This Was Supposed to Be An "Easy" Week

My last chemotherapy treatment was a week ago today. It was an IP treatment of Taxol, marked the end of cycle 4 and the beginning of what I have been looking forward to as my week "off." In past cycles this week has been easy: virtually no side effects and my appetite returning to normal. Unfortunately, this week has been different. The abdominal pain and bloating as well as the heartburn (even with the newly prescribed heartburn medication) has been off the charts. The neuropathy in my hands hasn't gotten any worse, even with the increased dose of Neuortin my doctor has prescribed, but it has appeared in my feet. I have been more fatigued this week than ever, which may be a combination of the crappy weather (it's cloudy and currently SNOWING!) and an after school meeting on Wednesday which put me smack in the middle of rush hour traffic on the way home, leading to close to a 7pm arrival at home.

I was scheduled for my end-of-cycle blood work today and was looking forward to attending a "Cancer and Work" conference afterward. I felt so bad yesterday, I cancelled my registration and went to the oncologist's office on my way home from work to have my blood drawn so I wouldn't have to leave the house today. The nurses there are absolute angels. When I walked into the office, they were a bit surprised to see me. They asked me how I was feeling. My response? "I feel like absolute shit!" They went out of their way to re-assure me that I was doing great, especially since I was still working, and that I was "almost done." They reminded me to "listen to my body" and be sure to rest when I need to. I shook my head, but inside I was thinking "I am so sick of hearing that. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!"

My attitude changed this morning when a friend shared a link on Facebook. Ovarian Rhapsody. I was so excited to find a blog written by someone else battling ovarian cancer. I clicked on the link right away. I didn't know anything about the author: not when she was diagnosed, what stage she was diagnosed at; how far along she was in her treatment. After reading her post, I began to feel grateful that my side effects, while horrible, were not nearly as debilitating as Margit's. I immediately commented on my friend's "share" and reached out to Margit. She responded almost immediately and now we are "connected." I am hoping we can lean on each other as we race towards the chemotherapy finish line.