Day 3 and all is well in MC-land.
In fact, I feel fine, like nothing happened, just a regular day in my journey, albeit a little more tired. I’m slightly nauseous, although nothing I can’t handle and my Hickman entry point is bugging me. There’s a stitch they were unable to remove and my skin is a little angry. Overall, that’s about it. However, as the doc is quick to point out, we’re still early in the recovery journey and my counts are steadily going down (as they should at this point). But with this said, if I continue doing this good, then there’s no point me staying here. Let’s see what the week holds in store for me.
Last night my sleep routine was thrown off by some meds I took in the evening which means I am now a little tired and cranky (yeah, yeah, I know, what’s the difference from my usual self?) See, that’s the thing. We are supposed to recuperate and rest, however, sleeping is quite a difficult concept here. Not only do I have to frequently go to the washroom (which I’ve spoken about ad infinitum), but there’s always a nurse coming in to check on you and do vitals (day and night), then during the day there’s the docs, occupational therapist (she’s a friend of mine & she’s cool), cleaning staff and the food people. So really, there’s very little space for ‘quiet time’.
The other issue keeping me up at night is the fact that I am currently menopausal (chemo-induced) and am ‘enjoying’ hot flashes. So for those of you that have never experienced this, imagine opening an oven door while it’s on and getting hit all over with a blast of hot air. Except there’s no oven, I’m not the one choosing to ‘open the door’ and it’s all very random and unexpected. I go from freezing cold (the room temp fluctuates because of the large windows and filtered air system) to boiling hot and sweating, back to freezing cold (part of it caused by the night sweats that drench my t-shirt) on a regular basis but especially at night. Put on the blankets, take off the blankets, ask for a warm blanket, throw off the warm blanket. You get the point….. This routine goes on ALL NIGHT LONG! So sleep? Not so much.
Now the interesting thing was to even figure out that I was menopausal. The thing is, I’m on the young side for this but in this case, it is a side-effect of chemo. However, and here is the strange part, chemo-side effects, disease issues and menopause all have many common symptoms so how do you distinguish what belongs to what?
Night sweats/hot flashes = disease related, chemo side-effect & menopause
Dry skin = meds, chemo side-effect & menopause
Overall hair loss = meds, chemo side-effect & menopause
Fluctuating appetite/weight = meds, chemo side-effect & menopause (normal MC)
Vision changes = meds, chemo side-effect & menopause (normal MC – I’m getting older)
Mood swings = meds, chemo side-effect & menopause (normal MC)
Emotional outbursts = meds, chemo side-effect & menopause (normal MC)
Feeling homicidal = meds, chemo side-effect & menopause (normal MC)
Lack of patience = meds, chemo side-effect & menopause (normal MC)So honestly, how was I supposed to know what was what? As far as the mood swings, I’ve had those all my life, it’s called ME, same with fluctuating appetite and lack of patience. Night sweats & hot flashes I’ve had when this disease took a turn for the worst (which is how we knew it had shifted). My GP did a hormone test to confirm the menopause, which at this point, is to be piled on to the already existing long list of meds & chemo side-effects. So all these meds that are meant to save my life, or at least extend it, are in fact making it slightly more challenging. I guess it still beats the alternative.
It’s funny. Upon hearing I was menopausal, some friends thought I’d turn into MC’dzilla. But honestly, I’ve been controlling my temper for years now (yes, don’t make fun of me, I have been quite tame in the past few years. You should have seen me in my younger years – oh, boy! Talk about stereotypical French hot flaring temper.) Now, here’s a hint. If you ever hear me say ”are you kidding me?” It usually means I’m not impressed and that’s the nicest way I found not to yell. (I guess I’ve divulged my secret now.) You know how they say there are no stupid people, only stupid questions? Well, I’m not convinced of that, except now, I don’t say it out loud anymore. Believe it or not, I now try to filter and edit before I talk (except when the meds make me want to throttle someone, anyone, then I’m not responsible).
Do you know I’ll need to wear a medic-alert bracelet when I get out of here because of the transplant? I’ll need to include allergies to meds, the fact that I’ve had a BMT and all blood products to be received needs to be irradiated. I think I should also include a warning that I’m menopausal and therefore not responsible for tearing into people if they say or do something really stupid. This way I can revert back to my ‘beautiful sunshiny self’. Sarcastic? Me? No way……
Esto quod es