to the point where I actually started experiencing anticipatory nausea. In fact, I almost dropped the last round of AC it was so harsh on me and I really hope it doesn’t get like that for you. But if it does, just remember that it’s temporary. You will feel better again. You’ve got this. And, yes, I am certain you will find Taxol to be a breeze compared to AC. Hang in there, lady. We’re with you the whole way.

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