Post chemo newbies

It’s felt like John has been in a boxing ring all weekend, and everything he’s ever learned about boxing has been through word of mouth. You know how people say, “it’s like this….” and “here are the potential side effects…”. And you listen and nod your head. But, you don’t really “GET IT” until you go through it? Well, we are now seasoned post chemo warriors.

It’s Monday and we are sitting in the doctor’s office. I have counted the amount of hours we have spent in medical facilities over the past 6 days and I total 24 (!).

In addition to the extreme pain, discomfort, 3 sleepless nights and nausea, John has also been experiencing dehydration. He became so weak and light-headed early Saturday morning, he earned a trip to the ER by way of our local EMT’s and ambulance. Passing out in the bathroom was not on the agenda for the day and I  reached my threshold for WTF is going on when he went down a second time on his way back from the bathroom.

Saturday, he spent 8 hours in the ER as they juiced him back up with 5 liters of saline solution. With a dangerously low blood pressure, I felt relieved to have someone with more experience and skill keeping an eye on him for a while. They ‘threatened’ to keep him overnight as he showed small improvements throughout the day. I swear he willed his blood pressure back up and that short successful walk around the nursing station, which subsequently supported his discharge.

On Sunday, I asked him if he’d like to join me and our dog, Lucy for a quick walk. We journeyed across the street to the park and back. He’s so weak, nauseated and in pain. Throughout the night, he took another nosedive, ending up mildly dehydrated again; resulting in another sleepless night with phone calls to the advice nurse and an appointment for fluid with the doctor on Monday. As I sit in the doctors office on Monday I think about how tired I feel, and I wonder about his level of exhaustion. It’s only been two short weeks from when we learned about his diagnosis. Not only are we still reeling from this news, but we are in the thick of it. I don’t really let myself feel much these days and when I do it feels heavy, sticky, thick and overwhelming. It sucks. Just like cancer.

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