Chemo has officially started, praise God! Time to kill the cancer! The treatment itself was totally enjoyable, I was waited on with snacks and beverages, spent time with my family, introduced my parents to the best of Chris Farley (fries skit, obviously), had some wonderful guests stop in.. All while reclining in a comfy chair. Not a bad set up. After treatment ended we went for a family walk (I'll end every chemo with a walk or a swim (advice from my super friend Amber)), had lunch, and I embarked on my first post treatment nap for the next few hours. My family was kind enough to wake me for dinner which was when I started to experience the chemo tired. I have felt it the most in my skin. Every inch of it weighs a million pounds so moving around feels like I'm dragging all this extra junk. I installed a new shower curtain and was ready to sleep right after that task, with my arms dragging on my sides like an orangutan. My sleep was interrupted 3 times though with nausea; it comes in waves and eventually the need for sleep becomes stronger and it stops. I woke up feeling alright and had a good breakfast so I could take all my meds. The best thing about day 2 was that I got to participate in my school's 5k. It was my first goal of our fight so far and I'm happy I made it there. Granted I cut the course a couple times and walked the whole way, but it still counts in my book! I really enjoyed seeing all my lovely students and spending time having fun with them. Everyone was decked out in pink breast cancer bandanas and it really made me feel strong seeing the whole school stand with me. I was so impressed by the number of parents that did the run too! This is a community of rockstars. My parents and my cousin Kiah came too, Patty crushed us all and Daddo finished the whole course honestly, like a champ! Kiah thankfully was ok with adjusting the path as needed :)
Kiah has been a real blessing to my army. We've had some lovely chats the past few days. She's been around to take care of me all week, she helped my parents teach for me, and has continued to remind me of why I have always looked up to her. One of the main things we've talked about is chemo and she has some wonderful insight on it. I'm glad she's been trying to process this whole situation herself, because what she's learning is helping me. She was talking about how chemo is viewed as such a challenging, negative thing usually. But really, chemo is doing the killing. Chemo is my teammate and plays a huge role in this quest to kill cancer. Chemo is fighting FOR me. So when I feel tired and weak, I can remember chemo is working inside of me, doing its job, which is ultimately to save my life. I want to cling to this mindset for when it gets rough and the side effects get stronger. I never want to dread chemo. I have to remember that it's fighting for me. I swear after my first treatment ended I already felt discomfort in my armpit which can only be the cancer starting to die already. Brilliant work so far, chemo!
After a 4 hour nap I woke up and went to the pool with my mom to coach a little. Maybe it was more to catch up with some of my favorite people and see all the happy kids that GA has, either way it just felt really good to be out of bed and with friends. The nausea got stronger as the day went along but I always felt better when I was getting some sunshine or with friends. I'm happy to be taking notes of this now so I know what to do down the road.
After practice I had a nice dinner at my parents, set up their tv, did some mother encouraged abs, and ended the night with my dad reading next to me and my mom snuggled up by my side. Will I ever find a way to say how blessed I am to have the two most beautiful people on Earth as parents? They are amazing. I am so thankful for an opportunity for our family to grow even closer. I don't care how old you are, nothing in the world beats being surrounded by family. Nothing is better than having your mom and dad sit with you while you fall asleep.
I am so thankful for the incredible Skinner family to share their space with us so we can have moments like this. I can't imagine how people accomplish things without the love of their family.
My nausea on day 3 is light but my hips are pretty sore from walking and my neulasta shot. I'll receive it the day after each chemo treatment to boost my immune system. It makes you a little sore because it's building white blood cells in the bone marrow, especially in the big bones like my hips. Hopefully no symptom changes happen when I finally get out of bed and start my day :)
I'd like to close this entry with a special thank you to the Glenbrook Aquatic community. You guys rock. I have never felt so loved and immediately a part of a crew whether I wanted that to happen or not. Every time I actually make it to the pool I so easily forget what's going on with the rest of my life. There's always some great chatting to be had, sassy jokes that no one is safe from, and really just some of the best people to spend your time around. Thank you guys for keeping me smiling and making me feel like I'm doing something productive even if I'm really just eating skinny pop with my girlfriends.
Oh! Almost forgot! First fundraiser/FUNraiser is in. Kira made those jelly bracelets for the cause. They are bright pink and say "love conquers all" with a ribbon on them and my name. My sales committee has priced them at $5 for one or $10 for 3. Get them while they last! Feel free to email, inbox, or text your orders!