Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day -2: Fatigue Setting In

Well, I've had my last dose of chemotherapy, hopefully for the rest of my life.

Today is not the same as yesterday. I worked on a Through the Bible in a Year blog this morning, and it about knocked me out while I was sitting up.

Not that I can complain. I laid down for 45 minutes or so. I couldn't sleep because they were giving me Lasix again to keep the chemo from pooling in my bladder and causing bleeding. That means a trip to the bathroom every 15 minutes. The rest felt good, though, so I got up and walked a mile in the hallway, which was no problem.

So my brain may be getting exhausted, but my body is apparently doing just fine. I had already done two miles walking early this morning, plus a mile on the bike. The nurse checked my pulse right after I walked the mile, and it was only 80. So, like I said, I have nothing to complain about. My body's doing great. I just can't continue the work schedule I've been trying to push on myself the last couple days.

The funniest side effect I'm having is the hiccups. They come regularly, pretty much every time I eat or drink anything and at other random times. They don't last long, less than 5 minutes each time, but they're pretty strong. One nurse told me that hiccups are very common with these chemotherapies, and some patients need treatment to make them go away.

So apparently all the things I'm doing to combat mouth sores are working so far. I do have a bit of a stomach ache, which is also related to the mucositis, I'm sure. They're giving me Zofran for that. They keep promising me Tums, but it just hasn't come.

For the mouth sores, I'm doing all the things they say. Keep your mouth clean and rinse with baking soda and salt regularly. But Biotene also makes this great dry mouth gel. It noticeably helps. I'm being careful what I eat, just very gentle foods, and I've got throat lozenges with pectin, which I think is supposed to soothe and coat the lining of the throat. None of that reaches the stomach, of course.

Fortunately, I'm not doing this alone. I have advice from people who have gone ahead of me. I got an email from a man in South Africa with Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm, and he said he started taking L-Glutamin and quit getting mouth sores. His doctors were okay with it, and I told my nurses about it. No one's stopped me. Hopefully that's helping, too. I don't know anything about it, nor even how much I need to be taking. It is an amino acid, one of the most common in the body, so it shouldn't be dangerous, and I was careful to ask for a trusted manufacturer. Many manufacturers of herbs and supplements don't label their products correctly. Or rather, it would be better to say that they don't bother to put into their capsules what they say are in them. It's possible to buy a bottle of herbs that doesn't have one grain of the herb you want in it. Let the buyer beware!

Anyway, that's my news for today. I thought I'd get you caught up. I'm doing remarkably well. Jerry came to visit me, and he's doing great, too. It's such an answer to prayer, and I'm so grateful!

So while y'all are doing all this good, the fellow in South Africa is named Richard. Pray for him, too. His transplant is due in February sometime.

Mine is day after tomorrow!

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