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  • Writer's pictureTeri

Chemo Round 4 (& 5-ish) update

Me and my IV
Chemo round 4 - Erwin and I

Hello friends and family! I just wanted to update everyone on my 4th round of chemo which was on January 8th (almost 3 weeks ago). I am preparing for my 5th round of chemo on Monday (Jan 29th). There were no complications from my fourth round chemo infusion. Erwin was there with me at Northside Hospital. I got my extra dosage of benadryl which knocked me right out. When we got home, Erwin and I stayed up late to watch Georgia vs. Alabama in the college football national championship. Awful to see the bulldogs lose! But, good game, nonetheless. The next day, we both flew out to Socal and I had my recovery from chemo there. During the fourth round of chemo, the nausea was hitting me harder and it stayed around for a little longer. I still experienced fatigue and body aches. But to me, the worst is the nausea and also one other thing which I haven't talked much about yet -- the depression. I realize that a lot of my posts may come off as positive and breezy. However, I want to shed some light on a different (darker?) side of my cancer treatment. What I have noticed with my last few rounds of chemo is that as I start to feel sicker, I also get less spirited and more depressed. For this fourth round, I stayed in bed for most of the first week and didn't leave the house at all until the weekend. Imagine me in bed under the covers, in the dark, with netflix or hulu on but not really focused and trying not to move too much for fear that a wave of nausea would hit. I had absolutely no contact with anyone in person other than Erwin all week -- I just felt awful and the introvert in me wanted to be alone. Emotionally, it's tough going through this roller coaster of being sick and then healthy to being sick again. When I'm at my worst during the sick periods, all I can think about is that it's not over yet -- I'll have to go through this again in 3 weeks... and then another three weeks after that... and again. Six rounds of chemo every three weeks may not seem like a lot, but when you're in the middle of it and feeling miserable, it feels like it will never end. And, to be honest, what I really want to do is quit and not subject myself to this anymore. The thought just sends me to a very depressing place where I'm not very motivated to get out of bed or talk to anyone. Depression can be one of the side effects of cancer treatment and I can completely see how many people can go there. Thankfully, the worst part for me is during the first week or so of each round and usually halfway through the second week and the third week, I am fairly back to normal, physically and emotionally. I'm grateful for Erwin who sees this side of me and still cares for me -- he's had to endure a lot of my moodiness and grumpiness. I'm also thankful for family and friends who help lift up my spirits during this difficult time. What I've learned from this experience is to give myself some grace when I'm feel bad. And after having gone through a couple of rounds of this, I now have a better understanding of myself and more awareness of what is happening to me so that hopefully I can persevere and keep pressing forward. Thanks always for all your support and love. :) - Teri

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