It has been my desire to update much sooner than now, but to be honest with you all, I’ve had a pretty rough weekend…
Before I get to that though, let me celebrate with you that my first round of chemo therapy is done! I cannot tell you how excited I am! 25% of my treatment has been administered and I only have 3 more 5-day weeks of chemo left, 15 days (can you tell I’ve been trying to look at it from every which possible positive angle ;o)
So last week started off bumpier than I expected. I pretty much thought I would sail right through the first 5 days being the healthiest at the beginning of this whole process. Sadly I was wrong and started experiencing some nausea symptoms and stomach issues pretty early on in the week. By Tuesday of the first week I was struggling to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
As the week progressed I got used to feeling tired, weak and rumbling in my stomach and accepted it as the new normal for now. With that said I was excited for Friday, day 5, the end, the weekend.
And that is when things started to get worse. Saturday I was home resting and taking my anti-nausea medicine but I was feeling less than ok. I knew I was tasked to take in as many fluids possible to help flush the chemo quicker. Some suggested 2 liters of water, others 128oz and some, of the less mathematic persuasion, simply said AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
By Saturday evening I had managed to drink maybe one water bottle and about half of a Powerade. The nausea medicines didn’t seem to be working and I began throwing up. This continued on an off through the day and got bad into the night Saturday. It reached the point Sunday around 4am where acids from my stomach were coming up and burning the back of my throat. I ended up calling the emergency oncology number and the doctor on call recommended a visit to the ER.
I went in to the ER and got some IV liquids and stronger nausea medicine and went home Sunday morning feeling ok. But with an awful sore throat and fear or more throwing up, by Sunday night and Monday morning I was very dehydrated again. Monday morning I was able to stop back by Lexington Oncology to get more liquids. Last night I finally started feeling better and this morning I stopped in again for precautionary fluids and today has been the best I’ve felt since this whole process started. Hence the calm, AFTER the storm.
The real positive that has encouraged me though have been the conversations with the nurses and doctors yesterday and today. A lot of help has come from the pharmacist in the oncology department who is also a member of Mt. Horeb. He is helping me find a non-drowsy anti-nausea medication that should help me the duration of my next treatment. He has been explaining everything to me on a rational, logical level of how chemo and recovery meds work and for a thinker like me, that has been a great encouragement.
Also I have found out that it is possible that for my next round of chemo I could receive a portable IV machine to use at home. So that after the next 5 day treatment, I can go home with liquids and meds stock piled for Saturday and Sunday when my Oncology clinic is closed. The more liquids I can get, the quicker the chemo is expelled, the better I feel. Today was only the 2nd time we spoke about this at the clinic so be in prayer that it would get approved by dr and insurance but at this point it shouldn’t be an issue.
So how am I doing?
A lot of people let me talk and then ask, so how are you doing… so here goes.
I really am in good spirits still. Last Tuesday was a low point for sure as the week ahead seemed so insurmountable. I had just started and already was so sick. And a few times this weekend I thought to myself “what in the world is happening to me right now?” But even today, not even a week removed from it, I am able to look back and see the hand of God at work.
I felt as if he constantly gave me the right measure of strength I needed each day to endure what I had that day. I will spare you from the gross details, but even in the low moments, I was connected and in communication with God and he provided me with what I needed to endure each situation. And looking back now I really have a sense of “wow, that was rough, but it wasn’t terrible!” and trust me, such perspective can only come from God!
I’ll sign off for now, didn’t mean for such a lengthy post, but check the previous entry with some pictures of some of my visitors that God blessed me with.
At this point I made an exception for some out of town visitors but I’m still not up for much activity and hanging out. I will try and update everyone soon on a new way to reach out
Love you all,
Daniel “stallion” Stevanus