The past few days have gone really well. Post-chemo side effects have been completely predictable and manageable. I've had less pain than from the first two treatments, and I haven't taken any nausea medication since Wednesday night. Very good things. I have been struggling with my esophagus though. Its been very sensitive - just a general burning sensation and periodic air bubbles and food getting stuck in my throat. I noticed this last round too, but it seems more pronounced this time. If it follows the pattern, it should subside within a couple days though.
So all and all, aside from my esophagus, and being super tired, I am doing very well.
Friday at work was, of course, a struggle. I hit my "wall" about 5 times throughout the day. But with the help of water, snacks, and a nap during my plan, I was able to power through. I stayed a few hours late to prep things for next week. I'm trying to operate under the circumstances that I never know how I'm going to feel, so I want my classroom to be ready for unanticipated absences. When I finally got home, it was GAME OVER. Took a shower, laid down, and I knew I wasn't moving again for a long long time. I officially "went to bed" at 8:30pm, which consequently had me wide awake at 4am the next morning. Its weird. Its like my body will now only sleep for the amount it needs. No more. No less.
Emotionally, I've been struggling a little bit this morning. My primary duty to myself is to ensure that I'm accepting my situation, feeling gratitude, and contributing to my healing. Basically, keeping myself happy. I haven't been too happy today. With the whirlwind of doctors and appointments, and massive bits of information having subsided, I've now settled into a strange state. I'm mourning what I used to be. This is my new normal now.
One of the things my book was talking about is that many breast cancer patients just push forth and get through their treatment and surgeries with the goal of "getting back to normal". But there isn't an "old normal" anymore. The goal is to treat the current cancer, and then making adjustments to your health habits so that you reduce the chance of a recurrence. Optimal health is my new normal.
I just need to cry a little bit. Because just a few posts ago, I was writing about how this experience is basically upgrading my life. And I believe that. I'm just mourning what I used to be, is all.