I realized that I haven't provided an update on how things outside of my treatment are going. By the way, the picture on this post is my "breakfast" of medications that I take everyday. Yum!
The side effects that have been the most challenging for me are the fatigue and the change in my appetite. Many of you know that I am a caffeine (mostly Starbucks) junkie. Some time during the first treatment my taste for coffee completely changed. It was like drinking motor oil. Easy enough to give up coffee, but those rebound headaches are killer. So I have been experimenting with ways to "hide" the taste of the coffee while still getting my jolt. I have been mixing Starbucks caramel flavored Via packets into my morning smoothies and ordering a Caramel Frappucino with a shot or two of expresso or a white chocolate mocha. These are all sweet and strong enough to "hide" the taste of the coffee. The change of appetite has caused me to "forget" to eat; leading to late in the day shakiness because of a drop in blood pressure. To combat this, I have been setting regular reminders on my phone to eat. I carry a lot of little snacks with me all the time.
This is the end of my third week back in the classroom. Generally things have been going well at school. I feel blessed to be working in a building with staff and students who for the most part are genuinely concerned for my health and well being. I shared my diagnosis with the staff and students. There will be days I won't be at school because of scheduled treatments and there may be days I just can't make it in because of the side effects of treatment. I wanted the students to know there may be times when I "lose my words," appear less organized than before, or suffer from fatigue and not able to circulate through the classroom like they are used to. I also explained my treatment schedule, so they would know what days I wouldn't be in but there would be a substitute. I asked that they feel confortable emailing me if they had question about an assignment I left them. I told them that I hoped if they had circumstances going on in their lives effecting their performance at school, I would hope they had someone in the school building they would be comfortable sharing that information with. For the most part, the students have been extremely empathetic. Many of them wished me well when I saw them on Wednesday.
I am glad I scheduled my treatments for Thursdays and Fridays. It has given me the weekends to recover from my treatments before I have to go to work. This weekend I have the added benefit of a 3 day weekend because Monday is Presidents Day and there is no school. 😊
Several of my local friends have stopped by over the last couple of weeks and I really appreciate the visits. I also appreciate all the "check ins," whether they are phone calls or texts. I don't mind filling people in on how I am feeling, or how my treatments are going or how I am "holding up." So please don't avoid checking in because you think you are intruding. You aren't. I value my relationships with all of you and view the opportunity to connect with you as one of the "gifts" of my situation.